Friday, February 27, 2009

Did Casey cause Carla's loss on Top Chef?

My thoughts of Top Chef Season 5 finale.

Probably due to editing, they made Casey look like she caused Carla to lose the competition. Casey is not too happy about the fact (she's done some interviews after the show), and she feels like she was thrown under by bus by the show, when Casey's the one who was doing the show a favor by coming back on the show to be the sous chef. Sounds like Casey will never be making a cameo appearance on the show again, and rightly so.

To be the *top chef* you must posess good leadership skills, and Carla can't blame anyone but herself for being easily influenced or not speaking up. And Carla wasn't blaming anyone but herself, and that's why the judges panel quickly eliminated Carla from the running, even though she was clearly the crowd favorite. The souffle not making it on the plate in my opinion did very little to do with her loss, but it definitely put into the spotlight of how much of she let herself to be influenced by Casey. Unfortunately the audience will likely blame Casey because Carla was such a crowd favorite, and the crowd seems to be easily influenced as well (receptive to trash talking and sympathy).

When I saw that Carla ok'd the idea of sous vide beef, I knew Carla was in a lot of trouble. I couldn't think of a worse way to cook beef. Beef properly cooked has flavor from the charring of the meat and the carmelization of the seasoned juices. In a bag, none of that develops, so you are essentially working with some raw flavors of beef and its raw seasoned juices, but Carla cooks with "love" and I can't think of a better example of the antithesis of her style of cuisine. Off the subject but I think the only reason to sous vide beef is to serve large numbers, and you have to put it in the bag after you've grilled the meat, so you can finish cooking the inside right before you serve.

I hated that Hosea just hoarded all the most expensive ingredients, just so that Stefan couldn't use them. I highly doubt he used that much fois gras or caviar to serve 6-8 people. So you want to win by not letting your competitors cook their best food? Wow, what a champion. Lets not forget he didn't make desserts because he was not good at it.

It almost seemed like Stefan's dessert had so many little things here and there because he was trying to show the judges, "look at all the desserts I made for you while Hosea is making none." I think if he just picked one main component of his dessert, and plated it better, it would have been so much better. His dessert looked more like I went to a gourmet buffet at vegas and I picked a lot of little desserts here and there.

I like Stefan's attitude of what he thinks of the outcome. He says he doesn't look back, and I believe him. A lot of people say they don't have any regrets, when they really do have regrets (but are saying it because they wish to live a live without regrets). But Stefan genuinely sounds like he lives by that rule, and how can you not like him for that?

I thought it was interesting that they are no longer bringing families to the finales. The season finale seemed to very very low key, and under budgeted. Did it seem over the top before? I think a little bit more couldn't hurt.

Looking forward to Season 6.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Problems starting mssqlserver service after vmware 6.0 to 6.5 upgrade

I upgraded vmware 6.0 to 6.5, and when I installed vmware tools that it came with it, the sql server service on my vm wasn't starting. The event logs said:

The MSSQLSERVER service failed to start due to the following error:
The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.

For some reason, the vmware tools likes to delete msvcp71.dll from my Windows, system32 directory. Lets hope it'll be patched in the next release.

Solution? I just googled it and found it on

Just stick it back in windows\system32 directory, reboot, and it'll be good. No need to run regsvr32.exe.