Great Garces! Congrats, Next Iron Chef

by in View All Posts, November 23rd, 2009

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When the Chairman announced last night that Chef Jose Garces was The Next Iron Chef, the victor didn’t look battle worn for his winning moment. He looked mighty proud, despite a rough-and-tumble battle against runner-up Chef Jehangir Mehta. He seemed ever so slightly overwhelmed, too—who wouldn’t be? Check out what he had to say about his victory in the clip above.

Garces, the owner of several restaurants in Philadelphia, brings a Latin pedigree with an eye on the world, looking to excite viewers and judges alike as he joins the ranks of Michael Symon, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Masaharu Morimoto, who will continue to defend their titles in the coming weeks and months. I can’t wait to see what Garces creates with the exotic secret ingredients that come his way, but also what they dream up with familiar ingredients I can use in a new way in my own kitchen.

Much as I loved the drama (for more, see what Alton had to say), I was psyched over the weekend to see Battle Thanksgiving on Iron Chef America—I won’t give away who won in the standoff between Team Morimoto/Cora and Team Flay/Symon, but I know that my Thanksgiving feast will include a cranberry, citrus, vodka and bubbly concoction modeled after what I saw Symon make. Maybe over the weekend I’ll whip up Chef Garces’s signature recipe, too. Next big headline to watch for, Iron Chef-wise, is the upcoming Iron Chef Super Battle in early January. Next big headline to watch for at my house is the upcoming post-Turkey Day battle—who will use Thanksgiving leftovers best?

–Deb Puchalla
Editorial Director

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Comments (6)

  1. Julia says:

    Deb, Wasn't that Iron Chef battle on last year? I thought so. So So proud of Chef Garces, was not easy for him. Damn those judges are tough! I would never want to be in that position no matter what the employment possibility. I was really pulling for Garces this time but had a soft spot for Chef Mehta. He is so polite and so meticulous, yet he never took any crap from anyone. Excellent series FN – if only TNFNS could be this good. One can only hope.

    • Amy says:

      Any impressive work by Chef Mehta was negated for me by his attitude towards "winning at all costs". I thought some of his actions in some of the battes (i.e taking all the grape leaves when he didn't even need any) could only be classified as sabotage. If you can't win on the merit of your food, then you don't deserve to win. Let the food stand for itself.

  2. marissa says:

    not even my niece that is 8 yrs old thinks that this was the right decision. She says Chef Mehta was the best.

  3. Jane says:

    I frankly would love to get on to be one of the Chefs on one of your shows. I have a Cook Book coming out Soon. I don't however do Pork Products of Any Kind – I grew up Jewish! But just about everything Else. I love to use fresh Herbs and Spices for Flavor and combinations that appear New! I Love to Cook and Create. Just Aquired a Log Home with a Huge Kitchen – I'm Had a Blast for Thanksgiving and Christmas being just around the corner is going to be Real Special – Hopefully a Traditional Goose with All the Trimmings. Yeah! That's going to be Great! It's only Once a Year! Jane.

  4. Steve says:

    I was surprised by the pool of contestants this season. For the last Iron Chef competition, I was impressed by both Symon and the runner up, Chef Besh. This year, while there were certainly some good chefs, none of them (save the possible exception of Chef Frietag) deserved to be called "Iron Chef" and stand in the pantheon next to the likes of Flay, Morimoto, Batali, Cora, and Symon. I thought the judging was biased — I've watched the penultimate episode many times, and Freitag's food looked the best, but the judges (without explanation) eliminated her in favor of the two cooks with an ethnic element to their cooking. So obvious that neither Mehta nor Garces was Iron Chef material. All you had to do was listen to the critique of the actual Iron Chefs at the end of the last round. I also agree with an earlier comment about ethics — Frietag should have won on ethics alone. Many of the other chefs in the competition, including both Graces & Mehta, conducted themselves unethically. A true Iron Chef would not need to stoop to unethical behavior. In the future, ethics should be one of the criteria upon which an Iron Chef (or any other chef — e.g. Chopped) is judged. All in all, it was an unsatisfying season, and an unsatisfying choice.

  5. Anne says:

    I thought Chef Mehta was more interesting in his cuisine. But, Chef Garces seemed more technically sound and well versed with American cooking.

    Hope we have more authentic cuisine from different cultures on FN. Italian is great, but that's all there is, would love to see chinese/indian/moroccan/vietnamese etc. Love cooking <3

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