Critical Moments: On The Next Iron Chef, One Rival “Finds His Mojo”

by in Shows, October 18th, 2010
This week, Chef Marco Canora "may have lost his artichokes, but he certainly found his mojo," says Judge Majumdar.

Next Iron Chef judge Simon Majumdar joins us on the FN Dish each week to share his insider’s take on what went down Sunday night.

Episode 3 of The Next Iron Chef should have been subtitled “Chef Canora Gets It.”

I didn’t see what went on in the kitchen, I was judging only what was on my plate, not how it arrived there. I am, however, pretty sure that at some point during the “Resourcefulness” challenge, a bright cartoon light bulb suddenly popped on above Marco Canora’s head as he finally realized that it would take more than just his considerable skills to reach Kitchen Stadium. His New World/Old World take on a classic Italian seafood stew not only mastered The Chairman’s challenge, but marked him out as the chef to beat amongst his rivals. Chef Canora may have lost his artichokes, but he certainly found his mojo.

As Donatella put it to him so perfectly, “Welcome to the race.”

Almost as pleasing to the judges were the efforts of Chef Estes. She produced two plates of gutsy, attractive food which showed she been listening to our comments and pushed her right back into contention. Judges are shallow that way. We like people to listen to us. It keeps us happy.

That left Chef Chauhan and Chef Dumont to face possible elimination. Chef Chauhan’s presentation was very poor and I would not have argued if my colleagues had decided to show her the door. However, there was enough about her cooking for us to want to taste it again. Chef Dumont, on the other hand, had only scraped through the previous challenge thanks to some undercooked meatloaf. This time, there was nowhere to hide and she too fell victim to the dark shadow that hung like a black curtain over the whole proceedings…The Curse of The Pineapple.

Look inside Chef Dumont’s Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 3.

More about Simon Majumdar:
Simon’s Website
Simon’s book, Eat My Globe
Follow @SimonMajumdar on Twitter

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Comments (19)

  1. Guest says:

    If that's Mojo then I would prefer never to find it on my plate.

  2. tony g says:

    Simon, you are spot on with your comments

  3. Celeste D says:

    It is apparent that Chef Mario Canora can cook however I do not like his condesending attitude. You can be a little more professional in your approach to your team mates. I think a true Iron Chef not only cooks well but is a true professional.

  4. Sharon says:

    My husband and I visited Chef Forgione’s dad’s restaurant years ago. My husband who has been in the restaurant business for 30 years recognized Chef Forgione”s name immediately and wondered if Larry was his Dad. In our opinion, Chef F is the true Iron Chef whether he wins or not. He’s got it where it counts.

  5. anghiari says:

    I think Estes and Canora are the two chefs whose attitudes should have been left outside the door once they came to cook. Everybody else seems to be fairly focused on getting the job done. I must say I am not enjoying the quick fires being judged among the chefs themselves. Not so sure ethics are at play here. The reality is that Canora says he sees Ming Tsai as a formidable competitor, yet Canora arrogantly disses each of Tsai's dishes if a guy is truly as formidable as they all think Tsai is…his work can't fail time after time..Puleeze…and even the others seem willing to not give him his due …not sure why this change in the competition…but I don't think I am seeing fairness at play in this portion of the contest.

    • Nancy says:

      Iagree. I found this very upseting. Canora tanked everything Ming Tsai made. It was so unfair but yet, The Food Network allowed it to continue. I think it was awful to watchl!!!!! Why in the world do we want to watch Chef Canora on ANYTHING??? Forgione was not my favorite but I'm pulling for him now.

  6. Judy says:

    sorry I don't like his attitude. He has very horrible attitude. I hope other chef win at Iron chef.

  7. Judy says:

    Oh I forget to add to my previous comment. I feel like he has very racist toward to Chef Tsai. That why I feel his very bad attitude. I hope he is not winning at Iron Chef. Since he and Chef Forgione won this evening so I hope for Chef Forgione win at Iron Chef.

  8. tyme79 says:

    Chef Tsai's loss is soooooooo disappointing! I didn't even finish watching the last few minutes of the show, nor do I plan to watch the finale, as I'm just no longer interested — and this comment is from a truly die-hard fan of the show (not a sore loser!). Though I love Alton Brown, the show has lost its magic. For the viewers who've been captivated by Ming Tsai for years, he was the star of the whole season, and maybe that was the mistake from the beginning. Because Chef Tsai already has the stature of an Iron Chef, the judges' criticism seemed to diminish him, creating an awkward, uncomfortable experience for the viewers who are his long-time fans. This format would have worked if the other chefs had had the same stature, like Bravo's Top Chef Masters. I don't begrudge the two remaining chefs of their success as I'm certain they are excellent in every way and deserve their wins. I'm just not interested in this season's show any longer because the star is gone. Let Chef Tsai challenge an Iron Chef in Kitchen Stadium and you've got yourself a great show. After all, the network's success comes from a dazzling blend of personalities and food, and given the FoodNetwork as a vehicle, Chef Tsai would be a mega star.

  9. Denise_TX says:

    It was so great to hear others make comments with regard to Chef Conora!!
    Why, why why why why, has the producers, judges, and everyone connected with the show allowed this to continue? The Iron Chef represents more than just a chef who is the best cook, it says something about their character, the show, and team that respects them, because he reflects on them too. Every Iron Chef is so great, good character and great with the judges and competitors. Conora is horrid, rude, not a team player, dirty in competition, and extremely selfish. Why would this guy make the final two? Do you really need the drama to improve ratings? that it? Or, do you want to insure that Chef Bjorne will win the show?

    Whateve your reasons, please read the blogs, there are far too many comments on this guy, we are greatly disappointed in the show. I stopped watching a favorite show of mine, The Apprentice, because of this very thing, and many people I know did the same. Is this what I can expect of this show now? If so, I, as many others I'm sure, will stop watching.

    Thank you.

  10. twinkletink says:

    Chef Canora has mojo? Not to me…all he has is attitude…and all bad. Full of hubris, it is absolutely sicking that he made it in the final 5, let alone the final 2. I will not watch one ICA he is in, if he wins. Chef Tio, was clearly the winner of this challenge.

    It is also clearly time for Donetella to move along as a judge, if I have to look at her sour face one more time, I will be sick.

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