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. Lori says:

    I cannot watch this show again…. I can't believe Chef Tsai is gone from this. I will not watch any Iron Chef show that has this Canora guy in it.

    • Nancy says:

      I feel exactly the same way! OMG………………….Chef Canora is an annoying classless jerk! What's wrong at the Food Network that they think this guy is acceptable???? Ming Tsai out classed them all. Maybe that was the problem. I like Chef Tio too!

  2. tbcabbitt says:

    I'm with you all. I love Iron Chef. It is my favorite show. At least it was. Canora is a jackass anf it seemed he was allowed to get to be a bigger and bigger jackass every week. I hate his attitude and his thought that he is God in the kitchen. He took every opportunity to thrown anyone he could under the bus to make himself look better. I will never watch this show again if he becomes an Iron Chef. To me Iron Chef's are more than great cooks. They are people with integrity and style and he does not have any of these. He's a smug little man whose been allowed to go out of control. Like you said the producers might view this as ratings boosters but I think it had the opposite affect.

    I'm so sick of Donatella Arpaia. If I ever see her again it will be too soon. I have no idea how she's supposed to be a food expert. She makes stupid mistakes (eating a banana peel) and then blames the competitors for her mistakes. Her comments are insipid and lack any authority. I don't know how she got to be a judge but it was another of the biggest mistakes FoodNetwork made with this competition. All season long it's been nothing but a joke and they've ruined the show for me. I'm saddened that this has happened.

  3. Elijah says:

    I have been a die-hard fan of Next Iron Chef since Michael Simon competed for the title. Iron Chef American became one of my favorite shows. Nonetheless chef Canora in the current "next iron chef" has
    changed my whole attitued toward the show. I think Chef Ming Tsai is the better chef hands down. So the three judges showing favoritism toward Canora is just plan dishonest and prejudicial. With chef Tsai's unfair lost I tuned to a different channel and refused to watch the remaining few minutes. I will not tune in to the kitchen stadium competition and watch chef Canora's non-professional attitude and
    generally disgusting demeanor. If chef Canora is the best that "Food Network" has to offer then I refuse to watch any future episodes period.

  4. Cary Welchel says:

    Sewer A few minutes of my personal time inatallation.

  5. I’m unbelievably satisfied i stumbled across this distinct inside my seek for one thing concerning this.

  6. Occubyeduck says:


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