Critical Moments: Pot Pie Redux vs. Poached Meatloaf on Next Iron Chef

by in Shows, October 11th, 2010
Judge Simon Majumdar’s Take: “Chef Forgione’s Chicken Pot Pie was, to my mind, one of the top dishes of the whole competition.”

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.

There was definitely more tension in the air as the chefs presented to the judges for a second time. They had seen Chef Kirschner suffer an unexpectedly rapid exit and knew for certain that one mistake could be enough to send them home.

My fellow judges had also begun to show their true colors. Michael Symon was the supportive former competitor and Donatella, the stern den mother who scored high for presentation. We agreed on one thing however, above all the food had to taste good. Otherwise all bets were off.

Chef Forgione’s deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie was, to my mind, one of the top dishes of the whole competition. I had no hesitation putting a big fat “W” next to his name as the winner and have been daydreaming about it ever since.

Judge Majumdar was less impressed with Chef Pagan’s dish: "There is no room in my world or Kitchen Stadium for water bath-poached meatloaf."

If Chef Tsai thought that his success in the first challenge made The Next Iron Chef a morning stroll, he was in for a very rude awakening. As good as his dish cooked on the beach had been, the plate he presented this time was disastrous. It was only a nugget of delicious corned beef amongst the 150 other unnecessary ingredients on the plate that saved him.

His survival meant Chef Pagan was given leave to return to Puerto Rico. He had represented the islands well, but there is no room in my world or Kitchen Stadium for water bath-poached meatloaf.

Finally, one word of advice to Chef Dumont: Buy a pressure cooker.

Look inside Chef Pagan’s Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 2.

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

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Comments (4)

  1. Sandra says:

    I agree with you, it's time that Iron Chef give you a change to the monotony that we only have, on Iron Chef if not sushi is fish. And tired with the same type of program. And always go for the same prototype of person, there is much talent but they do not want to get better people. Because when you look at the Iron Chef competitions then realizes that no matter who compete against them, will always win an Iron Chef. Sometimes or rather judges often criticize them for bad food but still remain winners

  2. Robin says:

    Are you forgetting that last year's winner of The Next Iron Chef was Latino? Jose Garces is Ecuadorian, and his specialty is Latin cuisine.

    Also, Marcela Valladolid has her own show as well that focuses on Mexican flavors. Food Network is by no means ignoring Hispanic food.

    I think that Chef Dumont should have gone home before Chef Pagan, but I don't think that Chef Pagan should have stayed around simply because he has a Puerto Rican style. I absolutely LOVE Puerto Rican food, but there are other chefs on the show that are a lot stronger than he is.

  3. eva clark says:

    I have watched the Food channel since its inception with Ming Tsai in East meets West—I have eaten at his restaurant in the Boston area and it was the best meal I have ever had bar none—-He was at his restaurant and greeted every single diner and actually cared if they liked their meal.
    There is something seriously wrong with the whole process if he fails to be the next Iron Chef–Cat Cora should not be on as an Iron Chef—Her cooking show was not popular in the 90's on the Food CHannel and she was on some show where she was doing over a kitchen with other people . If I were to bet—I would bet that she rarely wins her contests on the Iron Chef—How did she get on as an IRon Chef—I do not remember her as competing —
    Ming Tsai is as good as any of the Iron Chef's that are on right now and I bet they would all say that themselves and would welcome him with open arms as their counterpart. He should win hands down—deserves to win hands down and is very humble —unlike some of the other contestants that are on .
    Shame on the network if he is not the Iron Chef—

  4. bobby_fillet says:

    Chauhan is next to go.

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