Next Iron Chef Journals: A Look Back

by in Shows, November 17th, 2010

Read our eliminated rivals' journals for a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to compete on The Next Iron Chef

We started with 10 rivals in Los Angeles. Five went on to Las Vegas. Now it’s down to the last two standing. Marco Canora and Marc Forgione will battle it out in Kitchen Stadium for the title of The Next Iron Chef this Sunday at 9pm/8c.

To put this exciting and exhausting journey in perspective, take a look through the eight eliminated rivals’ journals from the competition. What was the thought process behind the dishes that won challenges—and those that sent rivals packing? Who drew lifelike sketches of their plates and who took meticulous notes? Flip through the pages of the chefs’ red Next Iron Chef journals to see.

Chef Tsai’s Journal (Eliminated Week 7)

Chef Tio’s Journal (Eliminated Week 7)

Chef Caswell’s Journal (Eliminated Week 6)

Chef Chauhan’s Journal (Eliminated Week 5)

Chef Estes’s Journal (Eliminated Week 4)

Chef Dumont’s Journal (Eliminated Week 3)

Chef Pagan’s Journal (Eliminated Week 2)

Chef Kirschner’s Journal (Eliminated Week 1)

Check back next week after the final battle for a look at those last two journals: One from the runner-up, and the other from our newly crowned Iron Chef.

Who will win it all: Marc or Marco? Catch the finale of The Next Iron Chef this Sunday at 9pm/8c.

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Comments (37)

  1. BONNIE MCGUINNESS says:

    I FEEL THAT IN THE LAST FEW YEARS THAT THE WINNERS OF THE NEST IRON SEARCH HAS BEEN PREDETERMINED.
    FROM THE FIRST IN THIS SERIES MARCO CANORA HAS ALWAYS BEEN WORRIED ABOUT AND ABOUT TO FLAU THE TRUE BEST AND DESERVING IRON CHEF/// MING TSAI.
    THIS LAST SERIES MARC FORGIONE WITH THE BAD RAVIOLI ///TO ELIMINATE MING TSAI IS A PROOF OF BIAS.
    I FEEL THAT YOUR FOOD NETWORK ,IS BECOMING BIASED AND IS NOW LACKING CLASS AND REAL TALENT. MING TSAI ,BY FAR IS BETTER THAN MANY OF THE IRON CHEFS NOW ON THE AGENDA .. ARE THEY AFRAID OF HIS COMPETENCE NOT ONLY WITH COOKING ,BUT HIS MENTAL ACHIEVEMENTS/YALE/ ETC. /… MAYBE ,MANY REAL PREVIOUS ENJOYERS OF THIS NETWORK WILL BE TURNED OFF. I FEEL YOU ARE NOT A CLASS ACT ANYMORE. I WONDER WHAT THE ORIGINAL IRON CHEF WOUD THINK OF THIS /// /////??????.

  2. Chef Tsai's journal was fascinating, and shows why he deserved to win. Why no "Parting Words" post from Chef Tsai?

    • mimi says:

      Just this little bit in his journal hmm like you say, why not a blog entry ? ….

      Parting Words
      "I've not cooked like this on a line in quite awhile, so it was so fun to get back in the center. It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but it really was a great experience." — Chef Tsai

    • Esther says:

      Completly agree, Chef Tsai is the best, and he deserve better, he should be in the finals.

  3. I just found this (http://www.sirius.com/wo/i/martha/2010/Martha_Stewart_thanksgiving_full.pdf) publication from Martha Stewart. It offers free Thanksgiving recipes from TV (and Martha Stewart radio) chefs from Mario Batali, to Emeril Lagasse, to Sara Moulton, to Alton Brown, to Geoffrey Zakarian, to…

    Marc Forgione.

    Nothing from Chef Tsai, or Chef Canora, etc.

    Ooops.

    It looks like Marc "I-know-I-made-a-mistake-but-I-ran-out-of-time-so-I'll-just-have-to-serve-this-anyway" Forgione will be the next Iron Chef.

    Either that, or Martha suddenly likes to publish recipes from losers. Seems very, very, very unlikely.

    Congrats, Marc.

    If "Iron Chef" still meant anything it'd be a real honor I'm sure.

    • freemymind says:

      not surprising at all . look at how Canora and Tsai were edited to draw our attention to drama…but would they allow a future Iron Chef to be edited as whiny in Canora case and Tsai to show a side that's totally different from who Tsai really is leading those who do not know him to say he was "arrogant" ?. The only one who was spare of drama was Forgione but week after week it was progressively improving blah blah blah … even going to extend of showing he has learn how to use a pressure cooker .. duh!! How else do you excuse him for week after week of mistakes which should have him sent home long ago. I hate when hard work and meritocracy fails to "power talks & money talks " – things rarely goes wrong when Daddy is watching the back.

      • You're absolutely right, freemymind. Fair play and a just and even playing field are the basis of what was once called the American Way — that through hard work, diligence, along with talent and a little luck, anyone can achieve their dreams. This is the bedrock of society and is a VERY BIG DEAL. Tsai did all of those things in exemplary fashion, and was foiled in his attempts — "your food's too fancy," "your food's not fancy enough," and on and on and on! The obvious and clear unfairness of Tsai's comments, taken out of context, and spoken in a tone which showed clearly that they were asides, was a disgrace, and underscored the injustice. And just look at the faces in that last photo of Chef Tsai — the loathing, skepticism, and anger directed at Tsai, while Alton looks so stressed it appears he's about to have an aneurysm. Just look at it and see for yourself. It's no judgement; it's an inquisition. And no explanation from FN about the entirely strange "let's sleep on it" break overnight. I stopped watching FN on Sunday — after what, 15 years of watching? Almost daily? — and that's that. Alton, you in particular, above all the others, ought to be ashamed. No more Welch's Grape Juice in my house; that's for damn sure.

    • luvcookin says:

      I think your last statement says it all. "If Iron Chef still meant anything…" The judges this year and last year have made sure that it doesn't mean anything anymore.

    • westwingpotus says:

      LOL….FN has a bad habit of doing silly things like this. It's like on NFNS when they added Artie's name to their list of chefs on the home page a couple weeks before the finale. And the previous year they actually uploaded the page announcing the winner before the finale only to yank it back down. Clearly they have left hand, right hand issues!

  4. Luzel says:

    I still can't believe that chef Tsai was booted off. I feel that he is one of the best chefs in the culinary world. That being said , while I like Chef Forgione because he has soul in his food, he put out some dishes that were not so tasty according to the judges. Chef Tio and Chef Tsai were ahead of Chef Forgione. Chef Canora while clearly being the overall winner, appears to be cocky and not a team player. I would have loved to have seen a match between Canora and Tsai or Tio. I hope that Chef Forgione takes the title.

  5. James says:

    Did Food Network *really* add a broken survey function to the two Chef Tsai posts so that no one could comment further?!!?!!?

    Un. Real.

    Do you people at FN really think that will change anyone’s minds if they can’t post their comments on those posts?!

    • Al Tone says:

      Downright juvenile, even the FAN VOTE was taken off. They can't take the reality that their two fixed in chefs are bottom of the poll. Time to wake up FN .

    • julie says:

      FN doesn´t seem to care what fans (now former fans) have to say. The event is probably over by now anyway. Check out Ming Tsai on you tube talking about the IC competition — hilarious. He´s got game! FN does not. Maybe they´ve decided to pitch to younger viewers who aren´t into a serious food network. From the likes of Tailgate Warriors, Meat and Potatoes, Food Feuds and the other stupid new shows, that´d be my guess. Good luck with that!

  6. Team Marco says:

    I've met Chef Canora before and the show is obviously depicting him as the "villian". He is actually very friendly, very down-to-earth and his passion for cooking is inspiring. I hope he wins!

  7. westwingpotus says:

    I apologize if this has been posted already ( I didn't see it) But here's a link to a really funny and enlightening video with Chef Tsai that was done a few days ago at an appearance in Hawaii where he talks about the ICA experience:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Mzh8jQi9Gk

    He's got a great sense of humor and a lot of common sense. It's too bad that we won't see him in the finale.

  8. Melissa C says:

    I agree that FN has been going downhill. I used to love watching FN any free time I had. It helped me unwind from stress from work. Now I find myself that there is really no good show in FN, except Chopped. All the other ones are pretty much the same stuff, different people. I would agree that The Next IC and Next Food Network star, FN already has a predetermined winner. FN does not care of what the fan wants to watch. I really would like to know how FN has been rating in the last few years. I can't wait till Top Chef starts again. Judges in Top Chef are more professionals and not so bias.

  9. Melissa C says:

    I wonder if FN choses the winner based on how much it would cost them to hire the next IC. I really was hoping for Chef Tsai to win as he is the true winner. Of the 2 left, since we can't taste their cooking and only guess, Chef Canora should win over Chef Forgione. Maybe Chef Forgione will win of the 2 (maybe less $$)? I would doubt all the IC are paid the same rate.

  10. Anna says:

    I did miss a couple of episodes and am catching up today… It seems clear to me that Chef Tsai, despite being a veteran chef, still had a couple of bad days. I mean, that crazy tower thing with the lobster during the diner food challenge… no thankya. And I did see the episode he was eliminated in and that Lardo looked just so unappetizing. Michael Symon's serving being edible was lucky for him, but the fact that the plates weren't consistent says something, too. I guess what I'm saying here is: I don't understand why so many people are livid over his elimination. Not to say that the other two guys didn't make mistakes (and they are definitely not my favorite chefs that appeared on the show), but to say the show is fixed is just ludicrous.

    • Esther says:

      I am not going to say that the show if fixed, but Chef Tsai did not have "bad days" to deserve the elimination. If we base elemination in bad days, then Chef Forgione shouldn't be there neither. I do beleive that everyone is "livid over his elimination" because he by far is the most talented chef of all. I don't care who wins now, as I said in another post I will not be watching FN or IC this sunday, and that just because chef Tsai elimination.

    • Grandscholar says:

      I disagree that Tsai prepared the lardo carpaccio inconsistenty. Both Marjumdar and Arpaia objected to the texture –but how can three thin slides of meat/fat cooked at the same time be so drastically different in texture? The truth is that Marjumdar and Arpaia just do not like the idea of lardo itself, and their comment is not unlike complains that sashmi is uncooked.

      Perhaps lardo is still fringe cuisine in the US. However, for judges of cooking competitions at this level not even being aware of such a tradition is a shame. (And double shame to Arpaia because this is an Italian tradition.) But then, what can you expect from someone who categorically denies any merit of serving pineapple with meat, or someone who chomps down an entire chili pepper and then blames the chef for making the dish too spicy?

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