Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Super Chef Exile

by in Shows, December 13th, 2011

The fourth season of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs is coming to a close, with just two chefs left fighting it out for a grand prize that so many would-be chefs covet: joining the ranks of Iron Chefs Marc Forgione, Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, Cat Cora, Jose Garces and Michael Symon. Each chef will try to pull out all their tricks to stay in the competition but, ultimately, one chef must go home each week. Every Monday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest Super Chef to get the boot.

This week, two competitors said goodbye in a double elimination. Alex Guarnaschelli has certainly proved herself worthy of being in this competition throughout the season. She’s made us laugh with her zingy one-liners and she’s impressed us with her vast culinary expertise. However, we had to say goodbye to her this week.

FN Dish: The judges were extremely torn over this decision. Michael Symon said, “I loved the way you cook and embrace these challenges.” Did you walk away agreeing that the lobster dish had its flaws?

AG: It wasn’t my best showing. There was so much stress and I really psyched myself out. I second-guessed my choices a thousand times. I think I gave less thought to writing my entire college thesis than I did to those dishes. Mike Symon said, “When you really want to win, make a cocktail,” so I made one with my first course, but it was one that made the dish better than it originally was. I loved my first and second courses. The lobster could have been better. I didn’t taste the other chefs’ dishes, so I wouldn’t even know where to begin comparing anyway. I trust Michael Symon.

FN Dish: This challenge was one for the books. Between the ingredients and the race for time, I believe you said it best: “It’s like homicide sometimes.” Was this the hardest challenge you faced throughout the entire competition? If not, which one was it?

AG: It wasn’t the hardest, but I was the most fatigued mentally and emotionally. The hardest? Probably the movie candy. Processed food is such a tough thing to break down and reconstruct. My ice cream nearly gave me a heart attack that day.

FN Dish: You said, “If you don’t put yourself out there and take these kinds of chances, than what kind of chef are you?” Would you do it all over again (the competition)?

AG: What time does the plane leave for the first shoot location? Why not?

FN Dish: What is the most surprising thing you learned about yourself throughout this competition?

AG: I dug deep in my catalog of food experiences and drew from inspiration in a way that I haven’t in a long time. Cooking alone just for yourself is so inspiring and such a wakeup call. Alton kept saying, “Cook chefs, cook!” He was right.

FN Dish: What’s next for you?

AG: A quiet vacation somewhere without any candy, legs of lamb or water baths. Then I want to take some cooking courses, brush up on forgotten things and finish writing my first book. The never-ending lesson in humility that goes with being a cook is never lost on me. I am humbled, inspired and driven to continue learning. After all, I am the next, next next Iron Chef!



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Comments (223)

  1. Kathleen says:

    knowing they need a woman iron chef voting alex off was a mistake because her experence is so widely varriated. and Ann had more experence than anyone in the competition. I don't think the individual tasks were appropriate. They needed a cooking competion. Use the secret ingredents for elimination. If Cat wasn't comming back the she and Marihosimoto should have been judges.

  2. WestCoastFan says:

    Not nice. She was smaller if you happen to catch her ICA (2007) battle against Cat Cora. She's had kid(s) and that can change a woman's body. She has a pear shaped body and with any weight gain the pear just gets bigger.

  3. jeri says:

    Bool! That was so not nice. Most posters don't appreciate that kind of personal attack.

  4. FanFare57 says:

    To lol: Your comment is obnoxious and meritless.

  5. Janet says:

    As I've said before, like many others. It appears the fix was in from the start. If they wanted another Iron chef, they should have checked it out with the audience. Anne Burrell would have won. No one has pointed out that Bobby, Mario, Cat and Masaharu were appointed Iron Chefs. Do you really think they aren't qualified? So make Anne an Iron Chef! As I have said before, all the chefs have the culinary chops to do the job but it takes more than talent to do "it" on television. I have nothing against the two chefs that are left but I don't want to watch them! Neither of them has that quality that makes you want to invite them into your home…Anne has it! Alex has it! Robert has it! Chuck has it! Elizabeth does not! Jeffrey does not! The only FN star who started out a little over her head was Giada. The first season she often looked like she wanted to run away, but she did have that 'something' that made you root for her and want to watch her. Call it stage presence or charisma or whatever, Giada had and has it, lots of it. It can't be bought or learned or taught. The reason the blog has been so active and passionate, is because we want to watch FN but not unless you listen to your audience. My advice would be to get rid of the person who chose the judges and to listen to your audience. They are the real judges!

  6. Kathleen Weber says:

    I think that you Chef Alex should have the second chance. I believe that you cooked with more heart than any other chef. Too bad I couldn't taste it through the screen.

  7. Pam says:

    I hope that Alex will get a shot at redemption I believe she is by far the best .Good luck just know that we are pulling for you and wishing you the best.

    • dawn says:

      she is rude and mean spirited…really??? yall confuse me are u not watching teh same show i am.. and on chopped she is the rudest of them all…

      • stlmetro says:

        I totally agree! I've yet to see her crack a smile, I'm not sure she can!?! She always has this look like she just lost her best friend. On chopped she chews 'em up and spits 'em out. She's enough to make any chef want to walk out those doors and keep walking and forget about cooking ever again!

  8. janice revet says:

    I cant find where you vote for your favorite chef to return, but I vote for Anne Burelle—she has been my favorite for years—being sous chef for Mario and working so hard for years—also loving her show.

    • jeri says:

      It's on the home page, but you have to have Facebook account to vote.

      • Jason says:

        I dislike that they expect you to have a facebook account. Not everyone does or wants one. I too hope to see Alex Guarnaschelli return. I like Anne as well. It would have been awesome to see either of them become Iron Chefs. I think Jeffrey Zakarian got away with several things that other chefs were taken to task for during the competition simply because of his reputation among the judges.

        • jeri says:

          I ,too, don't have Facebook and don't intend to sign up! I believe if FN really wants to know how we feel they will put the vote on a blog, like the other votes.

  9. WestCoastFan says:

    Does anyone else find it odd that there is no exit video of Alex. Everyone else has made one except for her.

  10. dawn says:

    I personally like Michael Chiarello. Alex seemed rude always yelling get out of my way…and then on chopped she really was harsh i was pulling for Michael his food looked appitizing while Faulkners looked like something my mom put together before a womens meeting..sad there really was no comparing her crackers to his presentation..

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