Battle Peanut — Road to Redemption Web Series Recap

by in Shows, October 14th, 2012

road to redemption battle peanuts

This season of The Next Iron Chef is all about redemption.

Nine of the coveted places in the competition had been filled. The Chairman, however, had decided to leave one spot open, to be filled by the winner of a series of sudden-death cook-offs. It was a deliciously fiendish idea.

I was pleased when I received a call asking me to help judge this Web series. I was even more pleased when I heard that my co-judges would be Iron Chef Jose Garces and Alton Brown. I was also genuinely thrilled that the first two challengers were the immensely talented Madison Cowan and Lee Anne Wong, who had impressed the Chairman with victories in Kitchen Stadium previously.

When Alton announced that the mystery ingredient was peanuts, both chefs went straight to their happy places: in Chef Wong’s case, to her skills with Asian cuisine and in Chef Cowan’s case, exuberant Caribbean cookery.

lee anne wongAlthough both cooked their fish perfectly, I did not think that either produced a great dish. Chef Wong’s braised peanuts were delicious, but did not work well with the fish, and while Chef Cowan’s peanut punch was certainly enjoyable, it did not quite make up for the sludgy quality of the soup beneath his fried fish.

In the end, it was the least-poor dish that would win and with that qualified endorsement, Chef Wong unanimously moved on to the final cook-off knowing that she would have to up her game if she wanted to be added to the roster of nine chefs already chosen for Next Iron Chef.

Relive the battle, watch the video below:

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Comments (23)

  1. trading says:

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  2. Joy says:

    I find it ridiculous that an Iron Chef who lost to Chef Cowan can decide who moves forward. I don't believe the playing field was even! Chef Cowan is a total gentleman and would not say anything….but the question lingers. There are certainly many judges available!

  3. Chef Wong appeared as a contestant on Iron Chef America last night, while in competition for a spot on Next Iron Chef. I realize the shows have already been shot and the winner is known to Food Network, but this seems more than a little coincidental. Does the network care if the competitions seem rigged?

  4. FanFare59 says:

    From the list of has beens, this show should be retitled, "Much Ado about Nothing".

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