Chef Estes and Chef Wong definitely earned their places in the final showdown and neither seemed particularly alarmed when Alton Brown revealed their secret ingredient: a wide range of potatoes.
After a rather frightening battle to claim other ingredients from the refrigerator, both chefs set about making two very different dishes. If creativity had been the only criteria, then Chef Wong would have been the clear winner. There were two main flaws with her dish, however, that meant we had to mark her down. I felt that the use of celery leaves was a mistake and overpowered some of the more subtle flavors, while Alton found the base of purple potato puree to be gluey and overworked.
Chef Estes’ dish was less adventurous and she was faced with a battle to persuade three experienced judges that a seemingly simple chowder was noteworthy. She did that with her perfect preparation of three different types of potato and an herb cream that had us all wiping the bottoms of our bowls with our fingers.
It left us with the difficult decision of pitching creativity against execution and in the end, the only way I could decide was by considering which of the two dishes I would want to eat again. That meant my vote went to Chef Estes, as did the votes of Iron Chef Jose Garces and Alton Brown.
She had faced two very determined opponents to make it to the final 10, but Chef Estes would once again be joining the battle to become The Next Iron Chef. Tune in next Sunday, November 4 at 9pm/8c, to see how Chef Estes fares in the competition.
Relive Duskie’s final Web battle by clicking the play button below.