Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Redemption Exile

by in Shows, November 11th, 2012

Chef Duskie Estes and Chef Elizabeth FalknerThe fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with 10 familiar chefs battling it out again, proving they’ve got the skills to win the ultimate prize: the title of Iron Chef.

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 Sunday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest chef to go home.

Web series winner Duskie Estes was the second chef to say goodbye, but she fought to the very end with a successful dish in Battle: White Bread. She was only slightly edged out by Chefs Freitag and Falkner.

What tips did you take with you from winning your initial challenges on the Web series to the The Next Iron Chef: Redemption?

DE: Surprises can happen. Just cook with perfect execution and taste.

Which Web challenge did you find more difficult: Your battle against Chef Trevino or Chef Wong? Why?

DE: Both were tough. I did not know how to open the coconut, other than smashing it on the floor, and thought Food Network would not like that so much. For the potatoes, a half hour to cook potatoes perfectly is tight. It takes strategy in your dish conception.

What was your experience like joining the cast after you won the Web series?

DE: I had the most fun I’ve had in a long time in my food fight with Chefs Freitag and Falkner and our Charlie’s Angels shenanigans during judgment. I hope Chef Freitag, Chef Falkner and I can figure out a way to play again.

If you were given the choice, what international comfort food would you have picked: banh mi, taco or falafel? Why?

DE: I was actually really happy I was Team Taco because I grew up in California, so I was comfortable with it.

You recently told Food Network that your signature party dish to make at home for friends is a BLT with your bacon and some Tabasco sauce. We saw you make Bacon, Eggs and Toast during the Showdown, too. You clearly have a love for pork, so tell us about it. When did your passion for pork begin?

DE: I was a vegetarian for more than half my life. Pork was responsible for the leap. My husband makes incredible bacon and salumi. When we came together, we agreed all our pigs would be raised on pasture (a great life and only one bad day). We now raise pigs and even have one that lives in our house. I love pigs and pork is the most luscious and versatile of meats. We like rabbit, too.

Two weeks into the competition, which chef do you consider the chef to beat in this competition?

DE: It could be anyone. It just depends on who has a worse day. All of the chefs amaze. If I weren’t voting for myself, I want one of the women to win for sure. It’s time.

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Comments (74)

  1. tricia porter says:

    alex rocks Elizabeth is so intense!

  2. fan says:

    How can it be fair for Alex to be judged when she is a sou chief on Iron Chef. Just doesn't seem fair.

    • Susan says:

      Exactly-The Food Network Chefs are a family-Show is so rigged-Like they were really going to send Amanda home before Duskie-NOT! I probably won't watch anymore-RIGGED!

  3. zizu says:

    Alex….she's gotta go….she's temperamental and she has a great gig alread….Chopped and as a sous chef on Iron Chef.

    Frieitag and Faulkner….best of the bunch….Mehta too.

  4. ICHoax says:

    Is Faulkner dating Frietag?

  5. ICHoax says:

    Wanted LGBT Iron Chef – All others need not apply.

    Sorry Frietag, Alex…

  6. gail says:

    Let me guess…. This will end up a match between Amanda and Alex…. It seems the same people on FN just recycle….. and recycle…. sad really….

  7. ICHoax says:

    Anybody ever hear of Storyboards?

    That is how they script shows, including "reality" shows…

  8. mise_en_place says:

    It is fair to comment on your response to a chef's personality. We all have reactions to the people we meet (or see on television). It is strictly a personal opinion and not based on fact. ( My daughter loves Zooey Deschanel and I can't stand to watch her.) It is also reasonable to comment on how a chef's food looks or how the flavor profile sounds to you. But (as had been said many times before on these forums) we can't taste the food. So a comment that a chef's dish was perfect or too salty or overcooked or the best dish of the night is meaningless unless you are one of the judging panel and posting here under a pseudonym.

  9. mise_en_place says:

    Continued from below:

    Here is a (partial) list of chefs at whose restaurants I have eaten: Hubert Keller, Emeril, Eric Ripert, Bobby Flay, Tim Love, Bryan Voltaggio, Cindy Wolf, Mario Batali, Charlie Trotter, Dean Fearing, Patrick O'Connell, Alex Guarnaschelli, Chris Santos, Art Smith, John Besh, Michael Symon, Nancy Olsen, and Wolfgang Puck- to name a few.

    The only dishes I can comment on with authority are the specific meals I tasted at each of these restaurants. I can't judge the flavor on the plate at a neighboring table. I can't guess how something else on the menu tasted. I can't even fairly say that the dish I ate would taste exactly the same the next day. And no matter how I feel about the food I ate it would still be just my opinion based on a palate (which like all palates) is subjective.

    • jlsbcn says:

      If all palates are subjective, why do you consider yours to be superior? It is, after all, just a subjective palate, like all others.

      • mise_en_place says:

        I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear. I was trying to say that no matter how much experience we each have it doesn't make us qualified to judge food we haven't tasted.

        There are two parts to our palates: The educated palate that can identify a vast assortment of flavors (as the chefs are sometimes challanged to do in blind taste testings) and the subjective palate which judges how good (or bad) something tastes.to a particular person.

        You can objectively test the educated palate (as in blind taste testings of various ingredients), but it is unreasonable to make a judgement regarding anyone's subjective palate. Maybe you love peanut butter and I think it's icky. Maybe I love foie gras and you find it disgusting. Neither of us is right or wrong, and neither of our subjective palates should be rated as better or worse than the other. It's just a matter of taste.

        Hope this clarifies my position.

    • Pret says:

      Blah, blah, blah, blah………….blaaaaaah.

  10. mise_en_place says:

    In addition (from below):

    I can form opinions about which chefs interest me based on their personalities, their choice of ingredients, their demonstrated techniques, the comments of the judges, the way the chef talks about food, et cetera. What I can't do is make an informed judgement regarding how their food tastes. Neither can anyone else who hasn't tasted the specific dishes being presented on the show.

    Let's stop presuming to second-guess the judges and enjoy the show for its entertainment value and what we can learn.

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