Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Redemption Exile

by in Shows, November 25th, 2012

Next Iron Chef Rival ChefsThe fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with now only seven familiar chefs battling it out again to prove 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.

This week the judges, fellow rival chefs and host Alton Brown encountered a first on The Next Iron Chef: The bottom two chefs, Chefs Mendelsohn and Vigneron, decided to plate together during the Secret Ingredient Showdown. In an effort to both avoid elimination, the judges found their strategy disrespectful and immature and Chef Mendelsohn was sent home.

Marcel and you chose to plate your lobster dishes together. Was that a last-minute decision made in the heat of battle, or had you established that you’d work together if you ever had to face off against each other?

SM: We figured if we made food that tasted amazing and cooked together rather than against each other then we might be able to pull off the first save on The Next Iron Chef. Marcel and I have grown together in our culinary careers. While we’ve always been competitive, we’re much more supportive of each other.

When you and Marcel entered judgment after Battle Lobster, were you hoping to be judged as a single unit, so that you would either both stay or both be eliminated?

SM: Yes both stay, but not both eliminated. If one of us went, we both wanted the other to represent and do as well as possible. We both knew we had a slim chance of staying together.

How is your friendship now?

SM: Better than ever. We just attended a food festival in Jakarta and then went surfing in Bali. We always hang out and support each other.

Between The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs and The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, which challenge did you consider the hardest and which challenge did you enjoy the most?

SM: I enjoyed the battle pineapple the most because I was confident with my dish and the way I handled the pineapple. My least favorite challenge was this past episode — the canned food. I don’t know any chef who enjoys cooking with canned food. Half the battle of making food taste delicious is using stellar products.

Taking Marcel out of the equation, which chef would you root for going forward in the competition?

SM: Amanda — I love her and love her food.

We know you’re quite the pizza aficionado. Tell us: What’s on your ideal pie? Any must-have topping and cheese combinations?

SM: My ideal pie is a crust that has a full flavor, quite yeasty and chewy, but crispy. I like a simple tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and a couple red pepper flakes.

Relive the episode and take a look at an extended preview of next week’s episode below (click the play button):

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Comments (146)

  1. Chef says:

    It's amazing to me that all these posts state this chef is cocky or this chef is arrogant. Seriously?? All…I repeat ALL chefs are cocky on these shows. They all think they are the best. That's there nature, it's not bad, it's just a very competitive field. Which is ok.

  2. Luzel says:

    Im not happy with any of these judges. I don't think Greenspan should have been sent home. Alex happens to be Zakarian's sous chef. Spike who happens to be a very gifted chef is always sent home. I think there is always alot of politics going on here.

  3. http://jacquelinemoleski.tumblr.com/ My opinion on the latest episode. It's a bit long but worth reading because frankly – I found the behavior of the JUDGES to be shameful. To find out why, read the entire post.

  4. beautygirl66 says:

    If you had sent both chefs home last night, I'd never watch the show again. We live in a dog eat dog world today and those two showed exceptional poise. Your judges are stuff shirts!

  5. Ed Colgan says:

    the winner is pre-determined folks….sorry to burst your bubble. All of the eliminated chefs knew they would be eliminated at some point, and they were all compensated via a contract that they signed before the "competition" started.

  6. Ash says:

    Why does every one want Alex to win? I mean sure she's an awesome chef but…. and Chef Appelman is not arrogant he is competitive and devilish. None of the chefs are bad and I think it was really cute when Chef Vigneron and Chef Mendelsohn plated together. It showed friendship and loyalty to each other and said; I stand behind my best friend! And whatever anyone says all these chefs are the best of the best! :)

  7. Williamcc says:

    I keep forgetting that in the end, this is reality TV. As such, it has no basis in reality. Unbelievable that they would have Zakarian judging Alex's dishes. Definitely a NY bias. For fun, check out the reviews of Alex's Butter. Not so good. I wouldn't go there. I predict she will be the Next Iron Chef because the they realized they should have chosen a woman the last competition. Sorry, but I'm going to find something else to watch.

  8. Saxluva says:

    Tonight's fiasco caused me to lose ALL respect for the judges. The is no way in hell Ch Falkner should have been eliminated. She followed the rules of using risk and but for a small to much taste of saffron by Zakarian axed her? She should have made it rather him last year. I;ve had my suspensions, but now I'm realtively certain the judging is fixed Ch Falkner can cook circle around the majority of those chefs, yet an arrogant kid who showed no respect for the art together with his joined at the hip buddy made it thru. They bother broke the rules and BOTH should have been emliminated last week And Zakarian has NO business juding any of them since he competed with them last year and apparently is gettiing a little revenge. So disapointed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Wayne says:

    I didn't realize that I liked Chef Faulkner so much. Seeing her get eliminated from the competition got me feeling pretty emotional. Maybe it was seeing the impact that the decision had on her that got me going. In any event, I thought she was going to with the competition this year because she came so close to winning last year. Hope to see you trying for it again Chef. Personally I think you got robbed and I would love to see you in that Iron Chef Kitchen Stadium one of these days.

  10. Carrie says:

    I am beginning to wonder why I watch "The Next Iron Chef", when I can tell what is going to happen before any competitions. Both little boys should have been sent home last week, but weren't, probably because it would have screwed up the programming. This week just judging by presentation, and comments Appleman should have gone home. Is this competition fixed? I think it was last year. In my opinion the only judges should be IRON CHEFS. The best being Morimoto, Flay, and Michael Simon. Simon Majumdar has a personal agenda that has nothing to do with anything except his ego. He needs to go. Too late for this season, because the winner has already been decided. I hope I am wrong and that it is really a deserving chef. So sad that one was dismissed tonight>

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