VOTE: The Next Iron Chef Secret Ingredient Bracket Challenge Round 1

by in Shows, November 15th, 2012

NIC's Hardest Secret Ingredient of All Time ChallengeThere are some pretty strange and unusual ingredients that get used on The Next Iron Chef challenges. But what secret ingredients have been the hardest for the competitors to work with? The culinary team in Food Network Kitchens weighed in on this question and came up with eight of the most difficult secret ingredients from the previous four seasons.

But what’s the absolute hardest ingredient used on The Next Iron Chef? You get to decide in this bracket challenge.

How It Works

Round 1 begins today, November 15. The top eight secret ingredients will get narrowed down to four. Vote below now.

Round 2 is next week. The remaining four ingredients will get narrowed down to two. Vote starting November 22 at noon.

Round 3 is the last week of November. The winner will be chosen from the two finalists. Vote starting November 29 at noon.

On December 6 we will announce the winner at noon.

The Secret Ingredients Up for Vote

Condiments: In Season 3, Episode 4, the challenge was to choose an average condiment (like ketchup, mustard, ranch dressing) and transform it into a dish.

Doughnuts: In Season 3, Episode 2, the chefs had to create a breakfast dish that transformed coffee and doughnuts.

Gummy Candy: In Season 4, Episode 3, the chefs had to cook two dishes incorporating movie theater candy. Michael Chiarello used gummy bears in creating his dishes.

Rice: In Season 2, Episode 6, the chefs were given the challenge of creating five rice dishes, with each dish adhering to one of the five tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.

Tamarind: In Season 2, Episode 4, the chefs’ adaptability was tested. They had to incorporate tamarind into two Mexican-inspired dishes, one sweet and one savory. In a later twist, the chefs were told to create a drink from tamarind.

Tripe: In Season 1, Episode 1, the chefs were challenged to make two desserts, one of them using a savory ingredient. Tripe was among the options.

Tuna Jerky: In Season 4, Episode 6, the chefs had to bid on the amount of time it would take them to create a dish using an assigned ingredient. Elizabeth Falkner had 25 minutes to create a dish using tuna jerky, which ultimately won her the challenge.

Xanthan Gum: In Season 1, Episode 3, the challenge was all about using innovative appliances and ingredients, like xanthan gum (a food additive made from bacteria that’s commonly used as a thickener and stabilizer).

Vote Here

(Select one secret ingredient from each group)

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Comments (8)

  1. Timothy says:

    I never enjoy the weird ingredient challenges as much as I do the challenges that feature ingredients most people are familiar with. I love to see how a great chef can elevate an ordinary ingredient in a way that I would never have been able to imagine.

  2. Olivia says:

    I am amazed to see some of the dishes the chefs can come up with when given a basket of items they would not normally cook with.

  3. Nick says:

    How did Durian not make this list? ;)

  4. JAMES says:

    I would like to see Majumdar cook something and let the chefs judge him, very rude.

  5. Linda Standart says:

    I like most of the chefs in the competition, but for me, the sooner Faulkner and Mehta are eliminated, the better. Faulkner is just too condescending toward the other chefs and Mehta is one of the most unlikable contestants ever. His tacticslast year to distract the others, and deprive them of ingredients he had no intention of using were offensive in the extreme.

  6. tyrone says:

    I think you should have grasshoppers on your most difficult list

  7. Grandma Donna says:

    Mehta…mean and nasty…gotta go! It does not matter if he is good, I refuse to watch if a mean spirited person is chosen as the new Iron Chef.

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