When Third Best Is Not Good Enough — Critical Moments

by in Shows, November 19th, 2012

Next Iron Chef Rival ChefsThis episode of The Next Iron Chef was particularly heartbreaking for me as I saw one of my favorite chefs in the whole country be eliminated. What made it worse was that Chef Greenspan found himself in the Secret Ingredient Showdown, not because he had cooked badly, but because his opponent in the “Simplicity” challenge, Chef Appleman, cooked just a hair’s breadth better.

After a visit to Farmers Market in Los Angeles, the Chairman’s demand was for each chef to sum up the personality of their opponent in a single bite based on an image taken by famed photographer Todd Selby.

Some were more successful than others. We all agreed, however, that Chef Freitag’s use of anchovies to represent “misunderstood” Chef Falkner made her our clear winner. Chef Mehta’s soggy attempt to represent Chef Mendelsohn was universally considered a flop and consigned him to the bottom of the pile. There he was joined by Chef Vigneron, who lost out by a whisper in his head-to-head with Chef Guarnaschelli.

The fact that Chef Greenspan cooked the judge’s third-best dish of the day would normally have been enough to see him survive to cook another day. Unfortunately for him, Chef Appleman’s luxurious bite was our second best of the day and Chef Greenspan found himself standing next to Chefs Falkner, Mehta and Vigneron as they pondered how to impress the judges with cereal.

Chef Falkner’s skill in creating memorable desserts helped her win, which was hardly a surprise, and Chef’s Mehta and Vigneron produced dishes that, while flawed, were still good enough to keep them in the competition. In the end, it was Chef Greenspan’s poor decision to use tuna as his protein that caused him to hear these words from our host: “I am sorry, but you will not be the Next Iron Chef.”

What did you think of the episode? Tell me in the comments below.


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Comments (53)

  1. @luvmyperros says:

    I think Greenspan should have been saved for the simple fact that he followed the rule clearly stated by Alton Brown…. use BOTH ingredients in ONE dish. I seem to remember at least one chef who treated the ingredients separately but that particular chef has been noted as a "front runner"

  2. Texas Nanna says:

    Faulkner should have won the last one. If not for Alex helping GZ, he would have lost, and everyone knows it. I hope she kicks ass and wins.

  3. WestCoastFan says:

    What can one see?

    For episode 4 for the redeem canned food challenge. I can see corned beef, spiced ham, salmon and clams. The only one I can't get a good look at is the one which I believe has a french flag on it and the other one the image goes by too fast and the letters are such that I can't read it. Marcel definately has the clams. Freitag and Appleman have the corned beef and spiced ham. Who has what I'm not sure but from the commercial it looks like they are holding the squarish red tins. Chef Falkner has the mystery can.

    Predictions & Speculations. I'm definately thinking that Marcel is going to go against Spike in the elimination challenge. However, I'm wondering if there will be three because I'm quite sure I see 3 tanks on the diaz. Of course this could be a red herring.

    Big Prediction & Speculation. Marcel makes it to episode 5!

  4. Polo says:

    What happened to Food TV? The shows are mostly competitions now featuring recycled chefs- chefs who are judges who become contestants and contestants who become judges. I have gotten tire of seeing their faces day in and day out so I stopped tuing in a long time ago.

  5. Polo says:

    tire = tired tuing = tuning

  6. Mike says:

    Simon majumdar comes off as an arrogant jerk. I'm tired of him, and will stop watching, because of him. I used to think Jeff was bad, but Simon has him beat.

  7. RCH says:

    Chef Faulkner,all the way. To be a pastry chef and be able to cook with the big boys the way she can is a testement to her talent and her drive. She should have won last time I dont believe for a minute that GZ can out cook her.

  8. Yvette says:

    The commercials say whole episodes are able to be watched online, but I don't see links for them. Darn. FN, please ad the links.

    • Latest Episode says:

      It takes a day or two before they are online. Click "The Next Iron Chef" link then the drop down menu "Episodes" on top of the web page. They'll be in order 1, 2, 3,…

  9. eg622uBA says:

    547893 978581Excellent post. I previousally to spend alot of my time water skiing and watching sports. It was quite possible the most effective sequence of my past and your content material kind of reminded me of that period of my life. Cheers 905595

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