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. CCee says:

    I've got my fingers crossed for Faulkner. She is one focused and talented chef. With all of the pushing and the accusation that one chef turned another's burner down, maybe next season immediately disqualify chefs who behave unprofessionally.

  2. Tammy says:

    I agree. I think the fact that the chefs are basically choosing to "cheat" to win. Hiding ingredients, tools and now playing with the stoves and ovens, should not be something that should be allowed. Where are the chefs morals? This is now not a showing I will watch around my kids, because I do not want my children learning that these behaviours are acceptable and can go without some natural consequences.

  3. WestCoastFan says:

    Predictions & Speculations. Well, I was wrong regarding the cereal being the elimination ingredient for episode 4.

    Now for the episode 4 elimination I am quite sure that Spike and Marcel are in the elination. But the preview makes me wonder if there are more then them in the bottom but with 7 chefs left that doesn't seem possible.

  4. guest says:

    just please tell me that chef Metha doesn't win the competition. the like factor is low and the ick factor is high.

  5. Jon says:

    I almost threw up seeing Chef Falkner in the Secret Ingredient Showdown.

  6. John King says:

    Please ask the Producers to take away the "clashing knives" button from whomever has gone crazy with it.
    I suspect that we saw them over 100 times in episode 3.

  7. Nicole says:

    I was very disappointed to see Chef Greenspan go home. I think he is a very talented chef who has great passion for his food. I hope to see more from him in the future. As for the other chefs Good Luck!!!!!!!

  8. FanFare59 says:

    Simon Says: Marcel lost by a whisper in his round and Greenspan lost by a hair in his round. Both cooks were thrown into the pile of discards to fight their way out. YET: Spike's dish had a major flaw as it had nothing to do with MEHTA. He got to stay. Obviously, this schism of having the lesser of two go to the bottom was ill conceived. IF the usual criteria was applied (being the 2 Worst dishes), then Greenspan (& Marcel) would not have been dumped into the cauldron. Whoever thinks up these challenges and punishments must be an idiot. So far this season, I find Simon's comments to be really nasty and over-the-top insulting. His pomposity knows no bounds. Let's see him prepare – a n y t h i n g restaurant quality and have it judged by the cheftestants. I doubt he'd appreciate being called names.

  9. Aggie says:

    Chef Falkner all the way! I can't believe they keep sending her to showdowns while clearly she is THE BEST chef in this competition. She should've won against Zakarian last season but this is a men's world unfortunately. All my friends root for her – if she doesn't win, I'm officially boycotting all Iron Chef shows lol.

    • FanFare59 says:

      I hate to state the obvious, but since you asked: Falkner was sent to the showdown each time, because the judges didn't like her offerings for the reasons they stated. Her saving grace is that she performs better under pressure. We'll see if she can sustain herself to the end, though.

      • Latest NIC says:

        But performing better under pressure even if she's in a showdown proves she can handle the pressure of the IC show. She's most definately the front runner after watching this last episode. The only thing to guess now is who will go up against her at the end of the show…

        • FanFare59 says:

          Being the "front runner" of this group of cooks isn't saying much. Most of them are pretty weak and didn't belong on the "redemption" show. Not too many were in the top 3 positions of their former times.

    • mise_en_place says:

      How can you decree that she should have won against Chef Zakarian? Did you taste the food?

    • Eh bien, tant pis says:

      Falkner is the best chef in the world, just ask her.

      Burrell was correct about her.

  10. MVS says:

    Chef Alex is already an Iron Chef in my book. She is a fierce competitor and really knows what she is doing. The judges love how her food taste. Plus she is very entertaining to watch. I hope she wins, she deserves it.

    • lisa says:

      I have to disagree chef alex is not a iron chef she is a I know everything chef that will be iron chef because that is what the show wants.

      • Latest NIC says:

        I hope Alex and Elizabeth go to the final together! They are both great chefs and strong women plus equally qualified to hang with the boys. They do not let the amount of men on the show distract them from what they love to do.

      • Charles Cattani says:

        I have to agree with Lisa. I REALLY dont like Chef Alex. Personally, I dont think she deserves the title of Chef. She was a regular judge on Iron Chef for a while, then decided she finally wanted to try and be one. I just dont think she has what it takes. I think Chef Faulkner is the strongest Chef out of all the Chefs in the competition. Thats just my opinion, though.

    • Eh bien, tant pis says:

      I love Frietag.

      I like Alex but she doesn't win in these contests. She lost on Iron Chef as a competitor and on Chopped All Stars. It looks like the Food Network is going to try hard to roll her over the line.

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