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. KB0 says:

    I cannot believe no one brought to light the fact that the judges said the contestants needed to use BOTH cereals in ONE dish. Mehta made 3 dishes on one plate while the others followed the directions. This was a huge oversight by the judges.

  2. jlsbcn says:

    It was mentioned a couple times on another post. I thought Chef Mehta should have been knocked down for that. But then Chef Zakarian did the same thing last season. Rules re rules except when they are not! Go figure.

  3. Kathleen says:

    Last year Chef Faulkner had an unfair advantage thoughout most of the competition. Although in the end she did not win, cooler heads won out, I was sure she was going to since the female judge was so taken with her. In this judge's eyes Faulkner could do no wrong. One can clearly see she is struggling in this competition. I agree with the other post concerning Chef Mehta has an ego the size of Texas and needs to come down a notch or two; he is right the judges evidently don't know anything at all or he would win hands down in his mind. I suppose in every reality show there must be a bad guy and he is it. I have my pick of the litter so-to-speak but will not write it or voice it for fear of jinxing it.

    • WestCoastFan says:

      How in the world did Falkner have an unfair advantage. In my opinion she might have had an disadvantage in that so many were ready to write her off because they perceived her as being a "pastry chef". She is obviously more than just a "pastry chef".

    • dragonfly4u says:

      Chef Faulkner should have won over Chef Zakarian last year she out cooked each one of them every time. What was so sad was the snotty way Anne Burrel treated Chef Faulkner as nothing "but a pastry Chef" when she has cleary shown she is very well rounded in her abilities. Alex would be my second choice but that is because she was petty last year during a couple of her cook offs and for some reason she seems to think that only she has worked hard enough as is good enough to be an Iron Chef.

  4. WestCoastFan says:

    Did anyone notice how ticked-off Chef Greenspan looked when he got the chop? The expression on his face when he repeated what Alton said about being out cooked was a laser death stare if ever I saw one.

  5. Daniel says:

    Chef Falkner is a pastry chef and if you didnt know that you wouldve thought she was just a brilliant chef. There is several good chefs there but as far as Iron Chefs only one there and thats Falkner. I dont see Alex winning a lot of Iron Chef competitions.

    • Latest Episode says:

      Elizabeth and Alex I feel will be in the final if not the top three. I'd like to see Marcel at the top for the men but Mehta is competition.

  6. lisa says:

    Chef Falkner is a good chef I don't think she will win because they already have picked chef alex to win so there is no need to vote is already the winner.

    • MariJo says:

      Lisa I sooooo agree! I think it is totally inappropriate to have Iron Chef Zakarian judging his sous chef!!!! The way he judges her is disgusting :(

    • Eh bien, tant pis says:

      Falkner plays up the weirdo thing too much for my tastes. As I read more about Julia Childs I think about classy strong women and I just cringe when I see an entitled spirit like Falkner claiming to be better than everyone.

  7. Bev Seay says:

    ( dearly love Amanda. I watch her all the time on choppes, weather she is good enough to grace the Iron Chef roll roll I say yes & if given the chance she will prove it. Now I watched the chefs cooking with family members show & thought it was outstanding, & would like to see more shows like this. It was great to see the spouces 7 other members cooking . Any one know where to write to to have the food channel get us a new show thanks Bev Seay

  8. Nathan says:

    Every time I see Chef Mehta I think of Voldemort. Is it just me?

    • Eh bien, tant pis says:

      Mehta and Appleman seem to be the most competent, but Arpaia is going to throw them out and IC Zakarian is gonna let her so he can get Alex as far as he can.

  9. Meg says:

    This show is way to predictable. To much manufactured drama. It's obvious who will be gradually eliminated and who will make it to he end. Food network does have its favorites and we all know who they are. Leave the fakeness to the reality shows. How about a REAL cooking competition with neutral unbiased judges who are not already on the payroll? Now that would be great TV!

    • FanFare59 says:

      I agree. It's like they're phoning this contest in. The gaggle of chefs that were selected are really underwhelming. To be considered for redemption, only the runners up should have been considered, not anyone who had a gripe and landed in last place (or wasn't even on the previous shows at all). From the lack of response to this page, it seems there is less interest this time around. Maybe it because of a woeful lack of great talent.

  10. Tom says:

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