Bringing Home the Bacon — Critical Moments

by in Shows, December 17th, 2012

Next Iron Chef Rival ChefsThe four remaining chefs were asked to transform the much-maligned Las Vegas buffet into something worthy of Kitchen Stadium Sunday night.

After legendary magician David Copperfield pronounced that bacon was to be the main ingredient, Chef Freitag paired herself with Chef Appleman to face off against the decidedly odd couple of Chef Guarnaschelli and Chef Vigneron.

The end results brought some real highs and some very definite lows on both sides. I thought that Chefs Freitag and Appleman’s salad lacked any of the announced lime and jalapeno dressing, leaving it bland and tasteless. Their dessert called “The Elvis,” however, still ranks as one of the very best tastes of the whole competition.

Chefs Guarnaschelli and Vigneron produced two triumphant dishes in the form of bacon-wrapped bacon and sublime roast chicken. But they let themselves down by presenting undercooked leeks and a chocolate mousse that was grainy and unpalatable. It was enough to send them both to the Secret Ingredient Showdown to battle it out for a spot in the finale.

The quest to pair chocolate with protein showed just how creative and skilled both these chefs are. I marked Chef Vigneron down, however, for presenting a piece of lamb so rare it was almost bleating. I felt it was a far bigger flaw than his opponent’s lack of seasoning on a deep-fried duck heart .

Although there was a long and heated debate, in the end the three judges reached a unanimous agreement that Chef Vigneron would be the next chef to hear the words “I am sorry, but you will not be The Next Iron Chef.”

That left Chef Guarnaschelli joining Chef Frietag and Chef Appleman in the final battle to reach Kitchen Stadium. It’s going to be one heck of a showdown.

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

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

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Comments (82)

  1. leon says:

    Alex's grumpy curmudgeon-like personality would add contrast and interest to the increasing boring Iron Chef shows.

  2. Brian says:

    I am happy with the final 3. I'd be happy to watch any of them although I'd be happiest if Chef Freitag wins. Very happy to see Marcel go

  3. Penelope says:

    Amanda's my favorite. I hope she wins it.

  4. Julie says:

    I think Alex is a bore and has played it safe the entire competition. But she is already part of the FN family so I think that's why she "won" over an outsider like Marcel.

  5. SMiller says:

    Can we get the recipe for the potato, asparagus, bacon thing that Amanda and Appleman made?

  6. pseudonym15 says:

    Some pieces of Marcel's lamb were so blue it was practically raw. I realize that some of you are going to hate Alex no matter what she does, but she clearly won that battle. I'm fine with any of the top three to win, would like a woman for some variety, but Appleman is more than worthy.

    • FanFare59 says:

      Alex is a whining wimp. Applebomb is a slug. Amanda is the only one left that is halfway palatable.

      • Fly Army says:

        Unfortunately with the way things have gone all season, Alex will win not based on what she knows but who she knows on the judges panel! She'll be the first sniveling Iron Chef in history! The best Chef was voted off two episodes ago!

        • Passing thru says:

          Maybe the judges and FN are counting on the audience to expect that and will in the end, deliver a surprise ending.

          I'm starting to think you and FF59 are friends of Amanda the way you 2 are tearing up the other 2 chefs, lol. I actually think all 3 are capable- though I have my preferred choice, of course :) Good luck to the remaining chefs!

  7. Henry VIII says:

    I have no doubt that the remaining contenders have the skills to be an Iron Chef, but I don't like Nate Appleman's personality, and that is all we viewers have to rely on. Appleman has shown his contempt and arrogance in each competition that he has appeared in….my choice is either Alex or Amanda, no Appleman.

  8. Fly Army says:

    This season is clearly fixed, Chef Zakarian praises every dish made by Guarnaschelli, so obvious how much he favors her! How annoying is Guarnaschelli with all of her corny commentary! Guarnaschelli would tarnish the Iron Chef name!

  9. CaLo says:

    I am sick of seeing branded ingredients in the contest which cannot even be called food. I cannot believe that the personal views of personalities at food network line up with the corporate alliances of the network. I wonder how long these sell-outs will remain. I guess as long as the paychecks continue. That said. I enjoy the show and the network programming for the most part.

    • Candy Cane says:

      There's a lot of commercial candy in this show. Are candy sales down?

    • downnotout says:

      THIS is Show Business!!! Cooking is merely the style of entertainment, but it is ALL Show Business!

      Entertainment to sell products, and product revenue to fund entertainers, grips, cameramen, assistants, other personnel, studios, and networks.

  10. Hap Wilson says:

    This has been the most entertaining season of "Next Iron Chef". I wasn't watching the show when it was non-competitive. After the Forgione season, FoodNetwork really focused on delivering a quality show with good chefs. I like Simon Majumdar, but I feel that Chef Zackarian sees him as a poseur. Dontaella Arpaio gets lost a bit, sitting between Majumdar and Zackarian.

    • downnotout says:

      Zakarian's POV is about Alex not about food. Simon and Donatella sense weakness in Zakarian and know he is NOT focused on food but on trying to save Alex while throwing other competitors under the bus.

      Simon is the best judge.

    • googoodollar says:

      Yes, Simon Majumdar doesn't have the education, training, experience, knowledge or intelligence to be a NIC judge, but he is here and we have to respect him. He has earned his right to be a NIC judge because of his British accent.

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