A Battle She’ll Never Forget — Chef Guarnaschelli’s First Iron Chef America Showdown

by in Shows, December 31st, 2012

Iron Chef Alex GuarnaschelliThere are no easy tests in Kitchen Stadium. The first battle for any newly crowned Iron Chef, however, is perhaps the toughest of all. The glory of winning The Next Iron Chef competition is all but forgotten and the winner now has to prove themselves worthy in the world’s toughest culinary arena.

It also doesn’t make any difference that Iron Chef Guarnaschelli has become familiar with Kitchen Stadium over the last year, as Iron Chef Zakarian’s sous chef. This time around, she was master, not servant, and any defeat would be associated directly with her name.

It was ironic that her first opponent would be Judy Joo, who — along with Iron Chef Michael Symon and I — was responsible for eliminating her in Season 4 of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs. She not only battled to win, but also had a very definite point to prove.

The Secret Ingredient was mortadella (something her fellow rival chef, Chef Nate Appleman, is now very familiar with) and both chefs managed to get their first dish in front of the judges within the 20-minute time frame. Neither was declared a great success, but Iron Chef Guarnaschelli came away with a slender lead of two points to take into the rest of the battle.

Iron Chef America: Battle MortadellaBoth chefs wisely decided to treat the mortadella almost as if it were bacon. Highlights from Chef’s Joo’s offerings for the judges included Korean fried chicken and scallops prepared using the Chairman’s culinary curveball and a Danish aebleskiver pan. For Iron Chef Guarnaschelli, the standouts were her mortadella popovers and a silky pasta dish of tortellini that used the Secret Ingredient.

Those dishes were just enough for the judges to award Iron Chef Guarnaschelli a narrow five-point lead, and ensured that she left Kitchen Stadium with the first tick in the win box on her battle card.

I look forward to having the opportunity to judge her as an Iron Chef soon.

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Comments (94)

  1. downnotout says:

    Alex has replaced Mario as the pre-diabetic Iron Cook. This is catastrophic for several obvious reasons.

    But, I proudly didn't watch this sham cooking exhibition as I will not support FN as it promotes politics and its TV personalities above the pursuits of real chefs.

  2. joe says:

    My family and i would like to say goodbye to IC.After this set up I am done.

  3. Glennda says:

    I am terribly disgusted that Alex G won Iron Chef. She did not earn it. How many times was she in the bottom two and only won by the skin of her teeth. Amanda on the other hand won many of her culinary dishes. So according to Judges none of that matters when considering Iron Chef. You just need to make a decent dessert. I am so disappointed in this battle. I have been watching Iron Chef since Japan shows, and after this fiasco, I believe I have watched my last show…

  4. Daphne says:

    Honestly I wish that both Amanda and Alex could have won. I really love both of them as chefs. Good luck to Chef Freitag on all of her future endeavors.

    • Carol says:

      Omg I couldn't agree more, but I'm happy at least one of them won. I feel sad for Amanda now.

    • Sweets says:

      Amanda is on a sweets show on a different network. She looks and sounds wonderful! I love the show and I am so happy she is one of the hosts. Amanda may not have won NIC however she is gracious no matter were she goes.

  5. Hap Wilson says:

    Simon Majumdar has a very good point. I wondered why Judy Joo was chosen as the fall guy so that Alex G. could be handed her first "victory", but now it makes perfect sense because Judy Joo was instrumental in ousting Alex for the mid-season "shocking" elimination. So to have Alex G. "defeat" Jusy in Kitchen Stadium makes for a supposed "redemption". It is so apparent now that Zakarian was handed the victory last season. Even Alton Brown admits that he knew who would win that season.

    I have to apologize. I said in an earlier post that that last season was the first "competitive" season of NIC, but since they are all fixed, of course there can be no real contest!

  6. Tomas says:

    Maybe this is my opinion but after, I watched Iron Chef final, I was very disappointed. Somehow, It looked that AF was a real iron chef and AG was home cook.
    Anyway it is like it is and we'll see in the future how lucky the home cook will be. =)
    PS. Food channel management should teach AG not to make creepy face mimics. Another problem, I do not like how she talks. Each time, when she opens her mouth looks like , she is a country girl because her comments are very flat and pointless.

  7. Denise says:

    Alex should not have become Iron Chef. She asked her sous chefs what they should prepare!! She also should not have won against the UK Iron Chef in her first "battle". So glad Bobby Flay was so impartial…..NOT! Team Freitag all the way. She is much more creative and gracious.

  8. Marge says:

    Alex G, you come across as real, and show great passion in your cooking. Congratulations on your 1st win in Kitchen Stadium. Keep up the good work.

  9. Laura in Alaska says:

    Thanks Food Network for a very entertaining series!! Fun to watch and be inspired by the creativity all chefs demonstrate. All the chefs were amazing, and are all winners in my book.

  10. Tim says:

    I try to like her, but when it comes down to she just seems like a very wicked woman. I won't watch anything with her in it. POOR CHOICE FN!!!

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