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 (97)

  1. whatmostpplthink says:

    alex was in there cause she was the sou chef of the last next iron chef.she is not near being a iron chef and lucky she battle in america so that it can rig it over for chef judy joo.and those ppl think she deserve the title over Chef Amanda Freitag propably was pay off by dumbfounded alex and pay them to write those comment

    • Henry VIII says:

      Apart from the fact that you are Language Art challenged, it's quite a culinary feet for Alex to be the Executive Chef of two noted restaurants in New York. All the chefs who competed are talented; on any given day any of them could have won the title. As viewers, our chef bias is based on personality and camera presence, not because we have firsthand knowledge of their skills. To disparage Alex's skill is unfair.

    • Vonnie says:

      And where do you pull your chef experience from? Sounds like the latrine to me, and as a chef myself? It takes work and diligence and an excellent palate to be one, let alone become an iron chef.

    • e dunn says:

      exactly her boss was on the panel to put in the fix

  2. john says:

    who were the judges?

  3. Julie Couchman says:

    I can say I am so happy for chef AG…I wish both of them could have won because they were both good. I love the Food Network and I watch it all the time. I really wish the naysayers would just go away because they probably have no idea how much work and effort goes into doing all of these things. Kudos to you and keep up the good work!

  4. Kevin says:

    I read each comment, many with a degree of incredulity. People are upset that the contest was "rigged", as if entertainment TV was supposed to be 100% "real". You kidding? When did that start being true? So you're upset? Watch a homemade documentary then. It's ENTERTAINMENT TV, y'all. Of COURSE it's rigged! Doesn't mean the chefs are losers or untalented. That said, I'm DEFINITELY not a fan of AG. Amanda F was a good cook, and a good judge on Chopped (except when there were tall black males in the line-up, then she fell all over herself). There are some amazing chefs across the U.S…these were chosen to entertain you. Enjoy. Get entertained. Have fun. But if you want it "unrigged" (un-spelling on purpose, lol), go to YouTube and watch a home made doc…:)

  5. Sarah says:

    Congrats to Alex on her first win. Well deserved! The same people who think the judges are handing Alex wins also comment that the Amanda should have won based on those same judge's comments throughout the season. So the judges were being honest when they gave Amanda a win but it was a fix when they gave Alex a win? Seems legit. No one on here gets to taste the food. Get over yourselves. It's just a TV show and I'm glad Alex won…she has more personality than most of the chefs combined.

  6. barbra says:

    Food Network has now gone the way of 'insult your viewer tv' They expect people to watch. Mohawk Boy. ,Sweat his guts out to barely win Garces, To precious for words Zakarian, and now Ivan the terrible Alex G.. All as likeable as a bag of rocks, Other than Chopped we don't watch the network any more. But then the network was never interested in their viewers anyway.

  7. Abbreva says:

    Donatella is horrible as a judge. Why this show keeps seeking her out is such a terrible choice even though she wasn't on this panel. And Alex g.? Because u need a new female chef since cat Cora isn't on? Find some real talent…shes so overrated. Faulkner was the real deal. There are hundreds of better chefs out there.

    • Merat says:

      I couldn't agree more. Put the nix on Donatella!!! So happy Neil Patrick Harris put that miserable nasty witch in her place on the recent show.

  8. Gourmet Maestro says:

    I hope that AG is judged as emotionless and miserable as she has judged others. AF can definitely "out-chef" AG. My family and friends all agree that none of us will watch anything with Alex G. in it. She is a sour-faced, eye scrunched person who always looks like she wants to spit the food out that she is trying. We are all so not impressed by her. There really are others who are way better than her. Why is she on so many shows? I have an idea, perhaps Food Network could come up with a show called Annoying Kitchens featuring Alex G and Rachael Ray. That would be a show that would be absolute torture to watch.

  9. e dunn says:

    how can she win when her chef she sous for is on the panel.Cheatssssssssssssssssssssssssscheatssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssyou did not give a fair chance when her boss is voting for her.cheating you have reached a new lowwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  10. e dunn says:

    Take zakarian and guardigello off CHOPPED also the bald guy he lost the first test in chopped play offs-bring some new judges.aaron,marcus and the chef from florida,the nice indian lady and amanda they r real chefs.

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