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. Amanda T says:

    Guarnaschelli doesnt deserve to be iron chef.Chef Freitag is a way better chef. It makes me so annoyed that chef vigneron got eliminated in the buffet challenge because they were teamed together and everything guarnaschelli made were bad to the judges, then when they had to go into the show down (beacuse they lost to freitag and appleman). and G out cooks V. They wouldnt even have to be at the kitchen show down in the first place if G got her mind straight and cooked well for the buffet challenge.

  2. Jacqueline Kennedy says:

    I was not impressed watching Alex in her first battle, I found her very rude to her sous Chet's! In my opinion she does not suit or belong in the line up with elite chefs such as Cat Cora,…Bobby Flay…Michael Simon and the rest of the Iron Chef's!!! Also… Judy Joo won that battle..that was a fiasco … She also has a lot more class then Alex! I will be turning the channel for her next battle or she'll be battling alone!

  3. Valerie says:

    Terrible person, Terrible attitude and terrible chef. She needs to go.

  4. Santanu says:

    Food Network is really going downhill, Iron Chef has lost its charm by loosing people like Mario Batali, it all seems like a big circus now, with chef Garces and now AG becoming iron chef its a total mockery of the show which once use to be one of our top shows. We will totally not watch anything to do with IC anymore….

    • Grace says:

      That's not true! ICA is a popular show! And I've watched Alex's performance and she did great! So the show isn't a mockery. It's awesome!

  5. Carlene says:

    I watched this show and was really rutting for Alex I believe she ia a very talented chef and never, did i think the food network showed favortism on any of the shows of challenge,sure sometimes the chef i wanted to win didn't,but i will watch the show still. I think the chef's didn't feel cheated. They know how tough it is to win. I watched Alex fight hard to win and she really deserves it! All the chef's, did their best and i enjoyed watching the show. I think it's really sad, that people have to put a damper on her win.

    • Annie says:

      The fact that the finale of Next Iron Chef had Bobby Flay so gleefully rooting for Alex put a damper on that competition for me. If one is going to be a judge, they need to at least show some objectivity. But it all makes sense now. Alex has said in recent weeks that she wasn't going to compete in the Next Iron Chef again but Bobby was the one who encouraged her to do so and told her it would change her career.

  6. karen says:

    Alex deserved to win NIC I dont think GZ deserved to win. He didnt follow the rules the judges called him on it yet they let him stay. Hes theworse judge on Chopped. He thinks hes the smartest person on earth. Elizabeth should have won over him . Alex deserved this year. She has skills orwouldnt be executive chef at 2 restaurants. I dont care what anyone says you go girl. Congrats

  7. Jayne1944 says:

    Congrats to chef Alex for her win as nic and her first battle. She is a great chef who is not rude,she is strong which is how she got to where she is.As for the camera men-hello the chefs are moving around and WORKING, stay out of the way.

  8. harry says:

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  9. Keri fields says:

    I believe that Alex is the best iron chef. I watch the show weekly even after a full week of work. She is amazing. I have learn soooo much from her cooking

  10. Sir.Riley83 says:

    I hind out that the woman are always the hardest to beat

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