Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Redemption Exile

by in Shows, December 2nd, 2012

Chef Elizabeth Falkner and Chef Nate ApplemanThe fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with now only six familiar chefs battling it out again to prove they’ve got the skills to win the ultimate prize: the title of Iron Chef.

Each chef will try to pull out all their tricks to stay in the competition but, ultimately, one chef must go home each week. Every Sunday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest chef to go home.

The second victim of the ingredient auction, Chef Elizabeth Falkner, failed to impress the judges with an over-seasoned pasta dish and caused the most-emotional elimination moment of the season to date with fellow rival chefs and even the judges.

You had the advantage this episode and part of that was judging your own peers. What was that like?

EF: This advantage was a disturbing setup because it was déjà vu — Anne Burrell went through the exact same scenario last season. It was all too familiar to me. I like judging and competing, but the combination is difficult, especially when it’s solely based on just one dish to put someone on the bottom, and you just know that you’re probably going to be pitted against them.

In episode 3, Chef Freitag used anchovies in her dish to describe you and ultimately anchovies brought you down. Are anchovies foes or friends of yours now?

EF: I love anchovies and use them all over my menu at my new restaurant, Krescendo. In fact, one of my signature dishes is the Fregola Con Le Sarde, which has anchovies and sardines along with fennel and saffron in a typical Sicilian pasta dish. I don’t think the anchovies brought me down. I think the fact that I made what I did in 30 minutes is an accomplishment and I disagree with letting me go from that Showdown.

Do you think the auction challenge is cursed? You mentioned déjà vu earlier.

EF: Not cursed, but the setup makes for good TV.

Your final reaction was saddening for everyone to watch — it even brought tears to Simon’s eyes. What are your final thoughts about your elimination?

EF: I love seeing what the other chefs and I come up with for any of the random ingredients, especially given the time and environmental constraints thrown at us. I like portraying a superhero and I think I do a good job at it. I love to cook and think I try to push the Iron Chef concept for myself and the audience. I am being true to myself in these competitions.

If it were even possible, would you try for the title a third time?

EF: In a heartbeat! I would go for the gold again.

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

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Comments (948)

  1. Nicklas says:

    Chef Faulkner's biggest mistake was not putting chef Guarnaschelli at the bottom. Chef G dish showed absolutely no risk taking at all with that dish, especially having so much time to prepare. Any individual can pan sear a steak and throw a sauce on it. I would overlook the fried fish scales vs a basic steak that showed no creativity. Chef Faulkner has shown she can cook incredible dishes under extremely pressure with beautiful presentation. Her downfall is she is not part of the larger Chopped Foodnetwork family.

  2. key west says:

    Chef Faulkner should have won last year and Zakarian knows it,_She just outcooked everyone at every turn with originality and confidence._The reaction from the judges, excluding Zakarian, was of what seemed to be regret after their decision._They knew they screwed up….BUYER"S REMORSE!_I'm not going to beat down the abilities of the remaining chefs, but it will be hard to decide if I'll watch the final shows._Chef Faulkner is an awsome competitor and would have added a powerful presence as an Iron Chef.

  3. Sarah says:

    I also believe Falkner should have won it last year but I was okay with the way it ended. I am NOT okay with the way Falkner was eliminated this year. I am convinced it was completely set up to be a replay of what happened in the auction episode last season because someone decided it would make "Good TV". Through the entire episode I could see exactly where it was going and how it was going to end. Even if you go back and listen to the judges comments you can see that they clearly favored Falkner over Mehta and she should not have been in the bottom. I watched shows like this assuming that they are not rigged but I am no longer convinced. I hate being played that way and I will definitely not watch the rest of the season because I just don't care. I don't care what the producers want me to see and like, I only want to watch if it's genuine (and you can no longer convince me that it is.

    • Kevin says:

      You have to remember that we aren't seeing all the comments the judges make to the chefs. They are edited for the best effect and time constraints. They have the ability to edit the comments so that you get less of an idea who they are going to pick….sometimes it's obvious, other times not. Having edited many programs like this, it is VERY easy to "keep the audience guessing". just by a deft hand on the edit controller. It's ALL about suspense and action.

      • Sarah says:

        I took this into consideration as well. If this was the case then I do not appreciate the way that they tried to manipulate my feelings in their editing. I did not believe that they gave me a fair and accurate version of what actually happened and this is also reason enough for me to give up on the show. I watch to see fair competitions. If this is not what I am getting then there is no point to watch. I have plenty enough choices for emotional and fictional TV programming, I don't need it from my "reality TV".

    • gay day says:

      You said it well, thanks

  4. Lisa A says:

    Nobody even mentions Chef Frietag. I predict she will be the next IC. She is understated, but nearly always on top when you look at the judging. Faulkner may be a great chef but she is inconsistent in the competition, which has lead to her departure. Frietag is consistent, and very talented. She's just flying under the radar at the moment.

  5. guest says:

    i love food – i enjoy watching these creaive geniuses do their thing under pressure. has anyone had the idea why not present the dishes blindly? why does a judge need to know who the creator is? i think they'd have a favorable outcome taking the individual personalities out of play..

  6. Guest says:

    Bring Elizabeth Falkner back for another nic season. I really believe she is someone America would love to watch on iron chef!

  7. donna says:

    Faulkner deserved to be eliminated. She sent Appleman to the bottom, because she feared him, which was not honorable. She should have sent Alex to the secret ingredient showdown, because she had the least amount of risk in her dish. Faulkner over-reached to have presented fried scales to the judges. Afterall, no matter the challenge, above all else, a chef must present beautiful, delicious food. For all of the rage expressed here that she was sent home prematurely…..she was in the bottom 3 out of 5 times. Get a grip.

    • Trisha says:

      Totally agree, an absolute must is to tste, taste, taste, if she had simply put one "scale" in her mouth she would still possibly be there!

    • Annoyed says:

      Are you able to read minds? How do you know why she picked Appleman? I'd like to know how making a chef choose the worst dish is a reward for winning a challenge. It bit Burrell last year too. And just because she was in the bottom does not mean she should have been sent home, Zakarian was in the bottom many times last year and he ended up winning it all.

  8. jln says:

    Nobody asked my opinion, and it doesn't matter anyway. I'm sure it's been said before, I haven't read all 900+ comments, but I'll say it agin. The tasting should be blind, and points should be awarded. The judges might not show such favoritism if thy don't know who prepaired the dish they are tasting. ICA uses points, why shouldnt this show? That said, I am eagerly awaiting tonight's show from Las Vegas!

  9. Cathy says:

    I never write comments on shows, but I was very disapointed when it was clearly a win for Chef Faullkner. I may not watch the Iron Chef shows if she isn't given a show of her own. There should be some way she could come back to finish out the show for the title. I don't dislike the other contestants but they don't have her skills. When the two chefs went in togeather, they were disrespectful of the show, other chefs and the contest, and should have Both been eliminated. You're not playing fair, some chefs didn't take chances and still made it, my favorites are gone except for Moto, and I intend to have dinner at his place during the holidays.

  10. Marianna Basile says:

    I'm watching the repeat of last week's challenge Sunday night and Alton specifically charged the chefs with this: "The ingredient MUST be the star in your dish." If this was the basis for the charge of the challenge, it should have been the basis for judges for judging … and it wasn't.
    Very Very disappointed in the judges. Alton's charge and the judges basis for the challenge should be consistent, if not, then what happened last week, happens. I think the judges were wrong based on Alton's charge to the chefs. Chef Appleman should have been eliminated and Chef Faulker should have stayed.

    • noFalk4U says:

      Alton also told Vigneron he'd better NOT have a tooth (from the cow's head) in his dish – I guess he should have warned Falkner NOT to fry up the fish scales as well…

      Falkner did it to herself. She fried up fish scales in round 1 and then followed it up with an amateurish mistake of abusing the saffron to get herself booted from the NIC competition.

      Time to move on…

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