Emotional Goodbyes — Critical Moments

by in Shows, December 3rd, 2012

The Next Iron Chef: RedemptionThe curse of the auction challenge strikes again.

No one who watched The Next Iron Chef Season 4 will ever forget the look on Chef Burrell’s face as she realized that her decision to place eventual winner Chef Zakarian in the Secret Ingredient Showdown was going to come back and bite her in the backside. In Season 5, Chef Falkner found herself in the exact same position.

But first, let’s give due praise to Chef Vigneron. His stunning dish of braised beef cheeks proved that he had emerged from the shadow of high school shenanigans with his pal, Chef Mendelsohn, to make himself a very serious contender for a place in Kitchen Stadium.

Chef Falkner was not so fortunate. While she managed to cook the Amazonian fish paiche perfectly, her plating was messy and further spoiled by the addition of deep-fried scales. If I was being charitable, I would describe eating the scales as being worse than chewing on dead men’s toenails. It meant that, like Chef Burrell before her, she was now going to face one of her toughest challengers to stay in the competition.

Chef Appleman had also produced one of the worst tastes of the competition to date in the form of a mortadella mousse (every bit as unpleasant as it sounds), but that all changed when he was presented with anchovies in the Secret Ingredient Showdown. For me, his choice to produce two Spanish dishes was risky, as it’s a cuisine close to my heart, but he managed to produce genuinely delicious food when it mattered the most. Chef Falkner also made ample use of the ingredient, but heavy-handedness with the saffron in a Fregola Sarda produced a bitter taste that I found overpowered everything else on the plate.

It was not a unanimous decision, but this time it was Chef Falkner who was told by Alton Brown, “I am sorry, but you will not be The Next Iron Chef.”

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 episode below (click the play button):

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Comments (218)

  1. altonlvr says:

    Chef Falkner is truly talented.

    Serving fish scales was a little bump in the road for her, but her biggest mistake was a few years ago when she served spicy chili at the annual Pride event in San Francisco. Not a good evening for her male fans and partners that night.

    She will be back leading the good fight for Chefbians everywhere!

  2. FoodNetwork-ExFan says:

    Zakarian has no business on the judges table considering Alex is his current sous chef and since he directly competed with chef Falkner in the last season. His judgement seems very obviously skewed with examples of demonstrated favoritism towards Alex. Whats the point of watching a show where so many watchers can catch that within a couple of episodes. He should be fired from the show. Chef's Falkner elimination was just an example of his obvious misjudgement. He was the only one looking cocky after eliminating her. I say we all stop watching this show as a protest.

  3. Francene Lamb says:

    If chef Marcel wins I will never watch him on Iron Chef. He should have been eliminated when he and his friend pulled that stunt. Go Alex and Amanda.

  4. barbra says:

    The Food Network has gotten rid of the last old person with culinary skills now we are left with four over rated Jr. Chefs. Food Network clearly wants a woman this time so its Freitag or Gauranchelli who are Food Network colleagues. So why not just stop the show and name Gauranchelli defacto Iron Chef and stop wasting our time. She can join the other recent equally unworthy Iron Chefs (Forgione and Garces).

  5. allyn says:

    Hooray!!! mehta is gone Applepants hope you are next.

  6. snmatl_13123038 says:

    Someone At FN needs to find a show for Chef Faulkner Fast!! Equally as fast the judges need to VOTE OFF Chef Appleman his attitude stinks! Its one thing to be competitive but gloating and threatens another chef because they played how he thinks and he didnt like it. His attitude sucks! WAKE UP JUDGES!!

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