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. LAE says:

    After last season's Food Network Star, I loved Alton. After this episode, I hate him.

  2. Aury says:

    This was a disgrace to the show! Chef Faulkner has all the ingredients to be nominated the NIC, but obviously she intimidated the judges. Chef Zakarian is still sore about competing with her and knowing that she is a better chef. Zakarian is obviously cheering for Alex. Elizabeth's risk taking techniques outshone the others, and that was the focus of the competition, RISK. Alex's dish was not risky at all, and chef Mehta's dish was bland and not a real souffle, his risk taking techniques were not as grand as Elizabeth's. Favoritism should not have a place in this show, we are not in a third world country and this is not politics. Chairman you need to step in and fix this unjust act. Remind Alton and the judges that they need to base their decision on the challenge at hand, which in this episode was RISK!

  3. Bill Pease says:

    Zakarian shouldn't have won last year. He side stepped almost every challange by not obeying the rules and getting away with it. He knows he cheated and Faulkner should have won. This time he HAD to make sure Chef Faulkner didn't win. He was the one behind getting her eliminated. You can tell this by the smug expression he had on his face while Donatella had her head down and even Simon a bit upset. Appleman's dish had two components that didn't honor the main ingrediant and was bland to boot. I can see by the numerous posts that I am by no way alone in this assessment.

    I SERIOUSLY suggest you bring Chef Faulkner back and from NOW ON, DO NOT ALLOW THE JUDGES TO KNOW WHO MADE THE DISH…. Have Alton read the presentation or have the Chefs talk ONLY to Alton and he relays their comments.

    • Roberta says:

      That's a really good idea! This show is definitely rigged! I knew that from the beginning of last season that Chef Z would win, no matter what he did wrong.

      • emily says:

        Interesting idea! There are definitely too many biases in this show, especially this season with Zakarian as a judge, he has too many connections.

    • Jo(sey) says:

      I would love to see the judges reverse their decision and ask EF to return. She is such a powerhouse of talent with an upbeat personality. I like several of the candidates but none more than she. She exudes IRON CHEF material … Talent, Class and Personality! Bring her back!

    • WestCoastFan says:

      A blind taste test for the elimination challenge. Now that would be an interesting twist. It has it's merrits. Can you envision the chefs replying to a question back in the kitchen area and a "Siri" type of voice answers the judges. Bizarre but it would add an interesting element to the show.

  4. blank blank says:

    Nothing personal towards Alex, however I do feel she is being favored. I do not want to see her as the NIC. She sometimes portrays negativity & she is constantly telling the camera people to get away, they are making her nervous. If they can't film you because it makes you nervous, what are the viewers supposed to watch, the floor while you talk… Chef Zacharian was extremely unprofessional with his happy grin when they announced Chef Falkner would not be the NIC. No matter what he was thinking at the time when they announced it, he should have been a professional & held his composure. I personally feel that Alex had a shocked face of guilt as if it was something being conspired & now that she got her way, she felt guilty. Again, just my opinion. Chef Falkner was truly a pleasure to watch. Yes, she was confident, however not in a snooty bragging way. She felt inspiring & it was a pleasure to watch her create her dishes & embrace the challenges in a fun, honest, professional, high spirited manner.

    • JAM says:

      As a fan of Falkner, I am as disappointed as you. I disagree with your opinion on Alex, however. It seems she and Falkner bonded a lot from their season together and she was just very, very bummed to see her go.

  5. SnT says:

    I said from episode #1 that Zakarian would make SURE Elizabeth Faulkner would get voted off. I hardly ever watch the Guy Fieri Netw….er, I mean, The Food Network anymore anyway, because there are so few….cooking shows.

    • FanFare59 says:

      Same here. Currently, this is the only show on Alton Brown Channel (um, FN) that I watch and it 's barely watchable due to the low standards in place. I think 2 nights per week are for Guy's DDD. Just what I want to see – a slob chomp and chat simultaneously; eating at greasy spoons I would be afraid to use the rest rooms. Then, there are reruns from 2010 all day long.

  6. Mag says:

    Can't believe Chef Faulkner was eliminated. Apple an is an arrogant ass and should have been eliminated because his dish did not have enough of the secret ingredient.
    I won't be watching the rest of this season.

  7. poknows says:

    Chef Faulkner was fun to watch, and everyone else was like watching food commercial such as McDonalds. I can't watch it anymore. Pointless! At least now I don't have to rush home to watch Food Network on Sundays. RIP Redemption!

  8. Joan M. says:

    My son and I called it at the start of the first show for Iron Chef Redemption. This is to us an obvious ploy to elevate Alex G. to Iron Chef. I am very disappointed in the judging of this show. Even when Alex G. makes an error, excuses are made and she "survives" to go on. Mark my words, she is the next Iron Chef whether she deserves it or not. I stopped watching Top Chef when I realized I could predict the winner at the first trial and will probably stop watching Iron Chef America for the same reason. I agree with one of the other comments earlier. The dishes should be judged on their own merit and do not let the judges know who prepared it until the competition is over.

  9. Fan says:

    No longer will watch this show,she is the most talented chef.

  10. JAM says:

    For Falkner, of all people, to go out on a RISK challenge is absolutely absurd.

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