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. Kyle says:

    Faulkner choked. Stop blaming politics. She was clearly the networks hope. How stupid to make fish scales to eat. You get two chances at failure and Faulkner has no one to blame but herself.

  2. sunshinegirl508 says:

    Love this show. Glad Faulkner is out. She is just not humble, she bad mouths the judges, etc. She was simple out-cooked by Appleman. I hope Alex wins. I don't really care for donatalo or whatever her name is judge. It's like she tries to be different just for the sake of disagreeing.

  3. Cathy says:

    chef Appleman had a smirk on his face as as Chef Falkner was leaving in tears!! He is a piece of work!!! Can't wait to see him gone.

    • Linda says:

      Go back and look at the clip again. He was expecting to be told that he was out. He was told, instead, 'You live to cook another day!' The smile was a normal in response to getting unexpected good news and disappeared the instant he realized what it meant to Faulkner.
      Do you really think that, in his shoes, you wouldn't have been overjoyed to realize you weren't out?
      Not hardly

    • Sofya says:

      Yeah, I think that Chef Appleman is just sooooo mean… I mean he hates Chef Vigneron ("he doesnt deserve to be here")…he makes me soooo sad!!! :-(

  4. lily says:

    Dear Food Network,
    Please consider to start a new show with Chef Faulkner. I miss her already so much.

  5. Lynn says:

    This is to Elizabeth Falkner. I didn't think that you should of gone. I was really surprised. But you will be back. I will be watching for you.

    • Pam says:

      I agree. I was stunned to say the lease. I enjoy chef faulner's style. She'll be back, we're waiting to

      See her new dishes. Thank you, Chef.

  6. FN Fan says:

    Was so disheartened to see Chef Falkner go. It was so intriguing to see her cook and I was always excited to see how she would interpret each challenge. I woke up the next morning feeling sad about it because during her interview afterward she looked so shocked and really really heartbroken. Was this really a fair decision?

  7. Rowiler240 says:

    I was devastated and shocked to see Chef Faulkner go. I really wanted to see her go all the way to the end. I would like to see FN consider giving her a show of her own. I like her rapier wit. I'd watch any program with her in it. I like Alex and if she makes it to the end, I wonder if (subconsciously) if it is because of Zakarian. I intensely dislike him. But Alex works in his corner on his Iron Chef showdowns. And as much as I like Freitag, I don't see her surviving much longer.

  8. Firsttimetroller says:

    I was devastated to see Falkner go. I really think she brings the intensity and creativity the Iron Chef show needs to survive on the food network. Her artistic creations would be an asset.

    I would really like to see a secret second redemption of the eliminated participants, making the show a real redemption show-off. Give Falkner another chance? Please!!!

  9. Guest says:

    Like so many others, I was utterly disappointed by chef Faulkner's elimination! She is smart, her cooking is creative, entertaining, she took the competition seriously. She was the clear, superior, only real choice for the NIC – especially when the IC show badly needs a fresh perspective and woman who can cook diversely and give the men a run for their money! It was as if the judges, who I agree should be rotated out, were unfairly scrutinizing and holding her to a higher standard than everyone else because she is so amazing and talented. Also like so many others, I cannot comprehend why Zackarian is judging anyway. . . .Even if he was attempting to be impartial, it's so inappropriate that he's judging his former opponent on the finale against his current sous chef! I had been excited about the show and watched religiously and was also excited about the possibility of once again watching new IC episodes with chef Faulkner as the NIC. However, with chef Faulkner's elimination, I am done watching the rest of this season's NIC and won't be looking forward to any new IC episodes anytime soon either.

  10. rdthur says:

    From the beginning of the season when I saw that last years winner, Chef Zakarian, was a judge I disagreed because he is new to the position, and also, because he competed with some of the current contestants before and works with some others that are competing, but I tried to put that aside. I think it was a bad choice by the network to have him as a judge for these main reasons because, no matter how true it is, it's going to diminish the confidence of the contestants and viewers that he can give an unbiased opinion when judging. Based on some of his comments, the way they are delivered, and particularly his facial expression when giving them at times, that he does appear somewhat biased when judging many times. With the number of qualified and accomplished chefs and food critics out there, someone on the shows production team should have voiced this concern. I fear with this type of casting this will be my last season watching this show.

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