Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Redemption Exile

by in Shows, December 9th, 2012

nullThe fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with now only five 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.

This week, the remaining rival chefs traveled to the culinary mecca of Las Vegas. Faced with a challenge of marrying culinary odd couples, Chef Jehangir Mehta was sent to the Secret Ingredient Showdown for his bone marrow and candy dish. While Chef Mehta certainly proved that he belonged in this competition, Sin City was the end of the road for him. He lost the culinary gamble of a lifetime after falling to Chef Appleman due to over-spiced shrimp.

Throughout the season and especially in the last episode, there was a focus on spices and your passion for them. What are three of your favorite spices?

JM: My food is all about spices. I love pairing them in ways people would not expect, as I believe they totally transform food. Although I love them all, fennel, turmeric and cumin would be my top three. Not only are they healthy, but they are also very versatile.

What one or two spices would you suggest to readers to start using which are possibly under-utilized?

JM: I would rank cumin and asafetida (this spice has a flavor reminiscent of leeks) as the most under-utilized spices.

It seemed that you specifically disagreed with Donatella’s comments this season. Was that true or just the way viewers saw it?

JM: I have great respect for Donatella and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Most of the time, I use the judges’ feedback as a learning experience. I am a creative person, however, and I take risks. I make food that makes most people happy.

You came to this competition to redeem yourself. Even though you didn’t win, you certainly had a great run with some delicious dishes. What was your most memorable moment of the season and what’s next for you?

JM: Yes, I wanted this bad, but I respect the judges’ decision. Just look out for me, for I will be back. I think I received redemption in the very first challenge this season because that’s what cost me the title in 2009. Currently, I’m waiting on the liquor license to open my third restaurant, Graffiti Me & You, which is all about a personalized experience. Bring us whatever you want and we will create an experience around it.

Of the remaining rival chefs, who do you consider a serious contender for the title?

JM: I think Chef Guarnaschelli has been strong all throughout the season and has a great shot at it, but I wish Chef Appleman all the best, too, as he is a wonderful chef.

Read more about Chef Jehangir Mehta

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 (314)

  1. Playback says:

    I think Marcel will win. He is young, hip, creative and appealing.

    And not really as enamored as Amanda F. as the rest of you….I think she lacks creativity and a fierceness that an Iron Chef needs. That being said, on a shallow note….. there is something strangely sexy about her……so it's not like I would mind is she wins.

    Eh. Chef Marcel for the win, though.

    • downnotout says:

      Strangely sexy is only the beginning of it. She exudes a seductive quality, but alas she is rumored to be a chefbian. So I will never get to taste that forbidden fruit…

      • ThinkSon says:

        Hahhaha well I come bringing good news then I guess. My aunt knows her quite well (Go Mandy!) and she has a boyfriend. I think people mistake her niceness/politeness as "flirting". It happens.

  2. Facts says:

    For those of you wondering:

    Guarnaschelli vs Cat Cora – 2007- Battle Theme Farmer's Market
    AG 41 – 45 CC

    Freitag vs Flay – 2008/2009 – Battle Alaskan King Crab
    AF 49 – 50 BF

    Morimoto vs Zakarian- 2010- Battle Sardine
    MM 57- 43 GZ

  3. Illo says:

    Tbqh, I just want a woman to win. I don't care if it's the cougar or the fox. ;) But seriously, too many guys up there. And I'm not impressed with the 2 remaining male chefs.

  4. Elise says:

    Is Marcel getting on anyone else's nerves?? He gleefully pairs the other chefs with difficult food combinations and then whines because, like, just because Chef Freitag's ingredients were, like, harder, why should that make her the winner? And he just has to comment on Appleman helping out Amanda with the pressure cooker even though he bragged in previous episodes about the alliance between him and Spike? Seriously dude, stop whining and just keep your nose to the grindstone.

  5. Www says:

    The show is becoming very sad…judges are getting old. They want innovation from the chefs get new judges. They are so predicable. I have been a fan of FN for over 10 years. Get with the time.

  6. Sam says:

    IC Zakarian shows favoritism to Alex and through the competition her dishes have been week and she never embraces the challenge and cops out with just tasty dishes but no risk taking.

  7. Mat says:

    Obviously all these comments are neglecting the opinion of the public. Alex has a huge lead in the fan vote and is known to cook amazing food, she's just had 2 weeks that haven't been her best. She isn't lazy or haughty; she just really cares about winning. Amanda also is a great chef and people respect her from her insightful judging on Chopped.

    However, like most of you, I think that Marcel needed to leave a looooongg time ago. At first I thought that he and Tim Love were just around to fill in the 10 chef requirement, but it's annoying me how he is the judges' new favorite IMO. As for Nate, he seems like a good chef but hasn't shown us his style as a cook yet. But I am rooting for him because of his pure dislike for Marcel (something we have in common).

    Marcel talks like a mix of someone who talks while he chews and someone with a really sore throat.

    • danny says:

      If cooking is the criteria, marcel is doing a great job. Fan vote is contrived and AG has not been delivering for the past three weeks. First it was grass and then not risky and finally salad with one ingredient missing.

      • Mat says:

        Alex's salad had a missing ingredient? And there is still a part of me that believes In food network….. I don't think they'll go so far as to rig the fan vote…

        Lastly, some people like Marcel's style of cooking. I don't. Way too artificial and not "real" food not me. I have to say I kind of agree with Spike on what he said about Marcel's food: impressive, but not something that you would want to eat.

    • taniya says:

      Votes are rigged

    • tanya says:

      actually Alex has had three bad weeks. Her dish tasted like grass once, then her dish was not risky and last week she did not incorporate one ingredient.

  8. Pfitzy says:

    I actually understand why Chef Appleman's dish won over Chef Mehta's dish in the elimination round… and the judges explained themselves perfectly in that they kept the dish that was least forgettable. I am still very disappointed with the route they're taking judging-wise on-the-whole, though. Chef Falkner was eliminated for what appeared to me to be a minor infraction in a dish that absolutely conformed to the challenge: risk (both of her dishes did that episode, in fact). Whereas Chef Appleman's dish was anything but in that elimination round. Chef Guarnaschelli's been saved by "transforming" a dish successfully even though it didn't taste good (Kermit in a blender, anyone?.. I believe mulched lawn-clipping was also used as a descriptive), and twice now by making dishes that tasted good, but didn't conform to the challenge presented… So, which is it?? Seems to me either these things are overly edited or the judges are working a little too closely with the producers to conform to a prescribed outcome…

  9. Cindy says:

    So which chef now, can win The Next Iron Chef. The Iron Chef criteria is :

    Each chef may be awarded up to 20 points by each judge, with ten given for taste and five each for presentation and originality. The chef with the greatest score wins the competition.

    So which of the four Chef's have the qualities to be creative and inventive. Can they provide taste, presentation and orginality as the next Iron Chef? And to further our watch of Iron Chef?

  10. Sarai says:

    Ugh! I cannot stand Appleman! He is rude, arrogant and whines about EVERYTHING! Last night he was whining because Chef Marcel gave him a hard combination of ingridients and had the nerve to say that this will come back and haunt him??? 1) Real Iron Chefs find ways to take funky ingredients and make masterpieces…I have never heard an Iron Chef or Challenger complain about ingridients like Arrogant Appleman 2) I am sure that if N.A. would have been in M.Vs position to pick ingridients for the chefs, he would have picked what he deemed easiest for him and hard for his opponents. I hope that either Amanda, Alex, or Marcel win BUT NOT APPLEMAN unless the chairman wants a whiny Iron Chef who will want to beat him up because of the secret ingridients.

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