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. 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).

  2. Warren Tolentino says:

    i now have doubt about the credibility of the judges. it almost seems to me in my view that the judges have a predetermined winner in this "iron chef redemption" season. first iron chef geoffrey zakarian should inhibited himself so as not to associate with alex guarneschelli. there is no doubt chef alex is a great chef and is very talented in the kitchen. however, in time constraint competition like this i do not see her creativity. if she won this will be a sad day for the kitchen stadium.

  3. Karen says:

    Let's sum this up. Everyone hates Zakarian, and Guarnaschelli. If anyone bothers to pay attention to other shows like the Next Food Network Star, You would know and understand that 90% of the chefs on Food Network are friends. So you can claim favoritism just as easily between Zakarian and Freitag because they are both Chopped judges. Watch the show for what it is, Entertainment. If you don't think it's entertaining, Stop watching and stop bothering the rest of us about it.

    • Chi says:

      I like Zakarian and Guarnaschelli.

    • Paula says:

      Haha, the Chairman is just an actor, this show is supposed to be fun! And it IS fun to watch them cook in such a hurry and see what they come up with. As far as chefs go, I think Zakarian is awesome. His winning episode, with the Christmas presents being just one feature, was gorgeous! Of course, the irony of all our passion is that we can't taste a single bite! So how CAN we know whose food was better?

  4. Fatima says:

    I feel like we are being set up for a Marcel/Appleman F2 showdown. Anyone else? Why else would they spend time building this strange rivalry that's not really there…

  5. Hel says:

    I couldn't believed chef Faulkner left. For me she was the next Iron chef, it just seem that chef Zacharian just never like her since season 4, and wants his fellow friends from chopped to be in the final (mostly chef Alex). Season 4 was extraordinary, really exiting to watch all those great chefs cooking with integrity and passion…..and judges were fair. Not so pleased as how season 5 is going

  6. So sad to see Chef Mehta go. I feel he got robbed, even though Sunday night was perhaps not his best showing. Of course, I'm biased, as I know him quite well. For anyone who continues to say he's 'arrogant' or an idiot I have one story to share. I dined at one of his restaurants Mehtaphor, last Thursday. After we were talking for a while I asked if I could snap a photo of him in classic IC pose,(you know, arms crossed and glowering). He tried, but started smiling, and then we just started laughing. He's a very warm and genuine person, truly. I know what I say probably won't change a lot of people's minds, but I just wanted to share the story, for what it's worth.
    I hope we will see more of him, soon.
    For now, I'd like to see Amanda win.. She's the only one left, I think, I'd enjoy watching battle.

  7. For Shame says:

    Appleman over Faulker AND Mehta? Oh please.

  8. Guest says:

    This show is just getting out of control – Mehta, you are my Iron Chef <3

  9. Not Impressed says:

    I just think it's crazy that half of Appelman's dish straight-up SUCKED (that shrimp-pancake biz) and the only thing wrong with Mehta's was that he had a tinge too much cumin…what gives, NIC judges, seriously?
    I felt like Donatella had it in for Mehta the whole time, not gonna lie.

  10. lily says:

    NIC is not as interesting as it used to be…. because chef Faulkner is gone :(

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