Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Redemption Exile

by in Shows, December 16th, 2012

Chef Guarnaschelli and Chef VigneronThe fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with now only four 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.

The final four rivals meet Alton Brown and a special guest, Master of Illusion, David Copperfield, and together they reveal the Chairman’s Challenge of Transcendence in Episode 7. In two pairs, the chefs prepared a buffet focused on salty, succulent bacon, offering three hot dishes and two cold ones for 30 people. On account of several technical flaws, Chefs Guarnaschelli and Vigneron, rivals who faced off against each other in the Chairman’s test of Simplicity, were deemed the least-successful cooks of the day and were sent to the Secret Ingredient Showdown. A last-ditch effort to rescue a raw rack of lamb, however, couldn’t save Chef Marcel Vigneron, ousted just one week short of the finale.

This challenge was all about transcending the Vegas buffet. What’s your guilty pleasure at a buffet?
MV: King crab and shrimp cocktail. I could eat my weight in it.

Throughout the season, what were your favorite and least-favorite challenges?
MV: My favorite was the “Risk” challenge and not just because I won, but rather because I loved the auction concept of bidding with time instead of money. I also really enjoyed breaking down and cooking the calves’ heads.

Out of all the rival chefs, which chef (besides Chef Mendelsohn), would be your ultimate teammate?
MV: Besides Chef Mendelsohn, my ultimate teammate would probably be Chef Greenspan because I love his cooking style and we go way back.

How did this competition experience compare to others you’ve done? What have you learned?
MV: I thoroughly enjoyed my experience on The Next Iron Chef! As far as how the experience compares to other competition shows: In my opinion it blows them out of the water because it focuses on the food, which for me is the most important thing in a cooking show.

You’ve proven that you’ve matured and can cook amazing dishes. Do you think you did better without Chef Mendelssohn or at least that you were more focused?
MV: I believe that I did relatively well and was focused the entire time, regardless of whether Chef Mendelsohn was there or not. In the beginning the judges mainly knocked me for presentation. Once I figured out what they were looking for and began to understood their palates, I started to cater my dishes toward their expectations which allowed me to excel in the competition.

What’s next for you?
MV: I will continue to run my catering company through my website, and I have also started working with Summit.

Read more about Chef Vigneron

Relive the episode and take a look at an extended preview of next week’s final episode below (click the play button):

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Comments (323)

  1. Chris says:

    Of course it's gonna be boring. There's no REAL drama here. The remaining contestants are all like, best friends. Why would they want to start trouble with each other, especially when everyone knows the Iron Chef Title means nothing anymore. It's just not worth it. And plus, the fix is clearly in for Alex.

  2. ally says:

    you know the judges are readding all of this, why don't they comment? I think they are imbarased, they should be… Such disappointment, I will look @ these judges in a different way from now on. I only watched ICA once since zakkyman got on, I did notice how flustered alex seemed, I quit watching, Actuall I have not watch since Garsis and Forgione. Shame on foodnetwork

  3. Jaime says:

    Marcel should have won. I knew he would be eliminated next. It's rigged.

  4. rgraner says:

    Im done watching. Marcel had my vote and seems to have had to prove himself more than the other chefs. I just get the feeling that the "powers to be" have already decided who they want to be the next Iron Chef and will adjust their voting accordingly.

  5. Harley says:

    How can you say you outcooked somone when all they did was shave candy on their dishes? Everytime they showed her she was shaving candy on something. I thought Marcel incorporated the candy by making something with it not just garnishing. Further, Alex didn't use enough seasoning…what the heck is going on?

    • Penelope says:

      She used the chocolate in all of her dishes – including the sauteed onions. As for me, I'd rather eat underseasoned food – you can always add your own salt, than attempt to eat raw lamb.

  6. cherrycooks says:

    AG's cooking show was a big disappointment and didn't last more than two seasons, IIRC. I watched it a couple of times during the first season but found her to be more boring than watching grass grow. I can't imagine Alex as an Iron Chef when the heat is on, and nicey-nice won't cut it. No guts. No glory.

    • FanFare59 says:

      Yes, I tried to watch Alex's shows a few times and I got sleepy and NOT hungry for what she made. Maybe, that's why she was cancelled. She's boring and clunky.

    • downnotout says:

      Alex on IC against Cat Cora was lazy and boring. This will not be good for the FN if Alex wins – except for IC Zak and Alex who will pal around and accuse all other chefs of not being as good as they are.

      • FanFare59 says:

        downotout, YOU try to carry an extra 80 pounds (alright, 100 pounds) of extra weight in kitchen stadium. I agree that Alex is not exciting but she moves great for a big lady.

        • FanFare59 (real) says:

          Once again. The fake FanFare59 strikes again. Stop using my name in vain. What is WRONG with you?

          • Mat says:

            Same here, I understand; there is one challenged person here who keeps blogging as either me (Mat), you (FanFare59), AKM, or others.


  7. Shane says:

    I'll tell you why I don't mind either of the women winning. Because I truly believe that they are some of the more talented women on the channel. They can certainly hold their own against the male chefs, and seem far more talented than the likes of Deen, Rachel Ray, Giada, etc. I'd say only Cora/Burrell/Faulkner can compare/seem better the remaining 2 ladies, and I can see any of these 5 (well since Cat Cora is already coming back, 4 ladies) making great Iron Chefs. Go GIRLS! :P

  8. Chris says:

    I know a lot of you don't like Alex, but some of you are getting awfully personal here.

  9. FanFare59 says:

    I don't like Falkner and I sure don't like Amanda. Alex is my favorite and it doesn't matter if she can't cook as good as those two, this is TV and Alex G has paid her dues unlike those other two.

    Go Alex!

    • Jess says:

      I don't understand….sometimes you are bashing Alex and saying she is not IC material, and the next now you're saying you want her to win? Make up your mind! (It doesn't matter anyway cause it seems TPTB have already made up theirs…haha)

      And what is this "paid their dues" nonsense? Who cares how long you've been on the FN for? If you don't have the talent you're just going to come off looking stupid in Kitchen Stadium. Unless TPTB have rigged that show too.

    • FanFare59(for real) says:

      The above commentary is from the phony FanFare59. Why are you hiding your opinions behind other people's names? I'm sure you own name is perfectly fine.

    • Marsha says:

      I agree that AG struggles at cooking but she has paid her dues. It seems obvious that Zakarian and the FN want Alex to win and I hope she does because it wouldn't be fair after all her years of sacrifice.

      I know she doesn't cook well but the Food Network can arrange easy opponents on ICA so she can win, and maybe tell her the secret ingredient ahead of time or put Zakarian at the judges table. We don't have enough Italian women role models – the only other one is that hot model who does the Fiat Abarth commercials.

      It's Alex time!

      • Flour Child says:

        Wow! That's a meritless reason to declare Alex a winner: although she doesn't cook well, she's tried many times to be an IC. She can always hope to beat easy opponents when the game is fixed in her favor… Is that really your idea? If that were the case, then FN shouldn't have bothered with THIS silly contest. The brass could have simply appointed Alex the status she so desperately seeks. Then Iron Chef, by that example, would lose all meaning.

  10. CCHAL says:

    Oh for sure Iron Chef America is rigged. Why else would Zakarian get a perfect 60 in his FIRST battle when Morimoto only got a perfect 60 literally decades later? Nonsense.

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