Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Redemption Exile

by in Shows, December 23rd, 2012

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption FinaleThe fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption was full of ups and downs, but one thing is for sure: All eight chefs redeemed themselves in one way or another.

Every week, each chef tried to pull out all their tricks to stay in the competition but, ultimately, one chef went home each week. Read the exclusive exit interview of the first chef to say goodbye during the final episode below.

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption final three chefsComing off a win in the last challenge with his partner Chef Amanda Freitag, Chef Appleman was confident he’d make it to Kitchen Stadium — but he was just one dish short of ending up there. The final three chefs were tasked with creating the judges’ last meals. Chef Appleman was assigned Simon Majumdar’s last supper ingredient: haddock. While they enjoyed his haddock chowder, the judges considered it one-note and too light. Chef Nate Appleman said goodbye to the possibility of becoming The Next Iron Chef in this final episode.

The first challenge in the final episode was Passion and you had to create the judge’s last meal. What would your last supper be and why?

NA: Fried chicken and chocolate chip cookies with a burger on the side. Not one of those chef burgers, but a really well-made diner burger.

Throughout the competition, you always played a fair game and cooked your own food. What are two rules you always live by when cooking?

NA: I like to cook food that is craveable, simple and familiar, not too crazy but slightly different than what people expect. You are only as good as your weakest cook in the kitchen, so I do whatever I can to make everyone better around me.

Chef Nate ApplemanWe saw you help Chef Freitag twice in the competition: once to unlock her ice cream machine and again to explain how to crack open her wheel of Parmesan cheese. In the buffet challenge, she picked you as her teammate. Was there an Appleman-Freitag alliance that we didn’t know about?

NA: No alliance at all. We are good friends, but as competitors that friendship goes out the window. I believe Chef Freitag picked me as her teammate because I showed during the competition that I always played a fair game and respected all the other chefs.

You were just one battle short of a Kitchen Stadium finale. Do you consider yourself redeemed? Have clams become your new redemption ingredient?

NA: I definitely feel redeemed. I cooked to the best of my ability and I am very proud of how far I made it and the dishes I cooked. Clams don’t stand in my way!

What was it like watching the first-ever all-female finale battle?

NA: I don’t see it as a female-male thing — I look at them as chefs.

How has this experience changed you? What’s next for you?

NA: It’s just another great life experience. I’ll continue cooking and working hard on raising awareness for research for the Kawasaki Disease Foundation.

Read more about Chef Nate Appleman

Relive the final episode (click the play button):

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Comments (76)

  1. johnrobiethecat says:

    I was wondering why the usually chipper chairman look stressed during the announcement . Everybody's reputation is down the drain, hopefully their ratings too.

    Definitely rigged guys. I agree. Everybody could see how mundane her food looked ,one half is her friends judging and the other half want to keep the checks coming. She got an EZ pass through the competition and was obnoxious about it. Bring back Iron Chef Japan repeats, this show is now about whats wrong with this culture of insiders and the ruse of reality TV….Its truly a fraud and so are the judges.

  2. Joed says:

    I'm done with this show… Fixed or judges just that bad?

  3. Marsha says:

    For all the haters out there…ALEX GUARNASCHELLI WON!!!!! Ha ha ha!!!!! She PROVED she was the best!!!!! GO ALEX, GO ALEX!!

  4. Shelly says:

    I rooted for both these ladies throughout the competition- I would have been happy to see either of them win. I would also like to mention that the judges said that creativity can't overshadow execution. You can have a dish that is super creative- like Amanda's but if it isn't prepared exactly right it isn't going to matter.

  5. ALEXA says:

    THIS sucks chef APPLEMAN is THE TRUE WINNER AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE NEXT IRON CHEF.

  6. Mandy says:

    Yay Alex!!!!

  7. guest says:

    I watched chopped and chopped all stars all night. On chopped Alex was a judge. She was condescending and rude to the other two judges who didn't agree with her. . She had that snotty look on her face and was rudely critical of the contestants. On chopped all stars she had the same attitude, rude, condescending. . Thank God, Marcus Samuelson kicked her butt and she was booted off early. On the next Iron chef she displayed this attitude all through the weekly contests. Her food was good but Amanda was continually praised by the judges on her dishes every week. She was continually at the top while Alex was continually at the bottom. And Alex was voted the next Iron Chef? How can this be? I agree with most of the posts that the winner was determined from the very beginning. Amanda Frietag clearly won the next Iron Chef so yes, I feel this is definately rigged. This Sunday she has her first face off in Kitchen Stadium and I hope she gets her fat ass kicked. Right now, I am totally turned off by the FN and I have been a fan for years. What a travesty – having Zakarian as a judge of his sous chef – she couldn't lose!!!

  8. Ben says:

    Zakarian cheated last year and won (remember the ball-park challenge where he just totally blew off the assignment and instead of being eliminated wound up being congratulated for thinking "outside the box"?) and Alex is his number one gal…as soon as they got rid of Chef Faulkner I knew the fix was in….This show, like the entire network, has become stale, formulaic and past it's 'Sell by' date…

    • LIZ says:

      I now understand why they got rid of Chef Faulkner so early in the competition. They couldn't run the risk of her making it to the finale again. She would have cooked on a level so far above any that Alex could ever hope to reach that the travesty would have been even more glaring. I think Amanda is great and she proved herself by winning more challenges than anyone else …. or was that rigged too?!!! No reason to watch this channel ever again. I am amazed that I am still so angry about something on a TV show. Everytime I think about what happen I get mad all over again. Thanks food channel for your funky parting gift to me! It is really stinking up the place!

  9. LIZ says:

    I now understand why they got rid of Chef Faulkner so early in the competition. They couldn't run the risk of her making it to the finale again. She would have cooked on a level so far above any that Alex could ever hope to reach that the travesty would have been even more glaring. I think Amanda is great and she proved herself by winning more challenges than anyone else …. or was that rigged too?!!! No reason to watch this channel ever again. I am amazed that I am still so angry about something on a TV show. Everytime I think about what happen I get mad all over again. Thanks food channel for your funky parting gift to me! It is really stinking up the place!

  10. sheri says:

    saw preview for sunday wow alex are you so special that you can yell at the cameraman? i too hope you get your ass kicked.

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