It’s never easy for a rival to hear Alton say, “You will not be The Next Iron Chef,” but for Chef Eric Greenspan last Sunday, his elimination was particularly challenging, given that he disagreed with the panel’s reasoning behind it. He told us in this exclusive exit interview that he has “tons of respect for all the judges on the show,” but ultimately maintains that “my dish was well-balanced and the flavors spoke to what I find delicious based on past experience and my own palette. I know I wasn’t outcooked.”
In this week’s installment of Rival Recipes, we’re giving Chef Greenspan a final chance to redeem himself in another showdown, this time against Chef Alex Guarnaschelli with one of his all-time favorite culinary subjects: the sandwich.
Not surprising since he is the grilled cheese guru, Chef Eric has chosen to bring The Champ, a next-level grilled cheese sandwich, to the battle while Chef Alex is featuring a Croque Madam Sandwich, a French-inspired ham and cheese sandwich. Both between-bread creations boast layers of rich, buttery cheese, but Chef Eric’s is built on dark raisin bread with an apricot-caper spread while Chef Alex’s comes together on thick-cut sourdough and is topped with a fried egg.
Sometimes on The Next Iron Chef, rivals manage to execute their dishes as flawlessly as they intend to and leave the judges simply speechless on account of the beauty, sophistication and downright deliciousness of their offerings. Other times, however, chefs’ plans are foiled and for one reason or another, they present the panel with plates that leave them astounded — and not in a good way.
The above image is a sneak-peek shot from Sunday’s brand-new episode, and let’s just say that Simon Majumdar wouldn’t be making that face if the dish he was judging was everything it was supposed to be. It’s revealed in this exclusive video preview that something goes wrong — very wrong — when the remaining seven chefs attempt to give everyday canned foods a second life outside of the can. What do you think had to have happened for a Redemption rival to serve the judges so distressing a bite? Who do you think is responsible for leaving Simon in a whole-body wince?
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There are some pretty strange and unusual ingredients that get used on The Next Iron Chef challenges. But what secret ingredients have been the hardest for the competitors to work with? The culinary team in Food Network Kitchens weighed in on this question and came up with eight of the most difficult secret ingredients from the previous four seasons.
But what’s the absolute hardest ingredient used on The Next Iron Chef? You get to decide in this bracket challenge. In Round 1, you narrowed down the eight to four. In Round 2, you’ll vote from among the top four.
How It Works
Round 1 was November 15-22. The top eight secret ingredients were narrowed down to four.
Round 2 is this week, starting November 22 at noon. The remaining four ingredients will get narrowed down to two. Vote below now.
Round 3 is the last week of November. The winner will be chosen from the two finalists. Vote starting November 29 at noon.
On December 6 we will announce the winner at noon.
When Robert Irvine arrived at Poco’s on the Boulevard in Kansas City, Mo., he met owner Claudia Endicott and her sister, Danna Gutierrez, who were ready and anxious to receive Robert’s constructive criticism about their Latin restaurant. Since their mother passed away several months ago, Poco’s had been dishing out inconsistent food, and Claudia had struggled with earning the respect of her staff. Robert and the Restaurant: Impossible team spent two days revamping the dining room and overhauling the menu, and in the end, they helped return Poco’s to its former glory. We checked in with Claudia a few months after Robert left to see how the restaurant is doing today.
Since the renovation, diners have been pleased with the changes at Poco’s. The restaurant is once again making a profit, and sales have risen $20,000 from July to August.
Claudia appreciates the updated decor, including the new paint color and expanded bar, and says that it has been well received by customers. “The counter space makes it more comfortable to spend time at the bar,” she tells us. She especially like the photo of her mom, Poco’s founder, which was hung near the entrance. “I feel like she’s present when I see it,” Claudia says of the image.
This episode of The Next Iron Chef was particularly heartbreaking for me as I saw one of my favorite chefs in the whole country be eliminated. What made it worse was that Chef Greenspan found himself in the Secret Ingredient Showdown, not because he had cooked badly, but because his opponent in the “Simplicity” challenge, Chef Appleman, cooked just a hair’s breadth better.
After a visit to Farmers Market in Los Angeles, the Chairman’s demand was for each chef to sum up the personality of their opponent in a single bite based on an image taken by famed photographer Todd Selby.
Some were more successful than others. We all agreed, however, that Chef Freitag’s use of anchovies to represent “misunderstood” Chef Falkner made her our clear winner. Chef Mehta’s soggy attempt to represent Chef Mendelsohn was universally considered a flop and consigned him to the bottom of the pile. There he was joined by Chef Vigneron, who lost out by a whisper in his head-to-head with Chef Guarnaschelli.
Keep reading and get an extended preview of the next episode
The fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with now only eight 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.
SPOILER ALERT: Find out who went home
What happens when nine Food Network stars come together in the kitchen around the holidays? If you guessed a whole lot of cooking, eating and drinking, then you are correct. This afternoon, Alex Guarnaschelli, Alton Brown, Aarón Sanchez, Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Jeff Mauro, Rachael Ray, Ree Drummond and Sunny Anderson will gather in Food Network Kitchens for Thanksgiving Live!, Food Network’s annual call-in show, to answer all of your Turkey Day questions and cook up a holiday feast from start to finish. Want to see what’s on the menu this year? Take a peek at the recipes below, and be sure to catch the show from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Cocktails and Appetizers
Alton’s Concord Grape Royale
Aarón’s Hot Punch (Ponche)
Jeff’s Maple Perfect Manhattan
Sunny’s Fruity Limoncello Spritzer
Rachael’s Ginger Snap
Ree Drummond’s Holiday Bacon Appetizers
Get all the recipes
Eating lots of great food and spending time with family and friends are some of the things to look forward to when it comes to the holidays. And cooking together is a great way to catch up on old times and make new memories whether it involves a bit of family drama or not.
So what happens when four Food Network chefs are each paired with a family member in a cooking challenge? It’s a competition to see which family cooks the best. Watch Anne Burrell, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine and Geoffrey Zakarian battle it out to win a cash donation to their charity of choice. Bobby Deen hosts this Food Network special, which eliminates teams round by round until only one family is left standing.
Tune in: Sunday, November 18 at 10pm/9pm c
Comfort food was the name of the game on last week’s episode of The Next Iron Chef, as the Chairman challenged the rivals to put innovative twists on classic dishes. But instead of focusing on the all-American meatloaf, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes, they embraced the flavors of three global favorites: banh mi, tacos and falafel. While the chefs were busy taking these Vietnamese, Mexican and Mediterranean staples, respectively, to the next innovative level, we noticed that one country famous for its tried-and-true comfort food was left off of their international food tour. Home to hearty, cheesy pastas, warm breads, beefy meats and perhaps the most-decadent pastries, Italy could have offered the rivals a fourth and formidable comfort food: the meatball.
That’s why this week’s Rival Recipes cook-off is picking up where the Chairman’s Challenge left off and introducing meatballs to the competition. We’re pitting three Redemption rivals against each other and asking the question: Who makes a better ball? Chefs Nate Appleman, Duskie Estes and Elizabeth Falkner are bringing their best saucy bites to the showdown, and it’s up to you, Next Iron Chef fans, to pick whose recipe reigns supreme.
Are you all about the beef? Then you may appreciate Chef Appleman’s Pepperoni Meatballs from Food Network Magazine, made with four different kinds of beef, plus red wine and creamy ricotta cheese. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, Chef Estes’ Sicilian Lamb Meatballs with pistachio nuts and cherries may be more your style. Chef Falkner’s Spaghetti and Meatballs with herbs and cheese from her cookbook, Cooking Off the Clock: Recipes From My Downtime, however, will appeal to traditionalists who just can’t enjoy a meatball without a twirl of pasta alongside.
The weekend is finally here: Food Network’s annual Thanksgiving Live! is going live in just one short day. Just in time for the big feast, on Sunday at 12 pm/ET, Rachael, Giada, Bobby, Aarón, Alex, Sunny, Ree and your host, turkey master Alton Brown, will be on hand to answer your Thanksgiving questions live on-air. What do you want to know? Ask your question here.
The best Thanksgiving appetizer: Watch the Thanksgiving Live pre-show on FoodNetwork.com at 11:30 am/ET Sunday. We’ll have exclusive interviews with Food Network chefs as they head into the kitchen to answer your questions.
Stick with us during the live show and then go to FoodNetwork.com during commercials. Jeff Mauro will be featuring viewers’ tweets (don’t forget to use hashtag #ThanksgivingLive), taking more questions and — knowing Jeff — I’m sure the ultimate Thanksgiving leftover sandwich is coming your way too.