For the next challenge, the Chairman had tasked the remaining nine chefs with re-imagining three of my favorite street foods: falafel, tacos and the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. These are all dishes that I have sampled many times and because of that, I have very definite opinions on how they should be prepared.
Chef Mehta’s decision to take falafel in an Asian direction was an inspired and delicious one. I felt that he succeeded not only in capturing the flavors of all the ingredients, but also all the textures of a terrific falafel sandwich. He was my clear winner.
Far less successful were Chef Falkner, whose plate looked like an artist’s impression of where bad pasta goes to die; Chef Estes, whose taco soup was something I have seen quite a few times before and which was overpowered by the flavor of cilantro; and Chef Freitag, whose great flavors were lost in a dish that lacked cohesion.
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 10 familiar chefs battling it out again, proving 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
On last week’s episode of The Next Iron Chef, rival chefs Spike Mendelsohn and Tim Love went head-to-head in the Secret Ingredient Showdown. They battled it out with pineapple, otherwise known as “the death fruit,” according to Alton, since it’s ousted all past Next Iron Chef finalists who’ve tried to feature this sweet, juicy fruit in a savory dish. Both chefs tempted fate by cooking decidedly savory dishes, and in the end, this cursed ingredient got the better of Chef Love. Chef Mendelsohn, however, claimed victory over his rival — and pineapple — with a savory seafood dish with pineapple and sweet and sour sauce.
This week’s Rival Recipe matchup forces Chef Mendelsohn to once again bring his pineapple A-game, this time in a showdown against Chef Jehangir Mehta. Both rivals boast standout recipes for pineapple-focused fruit salads: Chef Mendelsohn a colorful Fresh Fruit Salad with red and green grapes, bright pineapple and fragrant mint, and Chef Mehta a refreshing Orange-Marcona Almond Salad With Pineapple Granita featuring juicy oranges, crunchy almonds and pineapple juice.
Now it’s time for you, Next Iron Chef fans, to channel your inner Simon Majumdar, Donatella Arpaia and Iron Chef Zakarian and judge which fruit salad reigns supreme. Would you prefer the classic combination of fruit featured in Chef Mendelsohn’s dish, or do you like the different textures that are offered in Chef Mehta’s offering? The vote is in your hands. Tell us whose pineapple salad gets your pick.
With the upcoming holiday, it’s all about getting the family gathered around a Thanksgiving table full of food. With that in mind, there are two new shows to watch this Sunday that check off both those boxes.
Guy’s Big Bite: Guy’s Family Reunion
What happens when Guy Fieri and his extended family get together for a reunion in Nag’s Head, N.C.? A week-long, no-holds-barred gathering that’s filled with food cooked up by Guy himself. Beyond the food, there are games on the beach, deep sea fishing and crabbing. Get to know Guy on a personal level from his family’s perspective.
Tune in: Sunday, November 11 at 12pm/11am c
Iron Chef America: Thanksgiving Showdown
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if the Chopped judges battled it out in Kitchen Stadium, here’s your chance. Three Iron Chefs (Michael Symon, Marc Forgione and Geoffrey Zakarian) will join sides for the first time to battle it out against Chopped judges Aarón Sanchez, Scott Conant and Marc Murphy in a Thanksgiving showdown to determine which team’s Thanksgiving dishes will reign supreme.
Tune in: Sunday, November 11 at 10pm/9c
More like a culinary amphitheater than an everyday cook space, the Next Iron Chef Kitchen Stadium is, of course, not just a kitchen. Featuring multiple stovetops, a slew of ovens, an ice cream maker and more, the set can accommodate several chefs at a time and is stocked with oddball and classic ingredients alike that allow the rivals to cook up Iron Chef-worthy dishes.
You’ve seen Next Iron Chef finalists sprint from stove to pantry to freezer in a flash and grab exactly what they need, but have you ever wondered what’s on and in those wall-to-wall shelves, deep refrigerators and freezers? We were curious about what it takes to outfit the Next Iron Chef kitchen, so we checked in with Food Network’s culinary team, the group responsible for stocking it with its tricked-out appliances, top-notch cooking gadgets and Secret Ingredients. Read on below to get a behind-the-scenes look at Kitchen Stadium and find out how the culinary department prepared for the fifth season of The Next Iron Chef.
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By Ron Ben-Israel, contributions by Kate Kenny and Nikki Junda
Ron Ben-Israel has raised the bar on the newest season of Sweet Genius with more unusual techniques and inspired flavor combinations. That made the Sweet Genius team think back to the previous seasons. After revisiting the best moments from the episodes, they narrowed down the 10 best ingredient inventions from Seasons 1 and 2 — the creations that truly impressed them.
1. Jessica Mogardo
Dessert: A Formaggio di Fossa and Lime Gelée
Episode: 210/Serpentine Genius
Mandatory Ingredient: Formaggio di Fossa
When I gave the chefs formaggio di fossa — a soft, pungent Italian cheese with a strong flavor — I wanted to taste something absolutely new. Chef Jessica Mogardo more than accepted this challenge when she created Formaggio di Fossa and Lime Gelée. The tartness of the lime toned down the pungency of the cheese and Chef Jessica managed to transform a creamy, heavy dairy product into a perfectly blended, luscious and light-as-air gelée. A remarkable bite and a genius idea.
Get the top nine moments
If you’ve ever found yourself watching an episode of Food Network Star and thinking “I can do that,” now is your chance to show us what you’re made of. We’re currently casting Season 9 of this all-star show and looking for those with top-notch culinary know-how, an infectious television-worthy personality and the willingness to compete in the ultimate multi-month job interview. Think you have what it takes to impress Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown and top Food Network executives? If so, submit an online application and either attend an open casting call in one of the four cities below or send in a brief home video in which you strut your best culinary stuff.
Check out this all-in-one guide to Food Network Star casting to find more details on how to apply, rules and eligiability requirements and answers to common questions.
Click here for dates
Kale (and salads) got a bad rap this week on the premiere episode of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. On the beach of Paradise Cove, where the chefs were first challenged with their redemption ingredient that got them eliminated in a previous season, Chef Tim Love made kale famous not once, but twice. In a kale salad the judges deemed too simple and oily, Chef Love found himself in the bottom two with Chef Mendelsohn. In an effort to redeem himself to the judges and show them he knows how to cook kale, he prepared it once more fried. That wasn’t enough to save him, however, and he was the first chef to return home in this new season.
In defense of this vegetable, we’ve rounded up Food Network’s top five kale recipes that we think would win the judges over for sure:
5. Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup – Add a new soup to your go-to list. Ground turkey is sauteed with shallots, carrots and bell pepper, then mixed with kale and brown rice and finally topped with shavings of Parmesan.
Get the top four recipes
Fans of the newest season of The Next Iron Chef have something else to celebrate. The best commentary from the judges, chefs and fans from each new Sunday night episode will be incorporated into a Thursday night repeat at 11pm/10c — it’s called the Fan Feed Edition.
Here’s how to participate:
- Tweet along with @FoodNetwork during the Sunday night episode using the hashtag: #NextIronChef for a chance to be included in the Thursday night repeat.
- Keep track of what the judges, chefs and fans are saying by going to Food Network’s online Next Iron Chef Fan Feed.
Watch Thursday night (11pm/10c) to see if your tweet makes the Fan Feed Edition episode.
Although Chef Guarnaschelli’s splendid lobster dish made her the deserved winner of a return trip to the beach, for me this first challenge was all about Chefs Greenspan and Love.
A chef with less talent and confidence than Chef Greenspan could have easily crumbled at the thought of having to cook with grasshoppers again. His critter fritters, however, were one of the surprise hits of the day, as indeed was his grilled cheese grasshopper sandwich — although maybe less surprising as he is known for making one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches on the planet. Either way, it was definitely enough to keep him safe for another week. If it weren’t for a succulent morsel of Chef Guarnaschelli’s perfectly prepared lobster, I would have made him my winner.
On the other hand, Chef Love’s confidence was misplaced. If you are going to serve a salad on The Next Iron Chef, it had better be the best salad you’ve made. Chef Love’s kale salad wasn’t — and all three judges felt it scarcely warranted the hour-long cooking time. Insult was added to injury when Chef Love told us that he had also found time to make a juicy steak for himself while he was cooking. Perhaps if he had served us some of that as well, he might not have found himself in the Secret Ingredient Showdown battling Chef Mendelsohn, whose own dish was, quite frankly, just a confused mess.
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