After last week’s doozy of a Secret Ingredient Showdown in which Chefs Spike Mendelsohn and Marcel Vigneron threw caution to the wind and presented to the judges as The Next Iron Chef‘s first-ever alliance, some fans may be ready for a return to Redemption normalcy, or at least some semblance of predictability. But with just six finalists remaining and the Chairman’s dreaded ingredient auction looming, the competition is just heating up and the next episodes will be the most-shocking yet as the chefs are faced with do-or-die challenges and last chances for success.
No stranger to either high or low moments of The Next Iron Chef, host Alton has witnessed all of the most-unforgettable moments in Kitchen Stadium and surely knows what the rivals should — and should not — be thinking, doing and cooking at this stage of their journey. In the above sneak-peek shot from Sunday’s new episode, Alton seems to have pulled Chef Nate Appleman aside to share a quick bit of information intended for his ears only. What do you think Alton is dishing about in his one-on-one chat with Chef Nate? Where are the other rivals, and why aren’t they privy to what Alton has to say?
Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch what happens next, we’re challenging you, Next Iron Chef fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this secretive moment in the comments below.
Get an extended preview of the next episode
Something unprecedented happened on this past Sunday’s episode of The Next Iron Chef. For the first time in Kitchen Stadium, two chefs chose to plate together, which led to their dishes being judged side by side. Was it a good or bad decision on their part? Did it tarnish the sanctity of the competition?
It’s been evident from the beginning of Season 5 that Chefs Mendelsohn and Vigneron have had an alliance. Episode 4 showed viewers how deep their friendship goes. The two competed against one another in the secret ingredient elimination challenge and made the decision to plate their lobster dishes together. But were they to be judged together, sent home together or allowed to win together? All the rival chefs were up in arms by their actions. Ultimately the judges chose to send home Chef Mendelsohn.
FN Dish wants to know, what would you have done if you were a judge? Do you think what went down in Kitchen Stadium was fair? Would you have liked to have seen both chefs saved? Or would you have eliminated both chefs for their antics?
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 had to narrow down the eight to four. In Round 2, you had to choose the two finalists. Now’s your chance to vote for the one ingredient you want to win.
How It Works
Round 1 was November 15-22. The top eight secret ingredients were narrowed down to four.
Round 2 was November 22-29. The remaining four ingredients were narrowed down to two.
The finals are this week, starting November 29 at noon. You choose the winner from the two finalists. Vote below now.
On December 6 we will announce the winner at noon.
Can’t wait to start the holidays? This weekend, Food Network has all new episodes including exciting holiday specials to get you in the spirit — you won’t want to walk away from your television set.
Paula, Trisha and Jeff have new episodes showing their individual take on the holidays. Giada teams up with HGTV’s Sabrina Soto to renovate a deserving family’s kitchen and family room. In a special episode of Barefoot Contessa, Ina and her husband Jeffrey take a trip back to Brooklyn. On The Best Thing I Ever Made, watch Food Network chefs create holiday treats that are perfect for gift-giving. Plus there are new episodes of Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day, Sandra’s Restaurant Remakes and Guy’s Big Bite.
Paula’s Best Dishes: A Very Chatty Christmas
When Paula and her longtime friends, sisters Amy and Suzette, get together in the kitchen, it’s a fun-filled day of cooking and catching up on old times. Paula makes Crawfish, Bacon and Mushroom Stuffed Beef Tenderloin. Amy and Suzette make an Eggplant Rice Dressing. For dessert, Paula reinvents the classic fruitcake as a bread pudding and serves it up with whiskey sauce. It’s a Southern meal worthy of the holiday, all wrapped up in love and memories.
Tune in: Saturday, December 1 at 9:30am/8:30c
More holiday specials after the jump
At Rohrer’s Tavern in North Bend, Ohio, Robert Irvine found an outdated eatery with an unadorned dining space and basic-at-best food to match. Lisa Kendall is the owner of this decades-old restaurant, and she needed Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team to help Rohrer’s avoid a looming closure. We checked in with Lisa a few months after the transformation to see how her restaurant is doing now.
After the renovation, Rohrer’s saw year-over-year growth of $20,000 for the month of September. Lisa explains that while the restaurant used to attract only local customers, it is now “pulling people from other neighborhoods” as well.
“Everyone loves the new look and for the most part loves the menu,” she says. Rohrer’s is still serving most of the menu items that Robert created for them, and they’ve added a few of their previously popular dishes to their list of offerings.
Since Robert left, the kitchen staff has been held “accountable for everything,” Lisa explains. She now challenges them when they tell her that something cannot be done, and says she has “made it clear that I am not just the owner. I am the boss and manager.” She adds, “Criticism is still something that no one in the kitchen likes, but I do it as constructively as possible.”
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How many times have you been caught without a plan for dinner? It can happen, right? You end up scrounging around in the pantry or the cupboards looking for something you could turn into a meal. Oftentimes you may even find yourself cooking with canned foods. Take, for example, a can of tuna — it can become a pretty good pasta puttanesca with the right recipe. Food Network is challenging you to a pantry cook-off challenge to find out what you can make.
On the latest episode of The Next Iron Chef, the Chairman’s challenge had the chefs cooking with canned foods with the goal of transforming the ingredient into something worth plating for the judges. Some of the cans available were properly labeled and others had question marks — just to throw the chefs a curveball. Though the chefs didn’t seem very keen on the challenge, they took it in stride. Now it’s your turn: Which canned food would you choose and what would you make out of it?
Choose the ingredient and tell us what you would make.
Week after week, you come to FN Dish to get the latest scoop on The Next Iron Chef, read exclusive exit interviews from eliminated rivals, caption sneak-peek images, cast your vote in Rival Recipe cook-offs and more. But did you know that there’s an entire Next Iron Chef online headquarters dedicated to this season’s chefs and the judges? That’s right — we’ve created an all-access Next Iron Chef guide at FoodNetwork.com/NIC where you can discover never-before-seen images, one-on-one video interviews with rivals and insider information from Food Network’s culinary team, and even cast your vote in the Next Iron Chef Fan Vote.
If you haven’t been there to check it out yet, we invite you to take a look around to see what’s there.
Interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the rivals and judges on set? Then you’ll want to flip through this revealing slideshow. Want to see what went down each week? Check out the photo galleries below for a roundup of the top, most-memorable moments from every episode.
Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4
Have you voted for your favorite rival chef?
I am not sure that any chef would be pleased to be informed that they had to produce a meal almost entirely from the contents of a can. But if you want to become The Next Iron Chef, those are exactly the sort of obstacles that you have to overcome.
Chef Falkner’s mystery can contained a substance as far removed from USDA prime beef as I am from Brad Pitt. Despite this, she astounded everyone at the judging plinth by producing a dish so fine that it would have been acceptable in some of the best restaurants on the planet. It really was that good.
Chefs Mendelsohn and Vigneron, however, were far less successful. Chef Mendelsohn’s dish lacked balance, while the salt levels in Chef Vigneron’s dish drew the words “inedible” from all three judges and Alton Brown. It made it pretty obvious that these two high school friends would be competing against each other in the Secret Ingredient Showdown.
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 seven 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
Rachael vs. Guy fans, you don’t have to wait until the January 6 premiere to find out which celebrities made Team Rachael and Team Guy. Food Network is revealing which celebrities were chosen by Rachael and Guy before the first episode even airs — but you’ll have to watch to find out more.
Did your favorite celebrity make your favorite team? Find out right now below or wait until Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 9pm/8c.
SPOILER ALERT: Find out the teams