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Chatting With the Next Iron Chef: Redemption Runner-Up

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. This week we said goodbye to two (read exclusive exit interviews).

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who went home

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.

Find out who went home

Simon Says: Judge Simon Majumdar’s Best One-Liners From The Next Iron Chef

by in Shows, December 23rd, 2012

Simon Majumdar

There’s no question that this season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption has been one of Food Network’s most-intense culinary competitions to date. After all, 10 superstar chefs have put their personal and professional reputations on the line — for a second time — in the hopes of making gastronomical history by claiming the only title that matters: that of The Next Iron Chef. Week after week rivals fall and their hopes at achieving redemption become crushed in an instant.

Despite the anxious, pressure cooker-like challenges and Showdowns in which the chefs inevitably find themselves, judge Simon Majumdar has managed to interject a host of witty, well-timed reactions and one-liners that delivered some of the smartest and flat-out funniest moments of the show. Among his best instances of constructive and comedic criticism have been his reaction to Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s use of an apparently juvenile melon baller — he quipped that “We are talking about becoming The Next Iron Chef, not The Next Home Dinner Party Cook” — and his judgment of Alex Guarnaschelli’s too-green spiced ham ravioli, which he deemed reminiscent of “Kermit in a blender.” These sharp, entertaining remarks have provided some of the most LOL-worthy moments of the season to date, and what makes them perhaps even more hilarious is that they’re coming from Simon, a notoriously no-nonsense judge with little tolerance for less than perfection.

Get the best one-liners

VOTE: A Next Iron Chef Three-Way Bacon Cook-Off — Rival Recipes

by in Shows, December 22nd, 2012

A Next Iron Chef Three-Way Bacon Cook-Off - Rival RecipesBacon was the name of the game on last Sunday’s episode of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, as the final four rivals were challenged to transcend the everyday Las Vegas buffet by creating a five-course buffet offering with bacon at the forefront. Teammates Nate Appleman and Amanda Freitag embraced the test wholeheartedly, featuring an easy-to-eat spread complete with bite-sized dishes and Sin City-inspired plates alike. Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Marcel Vigneron had buffets on the brain when they imagined their French-style feast, but a few technical flaws forced them into a Secret Ingredient Showdown. In the end, it was Chef Guarnaschelli who survived to cook in the upcoming finale episode alongside Chefs Appleman and Freitag, after a raw rack of lamb proved to be Chef Vigneron’s undoing.

In this week’s installment of Rival Recipes, we’re putting the focus back on everyone’s favorite pork product and asking the top three finale-bound chefs to bring their best bacon-centered bites to battle. Chef Appleman has chosen to use pancetta (Italian cured bacon) in his big-batch side dish of Roasted Green Beans With Pancetta and Yogurt, while Chefs Guarnaschelli and Freitag are letting bacon shine in an appetizer and main dish, respectively. Chef Guarnaschelli’s recipe for Flatbread With Bacon and Scallion Pesto uses thin slices of thick-cut bacon to finish a lemon zest-topped dough, while Chef Freitag’s Bacon-Wrapped New York Trout With Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Sauce features a bacon blanket and classic Italian seasonings.

VOTE NOW

Raise the Bar — The Next Iron Chef Caption It

by in Shows, December 21st, 2012

Donatella ArpaiaAfter eight weeks on the road to redemption, just one battle stands between the final three rivals, Chefs Nate Appleman, Amanda Freitag and Alex Guarnaschelli, and the culinary kingdom that is Kitchen Stadium. Of course the stakes have been high throughout the competition, as it’s the nature of the Redemption beast for chefs to be eliminated each week, but come Sunday, the rivals are put to the ultimate test in a last-supper challenge, one that will require them to bring their A games if they want to make their dreams of total redemption reality.

The judges’ panel on The Next Iron Chef has made known what they want to see from the chefs’ challenge offerings: elegant, sophisticated plating techniques, unparalleled creativity, expert use of the Secret Ingredient and, of course, ingenious flavor profiles. But looking at the sneak-peek image above from Sunday’s finale episode, it seems as though judge Donatella Arpaia is suggesting that these elements are not enough anymore — that in this all-important finale, the remaining rivals must raise the bar to new levels of Iron Chef-worthy greatness if they want to cook in Kitchen Stadium. Do you think Donatella is referring to one chef’s approach to challenges in particular? Which rival do you think is most in jeopardy of not earning a place among the final two?

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Get a Sneak Peek of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Season 2

by in Shows, December 21st, 2012

If you can’t wait until January 6 to start watching the new season of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, then today is your lucky day. FN Dish has a sneak peek just for you (click the play button above to watch).

As you’ll see, Season 2 has got a lot more to it than just cooking. These celebrities are in for a ride.

Don’t forget to tune in on Sunday, January 6 at 9pm/8c to watch the premiere. And keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes previews.

Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off — Celebrities Compete for Charity

by in Shows, December 20th, 2012

RvG Season 1On Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, eight celebrities will be competing for a chance to win $50,000 for their favorite charity. Meet the celebrities and find out which organization each is playing for. And don’t forget to tune in for the Season 1 premiere on Sunday, January 1 at 9pm/8c.

See which charities the celebrities are playing for

Restaurant Revisited: Rising Sun Bistro

by in Shows, December 19th, 2012

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhen Robert Irvine arrived at Rising Sun Bistro in Kalispell, Mont., he learned that this French food-focused eatery was nearly $500,000 in debt. On top of that, it was being run by three owners, Jennifer Griffith, Peggy Kirby and Sally Racine Truscheit, who couldn’t put their strained relationship aside to effectively run the business. In just two days and with only $10,000, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team put new life into Rising Sun, adding fresh, authentic French offerings to their menu, revamping the interior design and working with Jennifer, Peggy and Sally to mend their partnership and begin to ease their debt. We checked in with Jennifer a few months after the renovation to find out how the restaurant is doing today.

Since the transformation, she tells us, sales at Rising Sun have increased nearly 27 percent and diners have been pleased with the updated French-inspired decor and communal table that Robert and his team created.

While Rising Sun is no longer serving breakfast, its dinner menu has stayed largely the same since Robert left. Jennifer says that they’ve added “a cod dish, pasta [and] boeuf bourguignon” to their list of offerings, but she notes that Robert’s “brie and caramel is a big seller.”

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The Next Iron Chef: Redemption From Alton Brown’s Point of View

by in Shows, December 19th, 2012

Alton Brown and Chef Amanda FreitagBy now you’ve noticed that after Alton announces, “Let the cooking begin,” at the start of every Chairman’s Challenge, he takes his place in his kitchen alongside the rivals as they spend each of their precious minutes prepping ingredients, cooking and plating. Instead of just watching what goes down, however, he interacts with the chefs, questions their plans for their challenge, explains their cooking techniques and comments on ingredients, all while playing cameraman. That small gray box you’ve seen Alton toting this season, propping on top of workstations, inside blenders and above stoves — that’s his very own GoPro video camera, and he’s used it to record behind-the-scenes happenings, rival chef banter and all of the flare-ups and meltdowns that a large camera couldn’t catch.

Since we can’t be in the kitchen with the Redemption rivals, Alton’s video footage is the next-best way to experience exactly what the chefs are thinking, feeling and cooking. Want to watch the challenges from Alton’s point of view? Check out this exclusive video clip (or click the play button below) of Alton chatting with Chef Marcel Vigneron and tasting the rival’s blue cheese ice cream, then browse this photo gallery to find insider images of Alton with his GoPro camera.

Be sure to tune in Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch the finale of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption.

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Champions Return to the Chopping Block

by in Shows, December 19th, 2012

Chef Rob Evans and Ted Allen on Chopped ChampionsFor even the most ambitious chefs, the thought of taking a single turn in the Chopped kitchen is daunting. But for a certain 16 competitors — an elite few who’ve already successfully conquered the chopping block once — the opportunity to do so again just can’t be missed.

This January, 16 previous Chopped winners are returning to battle in Chopped Champions, a five-round tournament that will again test their cooking chops and ability to work under pressure with baskets full of unknown, potentially odd and disparate ingredients. With dwindling time on the clock and a panel of professional-chef judges watching their every move, they’ll need to rely on more than past successes if they want to claim not just bragging rights but also a whopping $50,000 and the title of Chopped Grand Champion.

What can the chefs expect to find in their baskets this time around? Sea snails to be sure, but also haggis — a much-loved-to-hate minced-meat-like specialty featuring animal lungs, heart and liver cooked inside animal stomach — plus a few deliciously sweet and savory surprises.

Tune in to round 1 of Chopped Champions on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at 10pm/9c to find out which of the first four chefs will become a two-time victor and earn a spot in the finale.