In this bracket challenge, you voted for the secret ingredient you thought was the hardest to work with in the past four seasons of The Next Iron Chef. In Round 1, you had to narrow down eight ingredients to four. In Round 2, you had to choose the two finalists. In the Finals, you chose the winner.
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Facing the imminent closure of their 11-year-old restaurant, Bronk’s Bar and Grill, husband and wife owners, Erik and Tracy Brunkow, turned to Robert Irvine for help in saving their business. This Lake City, Minn., eatery had been serving dishes made mostly from frozen food in an out-of-date, unadorned space, but thanks to Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team, it reopened with a fresh menu and vibrant decor to match. We checked in with Erik a few months after the transformation to see how Bronk’s is doing now.
Immediately after the renovation, sales at Bronk’s grew significantly, doubling during weekdays and tripling on weekends. Erik says that customers have come from near and far to see and taste the changes, and everyone is wowed by the updated decor. “They say it’s brighter, fresher and more open,” he explains. “People are noticing our tin ceiling all of a sudden, which was there originally.”
Bronk’s is still serving the updated menu exclusively, and Erik notes that they’re using only fresh, never-frozen ingredients. He adds that the specialty sauces that Robert created have been extremely well-received by diners. “People want us to bottle them and sell them at the store.”
Get your sweet tooth on with new holiday episodes of Cupcake Wars and Sweet Genius, premiering this Thursday.
Cupcake Wars: Cupcakes on Parade
Four bakers compete for the opportunity to serve their cupcake creations at a VIP party for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade in Chicago.
Tune in: Thursday, December 6 at 8pm/7c
Is it possible to make something delicious from a can of food? Last week FN Dish editors challenged you to a pantry cook-off to find out what dish you would make out of ordinary canned foods. It was a challenge inspired by Episode 4 of The Next Iron Chef, where the chefs had to transform a chosen canned food into something worth plating for the judges. In the end, most of the chefs were successful in the challenge, even those who chose cans labeled with question marks. But what can the average person at home create with canned foods? You voted for the ingredient you would choose to cook with and then told us the dish you would make.
The curse of the auction challenge strikes again.
No one who watched The Next Iron Chef Season 4 will ever forget the look on Chef Burrell’s face as she realized that her decision to place eventual winner Chef Zakarian in the Secret Ingredient Showdown was going to come back and bite her in the backside. In Season 5, Chef Falkner found herself in the exact same position.
But first, let’s give due praise to Chef Vigneron. His stunning dish of braised beef cheeks proved that he had emerged from the shadow of high school shenanigans with his pal, Chef Mendelsohn, to make himself a very serious contender for a place in Kitchen Stadium.
The fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with now only six 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.
We’re only halfway through this unprecedented season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, and it’s already proven to be one for the ages. In just four short weeks, we’ve witnessed the first Chairman’s Challenge in which the rivals have cooked with their secret ingredients before, Kitchen Stadium’s very first food fight and an unparalleled chef alliance that left the judges’ panel a bit miffed and two rivals on the brink of elimination. When it comes to battling for redemption, nothing is predictable.
With all of the drama unfolding week after week, you can be sure that we’ve collected a now-overflowing batch of images that captures the most-memorable unfoldings from these unforgettable episodes. Want to relive the craziest moments of Next Iron Chef so far? Check out this season-in-review photo gallery and see just what this year’s group of rivals has been up to in the competition.
Canned foods: the pantry staple that everyone loves to hate. Professional chefs tend to stay away from these packaged, preserved goodies since fresh is always best, so last Sunday when the Chairman presented the Next Iron Chef: Redemption rivals with an altar of canned meats and seafood, they were anything but excited. Although all of the rivals ultimately rose to the occasion, Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s and Chef Marcel Vigneron’s dishes left something to be desired, and their canned Vienna sausage – and clam-inspired offerings, respectively, were deemed the weakest of the day.
In this week’s installment of Rival Recipes, we’re giving Chef Spike a chance to redeem himself with perhaps the most-popular canned ingredient: tomatoes. Like in the Chairman’s Challenge, he and his cook-off competitor, Chef Elizabeth Falkner, must look beyond tomatoes as they are in the can and imagine them as something greater, the star of a refined dish.
Chef Spike lets canned tomato sauce shine in his hearty, comforting, all-American Uncle D’s Chili, named after his Uncle Denny, while Chef Elizabeth pairs canned San Marzano tomatoes with Italian flavors in her Minestrone soup. Both bowls are packed with fill-you-up beans and bold spices, but Chef Spike’s is packed with beefy meat, bell peppers and barbecue sauce and Chef Elizabeth’s is vegetarian, filled instead with celery, carrots and haricots verts.
Whether you’re a fan of Food Network, Cooking Channel or both, have you ever wondered what it would be like if the two networks fought for supremacy? Here’s your chance to see it for real on Iron Chef America. Food Network and Cooking Channel will battle it out in Kitchen Stadium, not only for the win, but for long-lasting bragging rights. You won’t want to miss this episode, which will surely go down in food television history.
Representing Food Network are Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Robert Irvine and Ted Allen. Representing Cooking Channel are Iron Chef Michael Symon, Nadia G and Ben Sargent. Tune in to find out which team will win glory for their network.
Tune in: Sunday, December 2 at 10pm/9c
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.