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Chef Alex to the Rescue — The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs Finale

by in Shows, December 19th, 2011


I have to say, if you’re not going to win a competition show, being recruited to help cook by the last two standing is a pretty decent consolation prize. As was true for the entire duration of this series, I learned a lot on that day. Elizabeth and Geoffrey have very different styles of cooking and very different work methods. The hardest part? Going out to sit in the audience with my fellow competitors and knowing that I was soon going to have to join each team for 15 minutes. Wow. That’s like joining Gene Kelly in the middle of one of his tap-dancing routines without rehearsal. That Chairman doesn’t know when to quit, does he?

I started out on Team Geoffrey. After years of working together on Chopped, I know that we share a great love of French food and impulsive cooking. Geoffrey seemed as if he hadn’t completely decided what he was making and in his shoes, I would have been in the same position. “Take the cranberries the Chairman just gave us, the rice and sake and make me risotto as one of the dishes,” he shouted above the din of the kitchen noise. Make an entire dish? For him to serve to the Iron Chefs? I cooked some onions and butter in some sake and added the arborio rice. I stirred the rice, added some more sake, a sprinkle of sugar and a pat of butter and let the mixture simmer. Separately, I cooked the cranberries until tender with some spices (not too heavy) and set them aside for Team Geoffrey to reheat to their liking. The key to cooking food in a context like this is to get everything close to how you want it and perfect it at the last minute. The pressure was unreal. What if that ended up being the one dish the Iron Chefs didn’t like?

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Q&A With Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian

by in Shows, December 19th, 2011

There’s officially a new Iron Chef in Kitchen Stadium! Geoffrey Zakarian prevailed in the final showdown, a full-out Kitchen Stadium battle that celebrated the holiday feasts we’re all looking forward to right now. Now he’s joining the prestigious ranks of Marc Forgione, Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, Cat Cora, Jose Garces and Michael Symon.

Iron Chef Zakarian is chef-partner at The Lambs Club and The National Bar and Dining Rooms in New York City and Tudor House in Miami. He’s also a veteran judge on Chopped. After surviving all 10 of the Chairman’s intense challenges, plus a couple of Secret Ingredient Showdowns, we have no doubt that he’ll have much success in Kitchen Stadium.

We sat down to chat with Zakarian about the intense Next Iron Chef experience. “It’s like the game of golf,” says the newly crowned Iron Chef, an avid golfer. “If you have a bad hole, you just go to the next hole and you have to get the last hole out of your head. Anybody can beat anybody any day of the week.”

Read on for our exclusive interview. Read more

Fight to the Finish on the Next Iron Chef – Critical Moments

by in Shows, December 19th, 2011

Next Iron Chef judge Simon Majumdar joins us on the FN Dish each week to share his insider’s take on what went down Sunday night.

Since my first visit, for the finale of The Next Iron Chef season 3, I have been fortunate enough to find myself at the judges’ table in Kitchen Stadium more than a dozen times. Despite the repeated visits, I still get a huge buzz of excitement as I take my place and know that there are literally millions of people in the United States who would give their right arm to swap places with me. It’s a great honor and the task of judging is one I definitely do not take lightly.

It was even more of an honor on this occasion as Judy Joo, Iron Chef Symon and I entered the arena to choose the new addition to the illustrious roster in Kitchen Stadium. The previous weeks had seen some of the most intense pressure imaginable, not only on the chefs, but also on the judges as we strove to select the two best chefs for the final challenge. There had been lots of disagreements along the way, but I stand by our choices and know that we were all looking forward to the battle ahead.

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The Next Iron Chef Caption It: The Moment of Truth

by in Shows, December 16th, 2011
Your Caption Here

After eight weeks of Chairman’s Challenges, Secret Ingredient Showdowns and trying eliminations, this bicoastal competition wraps up on Sunday night. But before Chef Falkner or Chef Zakarian is finally declared The Next Iron Chef, these two Super Chefs will compete in one final battle to prove to the judges that his or her cuisine reigns supreme. Who will Judges Symon, Joo and Majumdar grant a permanent place in Kitchen Stadium earning the ultimate culinary title in the process?

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to find out who is The Next Iron Chef, we’re challenging you, Next Iron Chef fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

Last chance! Cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.

Hamptons Fun Facts — The Next Iron Chef

by in Shows, December 14th, 2011


Behind the scenes on The Next Iron Chef, Food Network’s culinary production team is responsible for making sure that the rival chefs have everything they need to cook and present their dishes — from a stocked pantry to plenty of serving vessels. This week they shared some fun facts about what it took to pull off the penultimate episode’s Montauk seafood challenge.

In the Hamptons, the chefs purchased fish from Gosman’s Fish Market. All the fish had been caught that morning or the previous day. What was available to them?
Lobster, mussels, clams, fluke, black bass, bluefish and tuna

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Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Super Chef Exile

by in Shows, December 13th, 2011


The fourth season of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs is coming to a close, with just two chefs left fighting it out for a grand prize that so many would-be chefs covet: joining the ranks of Iron Chefs Marc Forgione, Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, Cat Cora, Jose Garces and Michael Symon. 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 Monday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest Super Chef to get the boot.

This week, two competitors said goodbye in a double elimination. Alex Guarnaschelli has certainly proved herself worthy of being in this competition throughout the season. She’s made us laugh with her zingy one-liners and she’s impressed us with her vast culinary expertise. However, we had to say goodbye to her this week.

Find out if Alex would do it all over again »

Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Super Chef Exile

by in Shows, December 12th, 2011


The fourth season of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs is coming to a close, with just two chefs left fighting it out for a grand prize that so many would-be chefs covet: joining the ranks of Iron Chefs Marc Forgione, Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, Cat Cora, Jose Garces and Michael Symon. 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 Monday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest Super Chef to get the boot.

This week, two competitors said goodbye in a double elimination.

Find out who went home »

Hamptons Seafood Showdown on the Next Iron Chef — Critical Moments

by in Shows, December 12th, 2011

Next Iron Chef: The Final Four
Next Iron Chef judge Simon Majumdar joins us on the FN Dish each week to share his insider’s take on what went down Sunday night.

In the penultimate challenge, the four surviving chefs were given the task of showing us just what truly passionate cooks they could be. To do this they were each handed $500 by Alton Brown and given two hours to source enough ingredients to feed not only the judges but also 20 noteworthy individuals of the Hamptons dining scene.

While they were running around in search of the best fish, seafood and produce they could afford, the judges waited in the comfortable surroundings of the Montauk Yacht Club. I would like to say that we relaxed, but it simply wouldn’t be true. Just as the pressure had mounted on the chefs with each elimination, so it was weighing down on the judges each week as we looked into the eyes of the despondent chefs we had to send home.

The pressure was even greater now as we were informed that we would have to choose two chefs to compete for the title in Kitchen Stadium while crushing the dreams of the two others. Michael Symon told me that the thought of the decision ahead was making him physically ill. I could totally sympathize, as Chefs Falkner, Chiarello, Zakarian and Guarnaschelli had all proved time and again that they were each capable of going on to the show.

On returning from their quest the chefs had two hours to cook, the guests started filling up the seats on the terrace and we were led to the judging chamber. Read more

The Next Iron Chef Caption It: Final Four

by in Shows, December 9th, 2011
Your Caption Here

Sunday’s next-to-last episode of The Next Iron Chef brings the finalists to Montauk. But for the four remaining contestants Chef Chiarello, Chef Falkner, Chef Zakarian and Chef Guarnaschelli this trip is anything but a day at the beach.

Here, the rival chefs take a moment to regroup and think about the last seven weeks of the competition. Are they reminiscing about past challenges? Guessing what’s to come next?

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch the final four face off for a spot in the finale, we’re challenging you, Next Iron Chef fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

There’s still time! Cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.

Tuna Jerky Soufflé and Sardine Bread Pudding on The Next Iron Chef – Critical Moments

by in Shows, December 5th, 2011

chef burrell vs chef zakarian
Next Iron Chef judge Simon Majumdar joins us on the FN Dish each week to share his insider’s take on what went down Sunday night.

Our next adventure told the tale of two unlikely dishes. One chef transformed a rather nasty ingredient into a dish that completely blew the panel of judges away. The other transformed a decent ingredient into one that I have to hold up as my worst bite of the entire competition.

But, let us not get ahead of ourselves.

There are those who believe that the Chairman has his own special corner of Hades awaiting him for the challenges, twists and turns he throws in the way of The Next Iron Chef contestants. After experiencing the emotions of this latest adventure, I am tempted to join them in that conviction.

This time, the Chairman’s challenge to the chefs was to prove that they could take risks, and the five remaining combatants were led into the rarified environs of a high-end auction house. There, Alton Brown informed them that they were not going to bid on priceless art, but priceless minutes of cooking time in which to prepare a single dish using the ingredients he revealed from beneath shining silver domes.

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