- Read our eliminated rivals' journals for a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to compete on The Next Iron Chef
We started with 10 rivals in Los Angeles. Five went on to Las Vegas. Now it’s down to the last two standing. Marco Canora and Marc Forgione will battle it out in Kitchen Stadium for the title of The Next Iron Chef this Sunday at 9pm/8c.
To put this exciting and exhausting journey in perspective, take a look through the eight eliminated rivals’ journals from the competition. What was the thought process behind the dishes that won challenges—and those that sent rivals packing? Who drew lifelike sketches of their plates and who took meticulous notes? Flip through the pages of the chefs’ red Next Iron Chef journals to see.
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- This week's challenge to transform a Vegas buffet into "something that would not make any sane person recoil in terror" was "close to impossible," according to Simon Majumdar.
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.
The Chairman had asked the remaining five chefs to transform a traditional Las Vegas buffet into something that would not make any sane person recoil in terror. It was a close to impossible task. To my mind this is one of the low points of American cuisine and I felt as much trepidation as I did anticipation as I took my place on the judging plinth.
Despite the fact that he constantly looked on the verge of a fatal aneurysm, it was Chef Canora who came closest to meeting The Chairman’s challenge with a variety of dishes that were both packed with flavor, but also showed off his exemplary technique. He was our clear winner, although his cardiologist may disagree.
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- Chef Caswell's advice for future NIC rivals: "Keep your head down, work within your comfort zone and push, baby, push."
What did you take away from the experience of competing on The Next Iron Chef?
I walked away with the satisfaction of being able to compete at this high level, and knowing I was competitive. It also gave me the opportunity and platform to do what I do best: Show off my region, the Gulf Coast, and my hometown of Houston.
How did you feel about the dishes that sent you home when you presented them?
I don’t think any chef feels great about dishes that have to be judged two hours after you plate them.
If you could have a do-over, what would you change about that fateful dish?
Probably should have stayed away from the crab.
What advice would you give future Next Iron Chef contestants?
The competition is just as much about endurance as anything else. Keep your head down, work within your comfort zone and push, baby, push.
Look inside Chef Caswell’s Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 6.
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Bryan’s blog: Whole Fish