Tag: Next Iron Chef

Ten New Superstars Compete for Iron Chef Title

by in Shows, April 19th, 2011

next iron chef contestants
You’ve seen several of these elite chefs judge contestants on Food Network shows like Chopped, Worst Cooks in America and 24 Hour Restaurant Battle. Now, the tables will be turned. Ten new chefs will go knife-to-knife in the fourth season of The Next Iron Chef, set to premiering Sunday, October 30.

Putting their reputations on the line for a chance to compete in Kitchen Stadium are some of the nation’s most well known and best chefs, including Food Network’s and Cooking Channel’s own talent:

•    Anne BurrellSecrets of a Restaurant Chef, Worst Cooks in America (Food Network)
•    Michael Chiarello – Bottega Restaurant (Napa Valley), Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello (Cooking Channel)
•    Elizabeth Falkner – Citizen Cake, Orson (San Francisco), Iron Chef America – challenger (Food Network)
•    Alex Guarnaschelli – Butter, The Darby (New York), Alex’s Day Off, Chopped (Food Network)
•    Chuck Hughes – Garde Manger (Montreal), Chuck’s Day Off (Cooking Channel), Iron Chef America – challenger (Food Network)
•    Robert Irvine – Robert Irvine’s eat! (Hilton Head Island), Dinner: Impossible, Restaurant: Impossible, Worst Cooks in America (Food Network)
•    Beau MacMillan – Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (Phoenix), Challenge, Iron Chef America – challenger (Food Network)
•    Spike Mendelsohn – Good Stuff Eatery (Washington D.C.), Kelsey & Spike Cook (Food2.com)
•    Marcus Samuelsson – Red Rooster Harlem (New York), 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped (Food Network)
•    Geoffrey Zakarian – The National, The Lambs Club (New York),  24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped (Food Network)

Welcoming back to the judges table is the original Next Iron Chef Michael Symon, as well as esteemed food journalist Simon Majumdar — new to this season is UK Iron Chef Judy Joo.

The winner will join the ranks of chefs including Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces, Masaharu Morimoto and Symon as a member of the Chairman’s team on Iron Chef America.

Who will you be rooting for? Tell us in the comments.

Related: A New ‘Star’ Will Be Born: The Return of Food Network Star


Behind the All-Star Chopping Block With Nate Appleman

by in Shows, March 18th, 2011

On Chopped All-Stars this Sunday, Nate Appleman faces off against three other well-regarded chefs. Read on to find out who he considered his biggest threat.

This Sunday’s episode of Chopped All-Stars features four celebrity chefs with serious culinary chops. Anita Lo is a longtime fixture on the New York City restaurant scene, Beau MacMillan helms an applauded restaurant in Phoenix, pastry chef Jacques Torres is often credited with creating the best chocolate chip cookie on the planet and Nate Appleman has run successful restaurants on both coasts and has a James Beard Award (for Rising Star Chef) under his belt.

In anticipation of his Chopped appearance, Nate sat down to chat with us about competing for his son, how this experience compared to his run on Season Two of The Next Iron Chef, and what motivated him to recently make the move from an upscale restaurant kitchen to…Chipotle? That’s right — visit New York’s Chelsea location and you just might score a burrito made by a celebrity chef.

Did competing on Chopped bring back memories of your experience on The Next Iron Chef, Season Two?
It did, it brought back a lot of memories, just the competition aspect of the whole thing. By doing The Next Iron Chef, I realized how much I missed competition like that; I mean like when you’re a kid and you compete in games or whatever it is. It brought back that desire to want to compete. It was just really fun to do.

Was Chopped very different from NIC?
The timing of everything is very different, not only that Chopped is just one day but the timing of the battle, it’s 20 and 30 minute rounds versus…I think the shortest Next Iron Chef challenge was 45 minutes. It’s also different because on The Next Iron Chef I felt like I was really competing for myself. This time I was competing for everybody out there who went through the same thing I went through with my son. I did it to raise money for his disease through the Kawasaki Disease Foundation. I felt like I was doing it for everyone besides me.

Was Chopped harder than you expected?
It is at least twice as hard as The Next Iron Chef. It truly, truly is. Here, they open the basket and go. It was mind-blowing. I was trying to peek in the basket to see what was in there; it is a real surprise. I’ve always been a fan of Iron Chef, so watching that and Chopped, I’d think, what would I do with that as quickly as possible? That ended up being something that helped me; I was used to thinking that way, in a very quick manner. Then again, actually putting that to the test is very different from sitting on your couch watching.

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Exclusive Interview: Forgione Dishes

by in Shows, November 23rd, 2010

marc forgione
A few words from the winner

On why he signed on for Season 3 of The Next Iron Chef:
“The only show that I would have done on TV was The Next Iron Chef. There are a lot of other chef shows, competitions that are on TV that I won’t name by name, but The Next Iron Chef is the only one that truly says, we want to see you as a chef, and we want to see who can actually be an Iron Chef. Not to see who can entertain us with the after-work antics and all this kind of stuff. It’s about the food.”

On how his life has changed:
“Just last night, I walked back into the kitchen through the dining room and every table was looking around and pointing me out. That used to happen every once in a while, but now, every table, they’re like, “Oh! That’s him!” I got stopped on the street coming into work yesterday and again this morning…It’s wild. I’m really kind of a humble, chill person. I’m having a great time, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a big change.”

On the Next Iron Chef experience:
“I’ll be 100 percent honest: I didn’t think it was going to be as hard as it was. Not to say I went in thinking it was going to be easy, but I kind of went in there thinking, you know, you do what you do, you see what happens. Which is the philosophy that I had the whole time: Just cook your food and relax…”

Read our full exclusive interview with Iron Chef Forgione.

Eat Lunch Like an Iron Chef

by in Shows, November 22nd, 2010

marc forgione slab bacon
When we visited Chef Marc Forgione at his restaurant (in secret!) shortly before his winning moment aired on The Next Iron Chef, we wanted to see him in his element: Back in the kitchen, cooking. But Restaurant Marc Forgione is closed for lunch, so the laid-back, mohawked chef asked what he should prepare from the menu. We got back to him with this proposition: “Just make yourself some lunch. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy—whatever you’d normally whip up.”

The resulting pork belly and pickled apple sandwich is so addictively delicious, we had to share Chef Forgione’s recipe with you. Iron Chef Forgione’s recipe, that is.

Chef Forgione's late-night lunch: The B.A.D. Sandwich

Check out the making of this sandwich and get a tour of Marc Forgione (the restaurant). Plus, read our exclusive Q&A with the newest toque in Kitchen Stadium.

Next Iron Chef Exit Interview: Runner-Up Marco Canora’s Parting Words

by in Shows, November 22nd, 2010

marco canora
What did you take away from the experience of competing on The Next Iron Chef?
The coolest thing I took away from the experience was dozens of new friends and acquaintances. Obviously amongst my competitors, but also from “behind the scenes.”  I also learned how long and tedious the world of shooting reality TV can be. I have a newfound respect for anyone working in that world, as it’s certainly not as glamorous as it may seem.

How did you feel about the dishes that sent you home when you presented them?
As far as the finale goes, I felt I respected the Chairman’s directive and delivered a nearly flawless meal that “honored tradition.” At this level of cooking, unless someone makes a technical error, it really does boil down to personal preferences.

If you could have a do-over, what would you change about that fateful dish?
In retrospect, I think the “tortelli di zucco” risotto may have been too unfamiliar to the judges’ palates and, while they all thought it was perfectly executed, there was some discussion about using sweet flavors in savory food. Obviously, not everyone enjoys that.

What advice would you give future Next Iron Chef contestants?
Don’t overthink your dishes…less is more! Go with your gut. Focus on the basics. If the secret ingredient triggers an idea, go with it and don’t look back. And remember, no matter how poorly or how well you do, it is not a reflection of your talents as a chef. Cooking as competition and being the chef of a restaurant have very little in common.

Look inside Chef Canora’s Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from the finale.

More about Marco Canora:
Chef Canora on Facebook
Follow@MarcoCanora on Twitter
Hearth Restaurant
Terroir Wine Bar

Critical Moments: A Kitchen Stadium Thanksgiving

by in Shows, November 22nd, 2010
The newly crowned Iron Chef Marc Forgione: Simon Majumdar’s "clear winner"

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.

With dozens of cameras catching every glimpse and grimace, a gallery of excited onlookers and smoke billowing across the set, I could begin to see what all the fuss had been about.

It was my first visit to Kitchen Stadium and I was nervous enough. I could only begin to imagine how Chef Canora and Chef Forgione must be feeling as they walked into the arena. They had not only to impress the three judges one more time, but also to persuade Iron Chefs Morimoto and Flay that they were ready to join the pantheon of the greats.

When given their final task, to prepare for us the finest Thanksgiving feast imaginable, the way they approached it summed up their performances in every challenge to date. Chef Forgione was cool, calm and collected as he followed his story of recreating the first turkey-free Thanksgiving. Chef Canora, on the other hand, was all drama and nervous energy as he dipped into his family cookbook to bring us a traditional Thanksgiving meal. It was not long before he was literally leaving his blood, sweat and tears on the floor.

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Next Iron Chef Journals: A Look Back

by in Shows, November 17th, 2010

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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Next Iron Chef Exit Interview: Chef Tio’s Parting Words

by in Shows, November 15th, 2010
Chef Tio's advice to future rivals: "Follow through and listen to your gut."

The experience I had on The Next Iron Chef was “once in a lifetime.” I met and worked with nine great chefs, pushing the boundaries of what I thought I could do each time I approached a challenge. It taught me more about myself and my willingness to take risks in order to make things happen.

I always say you should never look back and say, “What if…?” Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to my own advice. When I was plating my Moi dishes, I literally hesitated when I was on the ginger-braised daikon portion of the dish, thinking I wanted to add a pinch of Maldon salt to add that crunch and add that bright, clean, up-front flavor to the dish. I know Simon Majumdar is more salt-sensitive, so I opted not to add it, and Michael Symon thought that dish needed a touch more salt. If you hesitate, it means you should follow through and listen to your gut. I did not.

In this case, I can’t think about the “what if…”, I focus on the fact that I was a strong competitor who gave all the other chefs a run for their money. I represented myself and my cooking proudly and with integrity every time I stepped into battle.

Celina Tio

Look inside Chef Tio’s Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 7.

More about Celina Tio
Julian
Restaurant
Chef Tio on Facebook
Follow @crtio on Twitter

Critical Moments: Best of the Best on The Next Iron Chef

by in Shows, November 15th, 2010
"Marc vs. Marco to be the Next Iron Chef. I could hardly wait."

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’s decision to allow four chefs to battle it out for a place in Kitchen Stadium made the judges’ decision even more difficult. So did the fact that the remaining combatants had been the ones to impress most in the competition to date. Although it was not going to be easy, at the end of the penultimate challenge two would be going home and two would face off to become The Next Iron Chef.

With Lobster, Mangalitsa Pork, Wagyu Beef and Hawaiian Moi to choose from, the chefs could have no complaints about being denied the best of the best, even if they had to run a marathon to collect them. They did not disappoint and the three dishes placed in front of us showed each of the chefs cooking at the very top of their game. With such skill on show we had to search for the most minor of flaws in technique, seasoning and plating to make our final decisions.

Chef Canora was, for me, a clear winner. Not least for his unapologetic use of rendered Wagyu beef fat to add a delicious savory note to a beet broth and a parcel of meaty mushrooms. It was pure Canora and made me determined to give him the opportunity to cook one last time.

Against any other group of challengers, Chef Tio’s elegant cooking would have surely seen her go through to join him. Yet, while I disagreed with Donatella’s opinion that the crispy moi was under-seasoned, I couldn’t argue that she had been outshone by her rivals and, by the narrowest of margins she was the first to be eliminated.

Chef Tsai and Chef Forgione remained before us as two chefs who could both grace the final battle with their very different styles and culinary backgrounds. I put my X against Chef Forgione’s name. I had been his toughest critic in the previous two challenges, but was seriously impressed with his dishes and determination to show me he could use a pressure cooker to good effect.

Chef Tsai looked genuinely stunned when Alton announced that he would not be the Next Iron Chef, but a misjudged dish of lardo had been enough to fell Ming The Magnificent, and send an equally astonished Forgione to Kitchen Stadium.

Marc vs. Marco to be the Next Iron Chef. I could hardly wait.

Look inside Chef Tsai and Chef Tio’s Next Iron Chef journals and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 7.

More about Simon Majumdar:
Simon’s Website
Simon’s book, Eat My Globe
Follow @SimonMajumdar on Twitter

Critical Moments: What Happens in Vegas…

by in Shows, November 8th, 2010
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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