On last week’s episode of The Next Iron Chef, rival chefs Spike Mendelsohn and Tim Love went head-to-head in the Secret Ingredient Showdown. They battled it out with pineapple, otherwise known as “the death fruit,” according to Alton, since it’s ousted all past Next Iron Chef finalists who’ve tried to feature this sweet, juicy fruit in a savory dish. Both chefs tempted fate by cooking decidedly savory dishes, and in the end, this cursed ingredient got the better of Chef Love. Chef Mendelsohn, however, claimed victory over his rival — and pineapple — with a savory seafood dish with pineapple and sweet and sour sauce.
This week’s Rival Recipe matchup forces Chef Mendelsohn to once again bring his pineapple A-game, this time in a showdown against Chef Jehangir Mehta. Both rivals boast standout recipes for pineapple-focused fruit salads: Chef Mendelsohn a colorful Fresh Fruit Salad with red and green grapes, bright pineapple and fragrant mint, and Chef Mehta a refreshing Orange-Marcona Almond Salad With Pineapple Granita featuring juicy oranges, crunchy almonds and pineapple juice.
Now it’s time for you, Next Iron Chef fans, to channel your inner Simon Majumdar, Donatella Arpaia and Iron Chef Zakarian and judge which fruit salad reigns supreme. Would you prefer the classic combination of fruit featured in Chef Mendelsohn’s dish, or do you like the different textures that are offered in Chef Mehta’s offering? The vote is in your hands. Tell us whose pineapple salad gets your pick.
More like a culinary amphitheater than an everyday cook space, the Next Iron Chef Kitchen Stadium is, of course, not just a kitchen. Featuring multiple stovetops, a slew of ovens, an ice cream maker and more, the set can accommodate several chefs at a time and is stocked with oddball and classic ingredients alike that allow the rivals to cook up Iron Chef-worthy dishes.
You’ve seen Next Iron Chef finalists sprint from stove to pantry to freezer in a flash and grab exactly what they need, but have you ever wondered what’s on and in those wall-to-wall shelves, deep refrigerators and freezers? We were curious about what it takes to outfit the Next Iron Chef kitchen, so we checked in with Food Network’s culinary team, the group responsible for stocking it with its tricked-out appliances, top-notch cooking gadgets and Secret Ingredients. Read on below to get a behind-the-scenes look at Kitchen Stadium and find out how the culinary department prepared for the fifth season of The Next Iron Chef.
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Kale (and salads) got a bad rap this week on the premiere episode of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. On the beach of Paradise Cove, where the chefs were first challenged with their redemption ingredient that got them eliminated in a previous season, Chef Tim Love made kale famous not once, but twice. In a kale salad the judges deemed too simple and oily, Chef Love found himself in the bottom two with Chef Mendelsohn. In an effort to redeem himself to the judges and show them he knows how to cook kale, he prepared it once more fried. That wasn’t enough to save him, however, and he was the first chef to return home in this new season.
In defense of this vegetable, we’ve rounded up Food Network’s top five kale recipes that we think would win the judges over for sure:
5. Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup – Add a new soup to your go-to list. Ground turkey is sauteed with shallots, carrots and bell pepper, then mixed with kale and brown rice and finally topped with shavings of Parmesan.
Get the top four recipes
Fans of the newest season of The Next Iron Chef have something else to celebrate. The best commentary from the judges, chefs and fans from each new Sunday night episode will be incorporated into a Thursday night repeat at 11pm/10c — it’s called the Fan Feed Edition.
Here’s how to participate:
- Tweet along with @FoodNetwork during the Sunday night episode using the hashtag: #NextIronChef for a chance to be included in the Thursday night repeat.
- Keep track of what the judges, chefs and fans are saying by going to Food Network’s online Next Iron Chef Fan Feed.
Watch Thursday night (11pm/10c) to see if your tweet makes the Fan Feed Edition episode.
Although Chef Guarnaschelli’s splendid lobster dish made her the deserved winner of a return trip to the beach, for me this first challenge was all about Chefs Greenspan and Love.
A chef with less talent and confidence than Chef Greenspan could have easily crumbled at the thought of having to cook with grasshoppers again. His critter fritters, however, were one of the surprise hits of the day, as indeed was his grilled cheese grasshopper sandwich — although maybe less surprising as he is known for making one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches on the planet. Either way, it was definitely enough to keep him safe for another week. If it weren’t for a succulent morsel of Chef Guarnaschelli’s perfectly prepared lobster, I would have made him my winner.
On the other hand, Chef Love’s confidence was misplaced. If you are going to serve a salad on The Next Iron Chef, it had better be the best salad you’ve made. Chef Love’s kale salad wasn’t — and all three judges felt it scarcely warranted the hour-long cooking time. Insult was added to injury when Chef Love told us that he had also found time to make a juicy steak for himself while he was cooking. Perhaps if he had served us some of that as well, he might not have found himself in the Secret Ingredient Showdown battling Chef Mendelsohn, whose own dish was, quite frankly, just a confused mess.
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Last week, FN Dish introduced Rival Recipes, a weekly series that pits Next Iron Chef rivals, judges and standing Iron Chefs against one another in themed battles to find out whose recipe reigns supreme. In our first installment, Iron Chef Marc Forgione went head-to-head with Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian in an Italian Dish Showdown. In the end, Chef Zakarian’s pasta with bolognese bested Chef Forgione’s gnocchi with brown butter, but only by a few dozen votes. Didn’t get a chance to vote last week? There’s still time to pick a plate.
This week’s mashup features Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Michael Symon, and they’re leaving behind Italian classics and focusing on Thanksgiving favorites. With Turkey Day just a few weeks away, everyone wants to know: dressing or stuffing — which side pairs better with the bird? The chefs themselves are divided on the issue. Chef Flay is bringing an earthy, smoky Sourdough, Wild Mushroom and Bacon Dressing to the battle, while Iron Chef Symon opts for Cornbread Stuffing made moist and luxuriously rich thanks to heavy cream.
The vote is in your hands — are you a loyal stuffing lover or do you prefer the simplicity of dressing? When it comes to bread, does crusty sourdough strike your fancy or will you reach for golden, crumbly corn bread? Vote below.
For Duskie Estes, the opportunity to compete on The Next Iron Chef didn’t come easily. While the other nine rivals will face their first challenge during Sunday night’s premiere, Chef Estes has already battled — and won — two cook-offs on the Road to Redemption, an online-only Web series that pitted four chefs against each other in a three-round competition. Ultimately, Chefs Madison Cowan, Robert Treviño and Lee Anne Wong fell, but Chef Estes proved herself worthy of Kitchen Stadium glory with winnings in Battle Coconut and Battle Pineapple, and she earned the right to join the cast of The Next Iron Chef.
In this sneak-peek shot from the Next Iron Chef premiere, Chef Estes is seen with a no-nonsense glare and blank expression as she eyes fellow competitor Chef Elizabeth Falkner. Has a twist in the competition caused these chefs to take the spirit of friendly competition too far? Will Chef Estes be able to maintain her focus in the face of week-one stress?
Before you tune in to the Next Iron Chef: Redemption premiere this Sunday at 9pm/8c to find out what has these ladies locked in a staring contest, we’re challenging you, Next Iron Chef fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this eye-to-eye moment in the comments below.
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Get out your frying pan and sharpen your knives. IntoNow from Yahoo! is teaming up with Food Network to bring fans an interactive second-screen viewing experience with this upcoming season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption.
Starting this Sunday, November 4, and running through December 23, each week at 9 p.m. ET/PT you can discover exclusive content by tagging The Next Iron Chef: Redemption using the IntoNow mobile app. Through IntoNow’s TV Sync feature you can follow along with the episode for exclusive quotes from the judges, behind-the-scenes photos and recipes as well as participate in live polling and trivia questions with fellow IntoNow users and Food Network fans.
Can You Capit? Fans can add a caption to their favorite moments every episode and share them online by creating memes to share on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Reddit. They also can create chat groups with friends.
Chef Estes and Chef Wong definitely earned their places in the final showdown and neither seemed particularly alarmed when Alton Brown revealed their secret ingredient: a wide range of potatoes.
After a rather frightening battle to claim other ingredients from the refrigerator, both chefs set about making two very different dishes. If creativity had been the only criteria, then Chef Wong would have been the clear winner. There were two main flaws with her dish, however, that meant we had to mark her down. I felt that the use of celery leaves was a mistake and overpowered some of the more subtle flavors, while Alton found the base of purple potato puree to be gluey and overworked.
Chef Estes’ dish was less adventurous and she was faced with a battle to persuade three experienced judges that a seemingly simple chowder was noteworthy. She did that with her perfect preparation of three different types of potato and an herb cream that had us all wiping the bottoms of our bowls with our fingers.
Keep reading and relive the battle
A little friendly competition never hurt anyone and the newest season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is sure to have plenty of it.
With just eight days until the premiere (Sunday, November 4 at 9pm/8c), FN Dish decided to heat things up and start the competition early. Starting today and continuing each week, editors will present two chefs with their corresponding dishes in what’s called Rival Recipes. Fans will then pick their favorite dish in a poll: the winner gets bragging rights and fans get two delicious recipes (it’s a win-win situation for the reader).
First up are the two newest Iron Chefs: Chef Marc Forgione (Season 3 winner) and Chef Geoffrey Zakarian (Season 4 winner), who is also a judge this season. Both chefs have mastered and revolutionized American-style cooking and here they offer two classic Italian dishes.
We’re pitting Chef Forgione’s Gnocchi With Brown Butter and Sage (from Food Network Magazine) against Chef Zakarian’s Perciatelli With Bolognese. Dumplings versus spaghetti. White sauce versus red sauce. Which will you choose? Vote below.
VOTE NOW: Which Iron Chef’s dish gets your vote?