NIC

Next Iron Chef Redemption Announced

Web-Exclusive Battles at FoodNetwork.com to Determine Tenth Cast Member

Hosted by Alton Brown, Eight-Episode Series Premieres Sunday, November 4th at 9pm ET/PT, New Iron Chef Crowned in Season Finale on Sunday, December 23rd at 9pm ET/PT.

NEW YORK – September 24, 2012 – A roster of acclaimed chefs return for a second chance to become a member of the Iron Chef culinary society this fall, with the premiere of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption on Sunday, November 4th at 9pm ET/PT.   The fifth installment of this top-rated competition series also adds a few newcomers to the mix, who have had their own experiences of not quite winning the crown. The competitors are given new opportunities to prove their skills are Iron Chef worthy, while revisiting some of the memorable moments that sent them home in the past. The culinary battle-royale, hosted by Alton Brown and shot in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, tests the kitchen chops, masterful skills and fortitude of these supreme experts, and culminates with the naming of the newest Iron Chef on Sunday, December 23rd at 9pm ET/PT.

Competitors are: returning from The Next Iron Chef: Season Two Nate Appleman, Amanda Freitag (Chopped), Eric Greenspan (The Foundry on Melrose, The Roof on Wilshire, Los Angeles) and Jehangir Mehta (Graffiti, New York); from The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs Elizabeth Falkner (Krescendo, New York), Alex Guarnaschelli (Butter, The Darby, New York, Chopped) and Spike Mendelsohn (Good Stuff Eatery, We The Pizza, Washington D.C.); and first time Next Iron Chef competitors with their own redemption stories, Tim Love (The Lonesome Dove, Western Bistro, The Love Shack, Woodshed Smokehouse, White Elephant Saloon, Fort Worth) and Marcel Vigneron (The Coop, Los Angeles).

“This season’s cast is filled with extraordinary chefs at the top of their game and they all know how fierce this competition is,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. “The redemption theme heightens the season’s drama with second chances and new opportunities, and viewers can expect culinary magic, intense battles and edge-of-your seat suspense.”

Redemption offers a Food Network first, as the tenth cast position will go to the winner of the web-exclusive “Road to Redemption” tournament taking place October 12th – 26th on FoodNetwork.com. Participants battling for their chance at Redemption’s tenth slot are Duskie Estes and Robert Trevino, who previously competed on earlier seasons of The Next Iron Chef and newcomers Lee Anne Wong and Madison Cowan.

“Our web-exclusive ‘Road to Redemption’ tournament adds a whole new layer to The Next Iron Chef experience,” said Bob Madden, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Digital – Food Network Category, Scripps Networks Interactive. “This online exclusive will give our audience more of the content they crave and the opportunity to witness more excitement and energy from these skilled competitors. FoodNetwork.com is thrilled to play a part in selecting the tenth competitor for this season’s cast.”

Exclusively on FoodNetwork.com, the “Road to Redemption” tournament begins October 12th with a battle between former Next Iron Chef contenders Duskie Estes and Robert Trevino, followed on October 19th by a competition between Iron Chef America challengers Madison Cowan and Lee Anne Wong. The winners meet on October 26th, where the final Redemption position will be awarded. Beginning in late September, a sneak peek and extended preview will be available at www.foodnetwork.com/nic.

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption kicks off on “Redemption Beach,” where the chefs’ resourcefulness is tested in a grueling Chairman’s Challenge with a devious twist: each must cook with the ingredient that sent them packing last time. Given another chance with this ingredient and only bare essentials, hot coals and one hour on the clock some rise to the occasion while others go down in flames. The two least successful chefs go to the Secret Ingredient Showdown, a sudden-death cook-off that leads to the first elimination. Upcoming episodes continue to push the limits, including a canned food to Kitchen Stadium-worthy cuisine challenge, a Las Vegas buffet battle with an appearance by legendary magician David Copperfield and a “last supper” showdown. Returning judges Donatella Arpaia and Simon Majumdar are joined by last season’s winner and newest Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian on the judging panel, along with appearances from Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon.

The winner will join the ranks of chefs including Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces, Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Symon and Geoffrey Zakarian as a member of the Chairman’s team on Iron Chef America. The newly crowned Iron Chef’s first battle in Kitchen Stadium will premiere on Sunday, December 30th at 9pm ET/PT.

Recap: Next Iron Chef 4, EP 6

NIC4Banner Recap: Next Iron Chef 4, EP 5

TV’s ultimate cooking competition may be Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef.  This cast is sick!  Easily the best line-up since NIC 1 which included John Besh, Aaron Sanchez, Chris Cosentino and eventual winner Michael Symon to name a few.

First some house cleaning.  For some time it has been rumored that this season of NIC was to fill a vacancy caused by the eminent departure of Cat Cora.  It makes since – ICA is filmed in New York City while Cat’s two restaurants are in Florida and California.  That plus her rapidly growing family have to be putting a strain on her time.  That was the conventional wisdom anyway.

Well it appears to be true as Cat is set to star in a new show on OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s struggling cable network.  Several sources including YumSugar and AOL are reporting that she will be teaming up with Queer Eye alum Carson Kressley for a show that will “be devoted to self-discovery, to connecting you to your best self and to the world.”  Good luck, Cat.

The Sudden Death challenge two weeks ago between Beau and Geoffrey was the best moment of the season thus far.  At least it was until last week’s showdown between Marcus Samuelsson and Elizabeth Falkner.  Both dishes were inspired.  Marcus didn’t lose because his dish was bad but because it wasn’t quite as glorious as Falkner’s.

Battle: Risk

Recap: Next Iron Chef 4 Geoffrey ZakarianChairman’s challenge:   “Food Auction” (Secret Ingredients: ) The five remaining chefs are brought to an auction house, where they must bid on ingredients. Then, each chef would place a bid on the least amount of time they think they can create a dish with each ingredient presented. The two least successful chefs were sent to the final Secret Ingredient Showdown of the season.

Sudden Death challenge: Pits the bottom two finishers each week in a “loser leave town” match. Secret ingredient: Panzu and Panko. . . as a dessert.

Anne Burrell – Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Worst Cooks in America (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge: Canned Sardines – 50 minutes.  Fried Sardine Spines, Sardine Filets on Beet Chips and Anchovy Salad with Parmesan Bread Pudding.  Anne gets to be a fourth judge today by virtue of her win last week.  Her presentation was great – but judges were mixed on taste.
  • Sudden Death Zucchini Involtini with Ponzu Caramel, Ponzu-Kumquat Ice Cream with Panko Crust.

Michael Chiarello – Bottega Restaurant (Napa Valley), Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello (Cooking Channel)

  • Chairman’s challenge: Lobster – 25 minutes.  Butter Poached Lobster with Lobster Risotto.  Judges were mixed on execution but agreed on flavor.  Another solid finish.

Elizabeth Falkner – Citizen Cake, Orson (San Francisco), Iron Chef America – challenger (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge:  Tuna Jerky – 25 minutes.  Tuna Jerky Souffle with Dashi Sauce.  It may have been her best performance of the contest.

Alex Guarnaschelli – Butter, The Darby (New York), Alex’s Day Off, Chopped (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge:  Leg of lamb – 20 minutes.  Lamb Sausage with Vegetable Puree.  Mixed reviews.

Chuck Hughes – Eliminated in week 3.

Robert Irvine – Eliminated in week 2.

Beau MacMillan – Eliminated in week 4.

Spike Mendelsohn – Eliminated in week 1.

Marcus Samuelsson –Eliminated in week 5.

Geoffrey Zakarian – The National, The Lambs Club (New York), 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge:  Wagyu – 30 minutes.  Wagyu Steak Salad Nicoise Style.   A home run.
  • Sudden Death: Panzo-Blackberry Marmalade Souffle with Panko White Gazpacho dipping sauce.

Leading the pack: Elizabeth Falkner, Michael Chiarello

Dark horse: Alex Guarnaschelli

Tonight’s winners:

1st challenge – Falkner
Sudden Death challenge – Zakarian vs. Burrell.

Quote of the night – “Sign the painting Geoffrey.”  Michael Chiarello

Have you missed an episode of NIC because you were tracking escaped convicts from the Phantom Zone?  No problem, you can get caught up HERE.  Be sure to check out my exclusive interviews with NIC contestant Alex Guarnaschelli (HERE) and NIC judge Michael Symon (HERE).  Also check out my interview with last year’s winner Marc Forgione (HERE).

The next Iron Chef will not be . . .

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Anne Burrell

Food Network Serves Up Most-Watched November in History

Official Food Network press release:

NEW YORKNovember 30, 2011 – Food Network delivers its highest-rated, most-watched November in network history (up 20 percent from November 2010). The month was watched Food Network Starsnightly by an average of 1.3 million total P2+ viewers and posted a .6 in the core Adults 25-54 demo in prime. The Next Iron Chef continues its successful run in November, posting an average 1.5 Adults 25-54 (up 50 percent versus comparable weeks last year) and watched by an average of 2.9 million total P2+ viewers. Finishing 9th among ad-supported cable networks in November marks the 6th consecutive month Food Network has ranked in the top ten cable networks, according to Nielsen Media Research.

“Food Network represents a true destination across all of our platforms for consumers to enjoy the holiday season. Thanksgiving is the starting line for offering fans a one-stop source for preparing for their ideal holiday,” said Brooke Johnson, President of Food Network & Cooking Channel.

For the first time, Food Network produced daytime special Thanksgiving Live!, a viewer-interactive show featuring a bevy of Food Network talent including Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray and more, fielding questions to avert Turkey-day disasters. The two-hour live broadcast was watched by 1.6 million total P2+ viewers and resulted in over 15,000 Tweets and 10,000 new “likes” on Facebook pages during the show contributing to the over 64,000 new “likes” for the month of November.

As a side dish to on-air programming,FoodNetwork.com’s Thanksgiving package (foodnetwork.com/thanksgiving) was record setting, receiving over 105.8 million page views; the day before Thanksgiving, FoodNetwork.com also broke the site’s record for single-day traffic with over 30 million page views. The site’s success, driven by the Thanksgiving holiday section, is up 28% over 2010.

“Our digital holiday offerings grow every year as we’ve seen our fans take full advantage of online as a resource for menu planning, recipes, gift guides, tips and videos,” said Bob Madden General Manager/Senior Vice President Online Brands, Food Network & Cooking Channel. “We aim to provide all of the tools necessary to create the perfect thanksgiving for our loyal fans.”

Recap: Next Iron Chef 4, EP 1

NIC4Banner Next Iron Chef 4 Lineup Announced

TV’s ultimate cooking competition may be Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef.  This cast is sick!  Easily the best line-up since NIC 1 which included John Besh, Aaron Sanchez, Chris Cosentino and eventual winner Michael Symon to name a few.

It was just under a year ago that we watched Marc Forgione, the largely unknown son of legendary chef Larry Forgione defeat Marco Canora to be named the latest Iron Chef but it feels like a decade.  Enough speculation.  Enough prognostication.  Enough jibber jabber.  Let’s get this mutha started!

Battle: Resourcefulness

Anne Burrell next Iron ChefChairman’s challenge:   Everyone on everyone.  The chefs literally drew straws (or matches) and paired off into two-chef teams.  Meat and Heat – cooking in the great outdoors.  Spike got the magic match so he got to pair the teams.

Sudden Death challenge: Pits the bottom two finishers each week in a loser leave town match.  I love this.  I have long said that they should ditch the conceived challenges and do a round-robin tournament in Kitchen Stadium.  This is the closest as we will likely ever get.  This time around there were two hidden secret ingredients that they chose between.  One turned out to be canned tuna.  The other was diver scallops.

Anne Burrell – Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Worst Cooks in America (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge: Paired with Robert Irvine.  She and Robert worked well together.  Judges seemed to really enjoy their 1st course (Braised belly and cheek with urgula/Spring Onion salad).  They liked but didn’t love the 2nd dish (Porchetta with artichoke salad with fiddlehead derns and morels).

Michael Chiarello – Bottega Restaurant (Napa Valley), Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello (Cooking Channel)

  • Chairman’s challenge:  Paired with Chuck Hughes.  This may have been the most unconventional pairing.  Michael cooks Italian and is from wine country while Chuck is a chef in a metropolitan city in Canada specializing in rustic French cuisine.  Judges really, really liked 1st dish (Crispy Pig Ear Salad) and the same for the 2nd dish (Grilled Pork Pork Chop with Pigs Brain Duxelle)

Elizabeth Faulkner – Citizen Cake, Orson (San Francisco), Iron Chef America – challenger (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge:  Paired with Alex Guarnaschelli.  Elizabeth was so cool especially in dealing with Alex’s conditioned. The judges loved their 1st course (Pig Four Ways).  Michael Symon called it “brilliant.”  2nd dish (Glazed Pork Belly and Pork Leg) didn’t go over well.

Alex Guarnaschelli – Butter, The Darby (New York), Alex’s Day Off, Chopped (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge: Paired with Elizabeth Faulkner.  Alex had a panic attack in the first challenge.  That doesn’t bode well for an Iron Chef.  The judges loved their 1st course (Pig Four Ways).  Michael Symon called it “brilliant.”  2nd dish (Glazed Pork Belly and Pork Leg) didn’t go over well.

Chuck Hughes – Garde Manger (Montreal), Chuck’s Day Off (Cooking Channel), Iron Chef America – challenger (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge: Paired with Michael Chiarello.  Lucked out in being paired with Michael as he was very familiar with the ingredients and cooking style.  Judges really, really liked 1st dish (Crispy Pig Ear Salad) and the same for the 2nd dish (Grilled Pork Pork Chop with Pigs Brain Duxelle).

Robert Irvine – Robert Irvine’s eat! (Hilton Head Island), Dinner: Impossible, Restaurant: Impossible, Worst Cooks in America (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge: Paired with Anne Burrell.  His teamwork with Anne was solid.  Judges seemed to really enjoy their 1st course (Braised belly and cheek with urgula/Spring Onion salad).  They liked but didn’t love the 2nd dish (Porchetta with artichoke salad with fiddlehead derns and morels).

Beau MacMillan – Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (Phoenix), Challenge, Iron Chef America – challenger (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge: Paired with Geoffrey Zakarian.  Beau cooks in the dessert Southwest, this is his kind of challenge.  Judges really enjoyed the 1st course (Pork Shoulder with Barigoule Spit-Roasted).  Liked but not quite loved the 2nd dish (Pork and Salsify with Pickled Kidneys).

Spike Mendelsohn – Good Stuff Eatery (Washington D.C.), Kelsey & Spike Cook (Food2.com)

  • Chairman’s challenge: Paired with Marcus Samuelsson.  Spike and Marcus seemed a potent two-some.  Liked their 1st dish (Pork Stew with broth from the pond).  Same for the 2nd course (Honey Orange Glazed Pork Ribs).  I was surprised they score better.
  • 2nd challenge:  Scallops were the secret ingredient.  Spike’s dish (Scallop Sofrito) went over quite well.

Marcus Samuelsson –Red Rooster Harlem (New York), 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge: Paired with Spike Mendelsohn.  I like how Marcus fed off of Spike’s creativity and then returned it.  A great pairing.  Liked their 1st dish (Pork Stew with broth from the pond).  Same for the 2nd course (Honey Orange Glazed Pork Ribs).  I was surprised they score better.
  • 2nd challenge: Scallops were the secret ingredient.  He took a chance by doing two contrasting recipes (Seared Scallops with Porcini and Scallop Corn Miso Sou) – only one dish was required.  The food was good but one of the presentations was weak.  Marcus’ flavor was a home run.

Geoffrey Zakarian – The National, The Lambs Club (New York), 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped (Food Network)

  • Chairman’s challenge: Paired with Beau MacMillan.  For this challenge Beau was the perfect chef to be paired with for Zakarian who is very prim and proper.  Judges really enjoyed the 1st course (Pork Shoulder with Barigoule Spit-Roasted).  Liked but not quite loved the 2nd dish (Pork and Salsify with Pickled Kidneys).

Leading the pack: Michael Chiarello, Geoffrey Zakarian

Dark horse: Elizabeth Faulkner

Tonight’s winners:

1st challenge – Zakarian/McMillan.
Sudden Death challenge – Mendelsohn vs. Samuelsson.
.

Quote of the night – “I expect to have no fewer than twelve foodgasms during this competition.” Judy Joo

Have you missed an episode of NIC because you were tracking escaped convicts from the Phantom Zone?  No problem, you can get caught up HERE.  Be sure to check out my exclusive interviews with NIC contestant Alex Guarnaschelli (HERE) and NIC judge Michael Symon (HERE).  Also check out my interview with last year’s winner Marc Forgione (HERE).

The next Iron Chef will not be . . .

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Spike Mendelsohn

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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