Recap: Next Iron Chef 3, EP6

Chef Chauhan got the boot last week ending her slide.  Maneet came out on fire when the contest started but the past few weeks it seemed as if her creativity was waning.  Of the five chefs remaining (Canora, Forgione, Tio, Caswell and Tsai) I feel like Chef Caswell is the weakest link.  His food has been good but he hasn’t had any of the triumphs of the others.  That being said picking a weakest link in this group is like trying to pick which nuclear bomb will hurt the least.

Next Iron ChefWhat’s become apparent is that the majority of people watching the show do not like Chef Canora.  I think he has been the main chef over-exaggerating his critique of the others during those stupid self-judgings rather than being honest.  I think the Food Network wants us to hate him so that we will enjoy his losing more.  One things is for sure – if he wins he’ll be the first Iron Chef that fans root against.

1st Challenge:  Make a cake.  The worst challenge in the history of this or any other show.  There is nothing Iron Chef about a wedding cake.  Who ever thought of this challenge should lose their job and their pension.

2nd Challenge:  Create a Vegas-worthy buffet.  Never mind the fact these days buffets are almost as hard to find in Las Vegas as a job.

My thoughts:

Marco Canora – Ron Jeremy’s doppelganger continues his bid to be this season’s D-bag.  If you have to cheat to compete then you are not good enough to be here to begin with. 1st challenge – he made a cake.  Canora screwed up his profiteroles so he suggested sabotage.  That’s not the first time he’s suggested sabotage when he’s messed up.  Oddly enough he’s the only one who’s been caught actually sabotaging others.  2nd challenge – eggplant parmesan, braised veal cheeks, compressed fruit salad and seafood salad.  I wonder if Canora’s buffet dishes come with a complementary glass of whine?  Judges said it was good.

Bryan Caswell – Caswell failed to stand out last week but fortunately for him Chef Chauhan was less impressive.  1st challenge – he made a cake.  2nd challenge – Gulf Coast with BBQ cracked crab, chili braised pork butt, little riblets, beef & grape salad.  The judges thought his food was OK but he had nothing that wow’d.  That’s the story of his tenure on the show.  Iron Chefs simply must wow.

Maneet Chauhan – Went home week 5.

Mary Dumont – Went home week 3.

Duskie Estes – Went home week 4.

Marc Forgione – Last week was not Chef Marc’s best performance.  He’ll have to regain is mojo to stay in the race.  1st challenge – he made a cake.  2nd challenge – vegetable consume, leg of lamb, raw salmon, prime rib and braised veal cheeks.  Judges felt his food was good.  They seemed to receive it well.

Andrew Kirschner – Went home week 1.

Mario Pagán – Went home week 2.

Celina Tio – After a stellar outing two weeks ago, Chef Tio was back to the middle of the pack last week.  1st challenge – she made a cake.  2nd challenge – Gnudi and lobster Shepard’s pie, creamy cauliflower soup sous vide duck and slow roasted salmon.  The judges said they were impressed with most of her food.  Simon thought her duck was confused.  No duh, if you went from floating on a pond to being vacuum sealed and submerged in hot water you’d be confused as well.

Ming Tsai – Another win last week for Uncle Ming.  He still struggles during the 1st challenge each week but it is obvious that it is by design.  1st challenge – he made a cake.  2nd challenge – Tour of Asia with tea smoked fish, Thai ceviche, garlic lobster & fried rice, baby back ribs and ribeye Pho.  According to the judges most of the dishes were good but tey all thought the Pho needed a little help.

Leading the pack: Ming Tsai

Dark horse: Marco Canora, Celina Tio

Tonight’s winners:

1st challenge – Chef Tsai.
2nd challenge – Chef Canora.

Quote of the night – “Chef Canora does a lot of complaining.”  Ming Tsai

Next week – the Final Four.

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 Celina Tio (HERE), Mary Dumont (HERE) and Maneet Chauhan (HERE).

The Next Iron Chef will not be . . .

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Bryan Caswell

Tonight was supposed to be a double elimination but the judges failed to reach a consensus on who should join Caswell.

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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
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2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
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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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