Recap: Next Iron Chef 4, EP 7

NIC4Banner Recap: Next Iron Chef 4, EP 6

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.

Well, there goes my pre-season prediction of an Anne Burrell victory.  Although Anne did well in this contest she certainly did not dominate they way that I and lost of others thought she might.  In hindsight perhaps we all set our expectations for Anne too high.  After all anyone of of the ten chefs in this year’s competition would make a great Iron Chef.

I have seen where judges Judy Joo, Simon Majumdar and Michael Symon have each had to deal with some rough treatment via social media.  Mike had to suspend some of his weekly Facebook activities because of nut jobs irate that their favorite chef had somehow been wronged by the judging.  Let me take this opportunity to say IT’S JUST A FREAKING TV SHOW!  The troubles of the world will not be solved by determining who makes the best omelet.

Battle: Passion

Alex Guarnaschelli Next Iron ChefChairman’s challenge:  “Hampton’s Beach Cookout” (Secret Ingredient: Seafood) The penultimate challenge takes place in the Hamptons, where the four remaining chefs cater a beach cookout. The chefs were asked to create a love story using seafood in their courses. After a double elimination, the two surviving chefs go onto the Finale.

Sudden Death challenge: Pits the bottom two finishers each week in a “loser leave town” match. Secret ingredient: Crackers and Wine – three bites.

Anne Burrell – Eliminated in week 6.

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

  • Chairman’s challenge: Lobster – Passion Through the Ages – Scallop with Carrot Caponata, Tuna Crudo Arrabiata and Smoked Fluke with Gribiche.  Judges loved the presentation and liked most of the food.  Top 2 finish.
  • Sudden Death: Chicken Liver Mouse with Cabernet Mustard, Escovitch of Sardine with Panzanella and Goat Cheese with Cabernet Caviar.  Mixed reviews on first course.  #2 and #3 went over well.

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

  • Chairman’s challenge: Elizabeth by virtue of her win last week got a 15 minute head start at the fish monger.  She decided to make Vichyssoise Chowder, Smoked Scallop and Sweet Corn Puree and finally Lobster Cioppino.  Judges gave mixed reviews on each course.  A bottom 2 finish.
  • Sudden Death:  Shrimp & Grits, Chicken Liver Mouse with Red Wine Shallot and Curry Spiced Lamb Meatball with Raiata.  All three of her dishes seemed to go over well.

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

  • Chairman’s challenge:  Raw Fluke with Tomato Jam and a Muddled Strawberry Cocktail, Clam Chowder and Lobster with Poached Egg and Hollandaise.  They loved the first course.  The second course had mixed reviews, the same for the third.  Judges were contentious about choosing a loser between Alex and Elizabeth.  Alex lost.

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:  Seabass Salad and Celery Roll Up, Black Fish Minute Steak and Lemon Tapanade and Roast Scallop Sausage Sandwich with Cherry Clam Risotto.  They loved the flavor but Simon questioned the presentation.  He won the challenge.

Quote of the night – “It’s all homicide.”  Alex Guarnaschelli

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 two chefs vying to be the Next Iron Chef are . . .

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Geoffrey Zakarian and Elizabeth Falkner

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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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