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The Next Iron Chef
Nextironcheflogo.jpg
Who will climb the ranks to culinary greatness?
Format Reality, Cooking
Starring Alton Brown
Mark Dacascos
Judges Michael Ruhlman (Season 1)
Andrew Knowlton (Season 1)
Donatella Arpaia (Season 1 & 2)
Jeffrey Steingarten (Season 2)
Anya Fernald (Season 2)
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 7
Production
Location(s) New York City
Munich, Germany
Paris, France
Los Angeles
Tokyo
Running time 60 - 90 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Food Network
Original airing October 7, 2007 (Season 1)
October 4, 2009 (Season 2)
Chronology
Related shows Iron Chef America
External links
Official website

The Next Iron Chef, is a limited-run series on the Food Network now in its second season. Each season is a stand-alone competition to select a chef to be designated an Iron Chef, who will appear on the Food Network program Iron Chef America.

In Season 1, eight chefs from around the United States battled to be the next Iron Chef. The show debuted Sunday, October 7, 2007, and the hosts were Alton Brown and "The Chairman", actor Mark Dacascos. Challenges one through five of the competition were held at the Culinary Institute of America. Challenges six and seven took place in Munich, Germany and Paris, France respectively. The final challenge took place at the Food Network studios in New York City, on the Iron Chef America set. The winner of The Next Iron Chef was Cleveland restaurant chef Michael Symon.

Season 2 premiered on October 4, 2009, and featured ten chefs battling to be the newest Iron Chef. The show was based in Los Angeles before traveling to Tokyo for two episodes, and again hosted by Alton Brown and "The Chairman" Mark Dacascos. Following a final battle in Kitchen Stadium, Chicago-born Ecuadorian-American chef Jose Garces, was selected the newest Iron Chef. Garces debuted as an Iron Chef on January 17, 2010, when he squared off against Seattle chef Rachel Yang.[1]

Contents

Season One: 2007

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Contestants

Judges

The contest was judged by food writer Michael Ruhlman, Bon Appétit restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton, and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia.[2]

Contestant progress

Episode 1 2 3 4 5 6 Comments
Challenge 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Michael Symon IN IN WIN IN WIN WIN IN WIN The Next Iron Chef!
John Besh IN WIN IN IN IN IN IN OUT Elimin: Attain Greatness
Chris Cosentino IN IN IN WIN IN IN OUT Elimin: Lead and Inspire
Aarón Sanchez WIN IN IN IN IN OUT Elimin: Pressure
Gavin Kaysen IN IN IN IN OUT Elimin: Resourcefulness
Morou Ouattara IN IN IN IN OUT
Jill Davie IN IN IN OUT Elimin: Simplicity and Innovation
Traci Des Jardins IN OUT Elimin: Speed and Artistry
     (WIN) The chef won the series
     (WIN) The chef won the challenge.
     (OUT) The chef lost that week's Elimination Challenge and was out of the competition.

Results

Episode 1

  • Challenge 1: Speed
  • A speed challenge in which chefs had to debone a chicken, fillet a salmon, open enough coconuts to produce two cups of coconut milk, shuck six oysters and clams, french a rack of lamb and slice off a 4-inch (100 mm) strip of daikon thin enough to read newsprint through within 15 minutes.
  • WINNER: Aarón Sanchez
  • Challenge 2: Artistry
  • A challenge which consisted of making 2 desserts: one with any available ingredient and the second featuring savory ingredients. Each chef selected one of the following savory ingredients: catfish, tripe, beef shoulder, chorizo, duck confit, bacon, salmon roe, or squid based on the order of their finish in Round One. To make the challenge more difficult, the chefs were not allowed to use butter, sugar, or cheese unless they made it themselves.
  • WINNER: John Besh
  • ELIMINATED: Traci Des Jardins
  • First aired: October 7, 2007

Episode 2

  • Challenge 3: Simplicity
  • The chefs had 30 minutes to prepare six one-bite (amuse-bouche) dishes that would best exemplify their style of cooking. Due to his win in Challenge 2 of Round 1, Chef Besh was able to select his ingredients first, and also selected the order in which the chefs would present their dishes. This challenge was judged by the chefs themselves. Due to his misunderstanding the rules, Chef Sanchez failed to finish plating more than a single serving of his dish, deciding during the judging to give his dish to Chef Besh for tasting.
  • WINNER: Michael Symon
  • Challenge 4: Innovation
  • After a brief introduction to the special ingredients and appliances (and with some tutelage by chef Wylie Dufresne in a special guest appearance), the chefs had 90 minutes to "play" with these items in order to incorporate them into their cooking style. The chefs then had 90 minutes to prepare a dish using innovative ingredients (e.g. xanthan gum, liquid nitrogen) and innovative appliances (e.g. thermal immersion circulator, Anti-griddle) to prepare a single dish for the judges. With his win in Challenge 1 of this round, Chef Symon was able to select his ingredients first and had a dedicated set of cooking equipment (the other contestents had to share a common set).
  • WINNER: Chris Cosentino[3]
  • ELIMINATED: Jill Davie
  • First aired: October 14, 2007

Episode 3

  • Challenge 5: Resourcefulness (Double Elimination)
  • The chefs were divided into pairs. Each chef selected ingredients for his partner and placed them in a sealed cooler. The chefs were taken outdoors, where each chef had 60 minutes to prepare two dishes with the items located in their cooler and the limited ingredients at their individual station. In addition, the chefs were only able to use a single charcoal grill to cook their dishes. With his win in the previous challenge, Chris Cosentino was given the privilege of deciding who would be paired with whom.
  • WINNER: Michael Symon
  • ELIMINATED: Gavin Kaysen and Morou Ouattara
  • First aired: October 21, 2007

Episode 4

  • Challenge 6: Creativity Under Pressure
  • The remaining four chefs learn that they will be traveling overseas to Germany for this week's challenge. At Munich airport, the chefs are taken to Lufthansa's catering facilities where their next challenge is to create the ultimate first class meal for passengers, to be finished and presented to the first class cabin of a long-haul jet. They will have 90 minutes to prepare a minimum of 3 dishes.
  • WINNER: Michael Symon
  • ELIMINATED: Aarón Sanchez
  • First aired: October 28, 2007

Episode 5

  • Challenge 7: Lead and Inspire
  • The remaining three chefs continue the overseas portion of the competition as they fly to Paris for the next challenge. The chefs must create a meal representing their interpretations of classic American foods, to be served at a dinner hosted by the United States Ambassador to France, with guests including a number of noted French culinary figures.
  • WINNER: Neither remaining chef was declared the winner.
  • ELIMINATED: Chris Cosentino
  • First aired: November 4, 2007

Episode 6

  • Challenge 8: Attain Greatness
  • The final competition took the form of a head-to-head battle in Kitchen Stadium in a traditional Iron Chef America battle. The secret ingredient was swordfish. As a surprise switch, judges Ruhlman, Knowlton and Arpaia were replaced in the on-air tasting portion of the judging by current Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Cat Cora and Masaharu Morimoto. However, the three judges and the three Iron Chefs collaborated to determine the winner.
  • WINNER: Michael Symon
  • ELIMINATED: John Besh
  • First aired: November 11, 2007

Season Two: 2009

Contestants

  • Nate Appleman (Executive Chef and partner, Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria, New York City), who lost to Michael Symon in Battle Suckling Pig in Season 7
  • Dominique Crenn (Chef de Cuisine, Luce at The Intercontinental Hotel, San Francisco)
  • Brad Farmerie (Executive Chef, Double Crown, Madam Geneva, PUBLIC, The Monday Room, New York City), who defeated Cat Cora in Battle Maple Syrup in Season 7
  • Amanda Freitag (Executive Chef, The Harrison, New York City), who lost to Bobby Flay in Battle Alaskan King Crab in Season 7
  • Jose Garces (Executive Chef and owner, Amada, Tinto, Distrito, Chifa, Village Whiskey, Philadelphia) defeated Bobby Flay in Battle Melon in Season 6
  • Eric Greenspan (Executive Chef and owner, The Foundry on Melrose, Los Angeles)
  • Jehangir Mehta (Executive Chef and owner, Graffiti, New York City), who lost to Masaharu Morimoto in Battle Coconut in Season 7
  • Seamus Mullen (Executive Chef and partner, Boqueria Flatiron and Boqueria Soho, New York City)
  • Holly Smith (Chef and owner, Cafe Juanita, Poco Carretto Gelato, Kirkland, WA)
  • Roberto Trevino (Executive Chef and owner, Budatai, San Juan, Puerto Rico), who lost to Mario Batali in Battle Catfish in Season 1

Judges

The judges are restaurateur Donatella Arpaia, food author and long-time Iron Chef America judge Jeffrey Steingarten and sustainable food expert Anya Fernald.[4]

Contestant progress

Episode 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Comments
Challenge 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Jose Garces WIN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN WIN IN WIN IN WIN The Next Iron Chef
Jehangir Mehta IN IN WIN IN IN IN WIN IN IN WIN IN IN OUT Elim: Imagination
Seamus Mullen IN IN IN WIN IN WIN IN IN IN IN IN OUT Elim: Integrity
Amanda Freitag IN IN IN IN WIN IN IN IN IN IN OUT Elim: Umami
Nate Appleman IN WIN IN IN WIN IN IN WIN OUT Elim: Pressure
Roberto Trevino IN IN IN IN WIN IN IN IN OUT
Dominique Crenn IN IN IN IN WIN IN OUT Elim: Adaptability
Brad Farmerie IN IN IN IN IN OUT Elim: Innovation
Holly Smith IN IN IN OUT Elim: Simplicity and Interpretation
Eric Greenspan IN OUT Elim: Memory and Fearlessness
     (WIN) The chef won the series
     (WIN) The chef won the challenge.
     (OUT) The chef lost that week's Elimination Challenge and was out of the competition.

Results

Episode 1

  • Challenge 1: Memory
  • The Chairman presents each chef with an ingredient associated with their past, and challenges them to make a dish, to be presented family-style, that represents who they are.
  • WINNER: Jose Garces
  • Challenge 2: Fearlessness
  • The Chairman assigns each chef an exotic ingredient he or she may not have used before. Exercising his advantage, Chef Garces was allowed to exchange the ingredients of two chefs: Chef Crenn and Chef Mullen.
  • WINNER: Nate Appleman
  • ELIMINATED: Eric Greenspan
  • First aired: October 4, 2009

Episode 2

  • Challenge 3: Simplicity
  • In this challenge, the Chairman gives each chef the choice of one traditional cooking vessel from one of a variety of countries; each is designed for a one-pot style of cooking. After 45 minutes of cook time, the contestants must taste and judge their fellow competitors' dishes.
  • WINNER: Jehangir Mehta
  • Challenge 4: Interpretation
  • In the next challenge, Alton Brown assigns each chef a specific traditional dish from one of three countries; Greece, France and Italy. Each chef is given one hour to create their own interpretation of the dish they were assigned.
  • WINNER: Seamus Mullen
  • ELIMINATED: Holly Smith
  • First aired: October 11, 2009

Episode 3

  • Challenge 5: Innovation, Part I
  • In this challenge, the chefs are sent in pairs to various restaurants in the Los Angeles area where they must taste the restaurant's signature dish, and then are tasked to duplicate the dish from scratch in 10 minutes. The owners of the restaurant determine which of the two competitors' dishes are closest to the original. The winner is allotted an additional 5 minutes in the next challenge.
  • Assignments:
    • Vietnamese: Beef Pho (Chefs Crenn and Garces)
    • Korean: DolSot Bibimbap (Chefs Appleman and Mullen)
    • Thai: Green Curry with Fish Balls (Chefs Freitag and Mehta)
    • Chinese: Pork and Vegetarian Dumplings (Chefs Trevino and Farmerie)
  • WINNERS: Chefs Appleman, Crenn, Frietag and Trevino
  • Challenge 6: Innovation, Part II
  • The chefs must use inspiration from their visit to local restaurants to re-interpret a traditional American dish.
  • WINNER: Seamus Mullen
  • ELIMINATED: Brad Farmerie
  • First aired: October 18, 2009

Episode 4

  • Challenge 7: Adaptability
  • The Chairman presents the chefs with a challenge to test their ability to adapt: prepare two Mexican-inspired dishes, one sweet and one savory, using a surprise ingredient: tamarind imported from Mexico. Each chef has 90 minutes total to shop at Los Angeles' Grand Central Market and to cook their dishes. Late in the cooking period, host Alton Brown added a twist, when he conveyed the Chairman's wish to have a drink featuring tamarind added to the meal.
  • WINNER: Jehangir Mehta
  • ELIMINATED: Dominique Crenn
  • First aired: October 25, 2009

Episode 5

  • Challenge 8: Pressure, Part I
  • An Indian chef tests how well the remaining contenders perform under pressure. The chefs are to make a one-bite vegetarian representation of the taste of India. As winner of the previous challenge, Chef Mehta has first choice of ingredients.
  • WINNER: Nate Appleman
  • Challenge 9: Pressure, Part II
  • The chefs are to make a 5 course Indian dinner. This is a double-elimination challenge. As winner of the previous challenge, Chef Appleman has first choice of the protein ingredients and takes all of the red snapper.
  • WINNER: Jose Garces
  • ELIMINATED: Roberto Trevino and Nate Appleman
  • The remaining 4 chefs receive plane tickets to travel to Tokyo where the next episode takes place.
  • First aired: November 1, 2009

Episode 6

  • Challenge 10: Umami (Deliciousness), Part I: Yakitori
  • Challenge 11: Umami (Deliciousness), Part II: Five Flavors of Rice
  • The chefs must five dishes featuring five flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Each dish must feature rice in some fashion, and be served in a traditional Japanese Bentō box.
  • Guest Judge: Dr. Yukio Hattori, Director of the Hattori Nutrition College. Dr. Hattori was a commentator on the original Japanese Iron Chef.
  • WINNER: Jose Garces
  • ELIMINATED: Amanda Freitag
  • First aired: November 8, 2009

Episode 7

  • Challenge 12: Integrity
  • Personal expression through food.
  • Guest Judges: The Chairman, Dr. Yukio Hattori
  • FINALISTS: Jose Garces, Jehangir Mehta
  • ELIMINATED: Seamus Mullen
  • First aired: November 15, 2009

Episode 8

  • Challenge 13: Imagination
  • The final challenge was a traditional head-to-head Iron Chef battle. The secret ingredient was racks and ribs, and featured beef, pork and buffalo meat.
  • Guest Judges: The Chairman, Masaharu Morimoto, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon
  • WINNER: Jose Garces
  • ELIMINATED: Jehangir Mehta
  • First aired: November 22, 2009

References

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