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Next Iron Chef Episode 1 10/4 [And subsequent episodes] (spoilers)

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No spoilers yet but i'm sure there will be eventually.

dude, this group is ultra-competitive and almost mean to each other. i miss the last crew and how cool they were when trying each other's food.

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  1. Seriously. It looks like Chef Appleman is getting the villain edit.

    Last night they aired (at least) the last two episodes from last year. It was fun to see them again.

    1. i think that all these ingredients were awful (just about). my husband was laughing at the discussing faces i was making. i mean unlaid eggs. ugh. gross.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AMFM

        they almost lost a viewer with this stuff. I can take gross stuff, but that was horrible. One thing you never want to read on a menu: fallopian.

      2. I'm watching it right now- wonder why five out of the ten are from New York? Seems like they could have done a better job of representing other areas of the country.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Clarkafella

          Since I consider all "reality shows" fixed, I assume that Nate Appleman relocated to New York to San Francisco BECAUSE he is going to win the competition and doesn't want to commute when they film.

          1. re: sbp

            There is no reason whatsoever to relocate to NY to be on Iron Chef. The FN films Iron Chef in blocks a few times a year, filming two episodes a day over a period of 1-2 weeks. They try to schedule the competitions so that each of the Iron Chef's challenges are grouped together so an Iron Chef does not need to be present for the entire 1-2 weeks. An Iron Chef only has to available for a few days at a time and few times throughout the year. This is not considering promotional appearances but I don't think those are a huge time commitment either

        2. Not impressed with their attitudes towards each other. And shouldn't the next Iron Chef be someone who's pretty established...you'd think they'd try to get Top Chef Masters-quality chefs. I miss the chefs being respectful of each other.

          1. I thought the judges were having a pissing contest. Really? it's opinion. Personally I thought Jeffrey Steingarten came off like an ass. I'm rich eat lots of food at top restaurants so I know more than you.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chris2269

              Normally I like Steingarten on Iron Chef America even when he is taking snarky shots at people as they don't seem mean spirited but I agree that last night he really came off like a jerk. Hopefully the judge's build some rapport and their discussions become more about the food as things progress.

            2. I didn't know people actually ate some of that stuff. sea slugs... really? looked like ballistic gel!

              1 Reply
              1. re: jujuthomas

                Dominique got the worst draw of all, with sea slugs - they're impossible to cook other than in some water and Chinese sauce.

              2. Yeah, not digging this yeas Next Iron Chef...The Chef's seem to have very bad attitudes, the ingredients were not good, who eats that stuff??? What happen to respect not ot mention Jeffery just put a sour note in my mouth last night, how does he thinks he is?

                They all seem to be on their high horses…Would much rather watch Top Scallop ;)

                2 Replies
                1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                  Who eats this stuff? I do. I've had everything other than durian and the unlaid eggs. Dissing cultures that eat this stuff makes you respectful?

                  1. re: Ericandblueboy

                    i'd actually love to try the durian. and i do think they played up most of it. but the unlaid eggs were really gross to me.

                2. i agree about the appleman moving bit. did you notice on his introduction they had the name of his new restaurant but he is still wearing an a16 apron. i bet he is pissed about that now. oh well. and how is making carbonara fearless? i'm surprised he didn't make meatballs out of the fallopian tubes.

                  and do you remember that cosentino made sabayon on the first episode last year? it was the same 'ew food' challenge. i find it funny just because they swam in the same very little pond for many years.

                  and what's up with the crap equipment?

                  1. I thought it was super weird that all the equipment kept breaking -- and super surprising that they showed it. I would have thought the sponsor would have nixed any footage showing how crappy the equipment was.

                    Nate Appleman came off like a jerk. And they were inconsistent in listing his credentials. In the first shot they said he was from NY and the chef at Pulino, but it seems that the restaurant isn't even opening until December, so that's kinda BS. Then later in the episode they said he was from San Francisco. If he's not there anymore then fine, but they should have decided how they were going to characterize him and stuck with it.

                    I agree the ingredients were gross. And I agree with Jeffrey: maybe cooking with fallopian tubes is "fearless" but it's also not necessarily good to eat. And being good to eat should trump everything else in a cooking competition, IMO.

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: charmedgirl

                      At least Amanda Freitag seems to be a genuine sweetheart. Hope she wins.

                      1. re: jackbauer

                        FN does it again. I'm watching the first episode of the new "Next Iron Chef" last night, and, sure enough, there's a commercial showing the heavy-set chef (sorry, his name escpaes me) and it says "Next Iron Chef Finalist" in small print.

                        This is the 2nd time I've watched FN competition shows and their commercials give away the ending (or at least give an indication).

                        Why do I even bother? Oh yeah, because I love Iron Chef.


                        1. re: CucumberBoy

                          they're all finalists at this stage. there are 10 finalists.

                          1. re: soniabegonia

                            In guess I missed the shows where they narrowed down the 10 finalists, huh?

                            You watch -- the heavyset chef is going to be in the finals. The true finals.


                            1. re: CucumberBoy

                              There were no shows to narrow down the finalists. Those are the ten finalists they chose from all the applicants. Just like on The Next Food Network Star...they referred to them as the finalists as well.

                              1. re: sibeats

                                Aw heck....NOW what am I gonna complain about? Oh yeah, Amanda Freitag...


                                1. re: CucumberBoy

                                  what's with the scowl? she always looks PO'ed.

                                  1. re: CucumberBoy

                                    I'm with you on that one! My favorite is when her one eyebrow goes up while she's scowling. I wonder if being in this competition will change the way she judges Chopped contestants.

                                2. re: CucumberBoy

                                  On the info from comcast, it refers to them as finalists. It said something like "the ten finalists arrive in LA"

                            2. re: jackbauer

                              I like her too. Question: wasn't she a *judge* on Iron Chef or Chopped or something one time?

                              1. re: Clarkafella

                                Yes, she has been one of the judges on Chopped several times. I get her mixed up w/ Michelle Bernstein, I think they look a lot alike.

                                1. re: mdepsmom

                                  Except Michelle Bernstein is much more talented, thoughtful, and accomplished. Amanda Freitag always seems so dull.

                              2. re: jackbauer

                                As soon as I saw Amanda Freitag in the lineup I realized that this was going to be her year. She's been an Iron Chef competitor, appears regularly on FTV, and, in general, is a darling of the producers there. In addition, there is only one female Iron chef, Cat Cora, who in July gave birth to her fourth child with her spouse. So while I am not a big Freitag fan, I believe that they this "competition" just another FN sham to increase interest, and they will softball her through the process to eventually crown her the next Iron Chef. Is she another Batali? I don't think so.

                            3. I liked the big guy -- I've lost his name in my head momentarily. When he was trying the one dish: "Dude. This is awesome."

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: jmckee

                                Are you watching the some show I am??? Chef Mehta would stab you in the back, as would Chef Applebaum, if he had the chance. Did you perchance miss the episode where he took all of the grape leaves when he knew very well that another chef would definitely need them. Food Network would be making yet another mistake if Mehta won. When Michael Symon beat John Besh (who was so obviously a better chef and had a much more extensive reprertoire)in the last Iron Chef competition, all of my foodie friends vowed to never watch an Iron Chef when Symon was competing. And we hated "Dinner: Impossible" when Symon replaced Robert Irvine. Thank goodness that was only temporary. I know that the Food Network strives to put good, if not great chefs/cooks on the network, but they should also be heavily focused on ratings. Mehta is not a likeable person. He has an arrogance about him that leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, no matter how good his food might look.

                                1. re: Loodles

                                  however you may have felt about Besh winning (and i get that he was popular and a great chef) it has to be noted that symon in NO way was sneaky or mean or backstabbing in that competition. you may have liked the other guy... but symon wasn't/isn't a bad guy.

                                  1. re: AMFM

                                    I like Symon and am glad he won. I found Besh dull and thought Symon was a lot more fun to watch (though I could do without the laugh).

                                    But it's unfortunate that the win was tainted by having Michael Ruhlman as one of the judges; I don't care how objective he tried to be, he shouldn't have agreed to judge the competition when Symon was a contestant. (Please note that I'm not accusing Ruhlman of *deliberately* favoring Symon.) And if you read Ruhlman's description of the final battle (it's on his blog somewhere; should be easy to find), it sure looks like the FN networks stacked the deck in Symon's favor in the final battle. I'm a little surprised Donatella agreed to be a judge again.

                                    1. re: jlafler

                                      i get that too. just think that was food network's doing. not symon's. and watching the thanksgiving episode last night on iron chef america, it's not like donatella hates his food.

                              2. I found it lame that Appleman was using a mixer to make pasta dough. . .and lamer that he had so little respect for the equipment. Sure, he is definitely getting the villain edit and I think that when you make a dish, you should stand by it but when he told chef Smith that his dish was not salty I thought it was outrageous. . .it's all about someone ELSE'S tastes when you put food out and I always found his food too salty at A16 & SPQR. He's mister salt bomb and if you think that grinding up country ham and then rendering it down and then putting that much into a dish isn't going to be salty, that's absolutely nuts. He's really young, he got lots of praise for stepping into someone else's shoes and he's full of himself. .. I guess it makes for interesting TV but it worked my nerve.
                                I enjoyed Chef Mehta's attitude. . he's very respectful of everyone but in shows like this nice guys seem to finish last.
                                I am rooting for Chef Garces as his soup with queso fresco set my palate into overdrive. . in fact, I am making that for dinner tonight! :)
                                Mr. Steingarten has become quite crotchety lately, more so than usual. I am not a fan of Donatella but thought it was good for her to stand up for herself.
                                I'll keep watching though. . . all the while missing Chefs Besh & Symon from two years ago who took this seriously but managed to be civil and actually have fun.

                                14 Replies
                                1. re: pastryqueen

                                  I thought this show was terrible. I doubt I'll watch any more.

                                  1. re: pastryqueen

                                    all the while missing Chefs Besh & Symon from two years ago who took this seriously but managed to be civil and actually have fun.

                                    Yeh Besh comes across as one of the nicest guys, both on next Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters. I have not had the opportunity to eat any of his food but its on my bucket list.l

                                    1. re: angelac

                                      From what I saw when I re-watched it Saturday, Appleman didn't 'break' the mixer at all. His problem was he didn't appear to to use the head lock down switch, so when the dough tightened up, the head of the mixer jumped up & out. In his defense, commercial kitchens typically use bowl lift mixers, not tilt head ones, so he may not have even realized his mistake. Its one I've seen a lot on Food Network- even Barefoot Contessa has done it, and she is using her own tilt head KitchenAid mixer. I think he also had the flat paddle on the mixer and for the stiffness of his dough, he needed to switch to a kneading hook. If he would have taken half a second to look at what was happening, he could have realized what was happening & corrected his problems.

                                      What Applemen did was really no different then what another chef did, when he was blending too thick of ingredients in the VitaMix blender, triggering its safety shutoff if it overheats (and keeping it shutoff for 15-20 minutes). 'Equipment failure' is not very likely in their setting; 'User failure' however, is much more likely. Why give them extra points when they screwed up? Should they get extra points or time if they cut their finger or burn themselves too?

                                      And yes, their are both equipment failures & user failures on the Iron Chef. I remember one episode where the challenger had to use Mario's oven because his wouldn't light. That was a definite equipment failure, but he found a way to work around it, which is what any top level chef should be able to do without losing their cool.

                                      BTW- you can see the Viking mixer, like they use, at this link: http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/zaccardis_207... with its head tilted back. That little lever with round knob on the end should have been in the locked position for mixing, particularly for heavy doughs.

                                      1. re: pastryqueen

                                        Chef Ahta's attitude in week 2 was terrible, a complete ass, taking all grape leaves for a garnish when some else needed them for their dish.

                                        1. re: beteez

                                          I love that the judges specifically dinged him for using the grape leaves. The smell of them was distracting!

                                          1. re: angelac

                                            It appeared to me he did not share until Alton shamed him into it.

                                            1. re: angelac

                                              OH no. He SOOO meant to take all those grape leaves. He knew chef Trevino needed them - he had this wicked little grin on his face when Alton mentioned it and I believe said it was part of his strategy. I did not think that was very cool of him, I think he's a better chef than that.

                                              1. re: jujuthomas

                                                He absolutely did that on purpose. He totally knew Trevino needed grape leaves, and he needed them not at all, except for plating or garnishing or whatever! Before that tacky behavior, he was one of my favorites, which isn't saying a whole lot; I'm pretty underwhelmed by the whole bunch. He's smack on the bottom of my list now. Yes, it's a competition. I get that obviously. But if you can't win on your own merit without sabotaging someone else, maybe you don't belong there, and you definitely don't deserve the distinction of Iron Chef. If he ends up winning, I will so NOT be watching. (Yes, I'm sure they'll be all broken up about it, but I'm just saying). Iron Chef indeed! These are supposedly professionals, top in their field, and that was elementary school behavior .... in my opinion.

                                              2. re: angelac

                                                No, I had picked Amanda Freitag to be the "winner" as soon as they had announced the contestants not only because Cat and her spouse had just had their third and fourth children and might like a break, but also that Amanda has always been somewhat of a darling of FN and is already there shooting another show. And no, I don't believe that she or any of the candidates this year bring the caliber and prestige that the original and current Iron Chefs do. Those things, coupled now with the fact that the contestants on this program are NOT TESTED WITH THE SAME INGREDIENTS, raise questions as to the fairness of the process. In the first episode they made it clear that Amanda got the easiest ingredient. In the second, she got what to me would have been the easiest choice -- coq au vin, though I can't speak for others' opinion of that dish.

                                                I can't think of any other straight away fair cooking competition in which each each chef is given a different set of ingredients or conditions, unless it is predetermined who is supposed ot be cut. Just imagine an episode of Iron Chef America in which one chef does get jelly fish and the other gets chicken. Then a judge says "interesting but rather tasteless," or worse "eewwww!"

                                                1. re: junescook

                                                  I don't think there's any intention for a straight and fair cooking competition. The winner is going to be the one with the personality the producers are looking for. Cooking skills is a low priority (since all of them are reasonably proficient).

                                                  1. re: sbp

                                                    Though personality plays a less significant a role on Iron Chef than on any other of the FN shows-- case in point Morimoto.

                                                    1. re: junescook

                                                      That's funny. I've always thought of him as the show's Great Stone Face.

                                                2. re: beteez

                                                  How about starting a new thread for the second episode instead of revealing spoilers to those of us who think we are merely reading posts from the first episode. Thanks.

                                              3. These chefs are vying to be part of the the culinary pantheon?
                                                They don't seem worthy to be considered Iron Chefs with their squabbling, backstabbing and gaming. I guess in makes for great drama... Where's Blythe Beck?

                                                So far I like Roberto Trevino, he seems to get the job done with minimal whining and drama.

                                                1. agreed. cosentino, besh, other guy from horrible chef vs city show - ANY would be better iron chefs than most of these. none are pleasant to watch at all. it appears they used up all the good folks last time. freitag always looks like she just ate a lemon. appleman i thought i might like but seems arrogant.

                                                  so far mehta and garces and trevino i like. will give it one more watch but...

                                                  1. I enjoyed seeing Alton walk around asking the chefs "whatcha making?" during the memory phase of the competition. Now if I could just get past his awful hair style . . .

                                                    1. One word for most of the food - ugh! Though I would have tried the eel....

                                                      1. The judges weren't very impressive. They did a horrible job of introducing the sustainable food female judge, she doesn't seem qualified at all from that bio! I guess Steingarten is ok. Overall this season seems totally sub par compared to two years ago. The contestants are more like Top Chef contestants, rather than TC Masters like they should be.

                                                        1. Why are they all over the culinary map this season? I did not see the prior season(s). AFAIK, each Iron Chef is only called upon to represent one cuisine. So why make every contestant do all the different foods and use different utensils?

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                            well it wouldn't be very challenging if they just asked them to cook their normal cuisine with equipment that was familiar, now would it? ;-)