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Kenny Mayne: Worst Iron Chef America judge ever?

I resent the fact that Food Network has been regularly using non-food people (semi-celebrities and other "personalities") as judges on Iron Chef America. It seems that in recent shows, two of the three judges are non-food people. Most of these people don't have much to say, which is just as well, but on this week's episode -- Battle Berries with Flay vs. Daisley Gordon -- one of the judges was ESPN's Kenny Mayne, who proved to be a bigger idiot than I've ever seen in Kitchen Stadium. Mr. Mayne had no idea what he was talking about, even though the ingredients were nothing exotic. At one point, he even refused to taste a poached egg that was part of a dish. He was simply awful.


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  1. Thank you for posting this! I was just out to lunch with my husband and I was regaling him with stories of what an idiot this guy was. I agree, worst judge ever.
    Did you hear at one point when he was poking around one of the dessert plates, not sure what something was. Someone else said it was a berry jam, and he looked over at the chef and said "oh, did you make it?" OMG! Even the non-food judge next to him looked incredulous and said "of course he made it he's a chef!"
    And then the poached egg...oy...how could you not eat part of the dish? Hopefully he won't be back....

    1. Wow I haven't seen this one yet, but I have noticed that they are putting more "no-foodies" They need to limit them to only 1 "nonfoodie" per challenge. There should also be a contract they sign that states they must eat the dishes.

      You have no business juding if you are going to refuse to taste something.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sandwich_Sister

        It is an homage to the original Japanese Iron Chef that always had a giggling actress or athelete. Almost every panel had several nonfoodies on them.

        1. re: beteez

          yes, but all of them ate all the food!

      2. Gotta say, I thought the whole thing was hilarious. And it seemed to be unintentional, which made it all the funnier. He was a terrible judge. And clueless. Made the show more entertaining than usual.

        1. i decided about halfway through the judging of Daisley Gordon's dishes that i was just going to ignore his comments. he's fine on ESPN, but has no business judging a cooking competition.

          i must confess, however, that i thought his comment regarding Bobby's summer pudding about the berries "all coming together in the bottom of the bowl and fermenting into rhubarb" was freaking hilarious because it was so bizarre and absurd. at least we got a little comic relief!

          BTW, is it just me, or did Julie White appear to have lost weight? she always appeared healthy to me, but her arms were looking extremely skinny...

          2 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            that comment really was hilarious. He was pretty worthless, and I also was annoyed that he refused to eat the poached egg. WTH.
            I agree that Julie White looked thin!
            BFs blue corn blueberry pancake dish with duck confit had me practically swooning it looked so good! (I am CRAZY about blueberries!)

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Julie White was the most annoying judge I have ever had to sit through. She blathered on and on in a very annoying, whiny voice. She's an actress. She should know better. No dish was immune to her pointless, rambling comments.

              Just shut up!!

              I hope she never comes back!!

              The sports guy was an idiot. He's a sports guy, what else to you expect?

              1. re: littlestevie

                He was actually pretty good if I remember correctly!

                1. re: sibeats

                  best guest judge ever, but only when Jeffrey is at the table too. they were hilarious together!

                2. re: littlestevie

                  loved bonecrusher - that man clearly loves food!

                3. If I see Cady Huffman one more time.....

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: MrsT

                    or Akiko Katayama. but hey, at least Karine Bhakoum is gone!

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      In regards to what time frame? She was judge 2-3 weeks ago in battle balsamic vinegar (Michael Symon/apprentices vs. culinary students). She has lost a TON of weight but still has that same attitude which I loathe!

                      1. re: gmk1322

                        she was? my DVR conked out while i was away & so it didn't record that episode. i had no idea! bummer. i had hoped we were rid of her. i don't care if she's a size 2 or a 22, she just irks me. and i was really hoping to catch a rerun of that battle, but now i'm not so stoked about seeing the judging portion...

                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Karine reminded me of the picky fortune teller judge on the old Iron Chef but crankier

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Without Akiko, how will we know when the dishes are "a little oily"?

                      3. This guy sounds like he could be running FN.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Withnail42

                          I actually get quite depressed when non-food people are used as judges. It breaks my heart that FN would waste time and tape with some of their picks. Kenny Mayne was the worst I've seen to date.
                          On the other hand, Jeffery and Andrew can get a bit out of sorts; but at least they know of what they speak.

                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                            I saw that show too and I thought it was just me, but I guess that it was really just Kenny. However, in his defense, I too am a very picky eater and I'm not sure I'd like to try some of those dishes and would never had tried anything from the original Iron Chef show. But I also would turn down an offer to be a judge because, as someone above said, if I wasn't going to taste the entire dish I shouldn't be a judge. Oh and I loved the giggling actresses on the original Iron Chef "Oh this groundhog eye soup is just delicious" ==:)

                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                              If you have one or two judges who don't really know food, are the results of the competition meaningful? I don't think so.

                          2. Now I'm interested in seeing this episode.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Withnail42

                              Me too. I never miss Kenny Mayne on the Sun. NFL pre game show. And my one time watching Dancing with the Stars, I was too late to see him before his quick disqualification. He would had to have really been an idiot for me to not like him judging. While I agree that people who know there stuff should judge, I think someone who really enjoys food might make a good judge too. Altho it sounds like Kenny might not be that person either.

                            2. The only judges that bug me are the Japanese woman with the very short hair who thinks everything is "a little oily" and that hipster guy with the long hair who over-criticizes and harps on minutiae even though he probably can barely boil water.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Dinsdale45

                                Akiko Katayama is the one with the oil phobia. she's really irritating.

                                re: the long-haired "hipster," i'm guessing you mean Andrew Knowlton. he's cranky, overly critical, and an all-around PITA, but the guy does know food - he's the restaurant editor for Bon App├ętit magazine.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Loved the time fellow judge Martin Yan called her out...something like, "Amazing, she reviewed a dish without using the word oily..." Cracked everyone up.