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Oct 19, 2009 10:10 AM

Next Iron Chef 10/18 (spoilers)

Really? No one posted yet??

Farmerie gets the boot for fusion pierogi. Meh.

Slashfood opines that they are giving Mehta the villain edit--but unless they put him up to it, the grape leaves incident was more than editing. I hope they keep him, Freitag, and Cullen just to have a little variety--at least you can tell them apart. And j'adore the French accent!

No one to really root for or against yet, IMO.

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  1. I guess this show isn't that popular.
    I'm surprised - I quite enjoy it, and I like the format.

    I agree - i havent found anyone I loveor hate yet...early days I guess

    1. Did anyone else find it more than a bit absurd that these chefs don't make sure beforehand that the equipment they'll need is working and/or turned on to preheat? How many times in these competitions have we heard a contestant complain that the oven is cold or - as in this TNIC episode - none of the deep fat fryers are even on let alone at usable temperature.

      Assume nothing, chefs. If you'll be needing that fryer, run over there early on and make sure it's turned on. No one to blame but yourself if it's not. Perhaps they forget that it's just them building the dish - no sous or other helpers to do the "small" stuff.

      And taste! There's no excuse for sending out a dish where you claim you weren't sure if what you put in it was salt or sugar! If in doubt, taste it before you apply it! Duh!...

      As for previous postings about Amanda Freitag, for her to have come in second seemed in conflict with the judges' comments on her uninspired dish. Perhaps there is indeed a network push to have her win, since she is already on their roster.

      14 Replies
      1. re: cmvan

        I hadnt thought about your first point, but I don't know if under the time comstraints - they really have the time to check those thing. I don't know - it's just a guess.

        Definitely agree with you about tasting the dishes...- How can you NOT??

        And agree about the Freitag thing.... they didnt seem overly enthused

        1. re: NellyNel

          "but I don't know if under the time comstraints - they really have the time to check those thing."
          that's like saying they don't have time to turn on the stove burner. if you know you're going to fry something, *turn on the fryer* before you start prepping your ingredients. it takes 2 seconds.

          i was sorry to see Farmerie go because he seems like a good guy and i enjoyed his appearance as a challenger on ICA, but he deserved to get the ax - this was the second week in a row that the judges were really turned off by his food.

          i'm totally mystified by whom they'll end up choosing - Freitag would be a smart choice because it would add another female Iron Chef, and as cmvan pointed out, she's already on the network. Appleman seems like he'd be really inventive and fun to watch, but his style reminds me too much of Michael Symon (and former competitor Chris Cosentino). Mullen clearly has the cooking chops, but i'd like to see more personality from him. i'm not impressed by Crenn - she's probably my choice for the next to go (either her or Mehta). and though i think Garces & Trevino are probably both great chefs, Garces complains too much about the other chefs and the judges, and Trevino gets too flustered with the time constraints. something about Mehta's attitude just rubs me the wrong way.

          if i *had* to choose, i guess i'd like to see Mullen or Freitag take it.

          BTW, is it just me, or has Jeffrey become even MORE of a curmudgeon (if that's even possible)?

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            No it's not just you...Jeffrey has almost become a parody of himself! He's so rude to the other judges and contestants. At least he used to say meaningful things - now he just seems to grunt.

            1. re: sibeats

              I don't watch Iron Chef America. Why is Jeffrey being such a dick? Is he just arrogant?

              1. re: Ericandblueboy

                it's beyond arrogance...he's just plain *nasty* to everyone now. unbelievably critical of the food, but not in a constructive way, nitpicking over inane details and insulting the contestants' ideas. he's argumentative with the other judges too. he's really pissing me off.

              2. re: sibeats

                I think that Jeffrey is reacting to this "sham" of a contest that FN has arranged to set up Amanda Freitag as the next Iron Chef. Jeffrey is usually the only honest, educated, critical judge on the show (read his book The Man Who Ate Everything -- you can get it on Amazon in paper for about 12 bucks). As soon as I saw her walk out on the first night I saw it coming since she's been a darling of their's and is a regular on FN already. I've also noted that Cat Cora and her spouse just had their third and fourth kids this summer, and she is the only woman IC.

                But then they go and give different ingredients to each of the competitors, and on the first night actually go so far as to say that she got the easiest. Second week she gets chicken (coq au vin) and while the others are making more difficult dishes, they call her dish: food of the gods, or some such. Then this week it's a fish cake and curry sauce and while the judges (especially Jeffrey) almost look on in disbelief, Alton crowns her Princess of the day's competition. The thing about giving out different ingredients and rules is that you can decide who you want to eliminate. I do watch, and enjoy Iron Chef. I think at the point at which they were to change to rules to have different ingredients for the opponents, the program would lose its legitimacy. And, by the way, Jeffrey is a regular judge, while the other two judges may be acotors, sports figures, or food or wine magazine editors.

                1. re: junescook

                  I know that Jeffrey is a regular on ICA. I also agree that having different ingredients and different themes delegitimize this competition. However, can you say Jeffrey's behavior is really in protest of the unfair nature of this show and not just him being cranky?

                  1. re: junescook

                    while the other two judges may be acotors, sports figures, or food or wine magazine editors.
                    on regular ICA, yes, but not on the show being discussed in this thread.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I think they either want Freitag, or someone who cooks Spanish food, the contestants seem stacked towards Spanish food.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        You're right about the judges here, but I think that Jeffery is still calling them as he sees them and is being his usual critical self. Still the format of the program being discussed on this thread vis-a-vis regular ICA, tends to give the appearance of the possibility of unfairness.

                        Hey, after all, this was just my premonition. I'd be happy to see somebody cook with a Spanish flair as well.

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Appleman is too cocky for me. Iron Chefs should be classy and a bit more mature than that punk, IMO

                2. re: cmvan

                  I was thinking the same thing about the fryers. If the dish you are making calls for hot oil, wouldn't you think to at least check the fryer?

                  I guess it turned out alright in the end, though.

                  1. re: araknd

                    Apparently only because he grabbed a pan, poured in a couple of inches of oil, and cranked up the flame. The fryers take about 10 minutes or more to come up to heat, and he didn't have time for that at that point.

                    1. re: cmvan

                      Oh, I know that the fryers take time to heat up, but I would think that in planning their prep, a chef would check the equipment that they wanted to use. Kind of like making sure you have a sharp knife before carving or butchering or that all the burners on the stove are working.

                3. Are they looking for Iron Chef fusion?

                  When Alton chided Chef Mehta for using the busted ice cream machine again, I would've replied what kind of shithole doesn't provide working equipment? I'm not an avid watcher of Iron Chef America, but I've never seen equipment failure on the Japanese Iron Chef.

                  Too much cartilage in the pho sandwich? I suppose that's a valid comment since pho doesn't have cartilage. Tripe, fat, tendon - yes. Cartilage - I've never seen it in pho.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Ericandblueboy

                    My wife, who does not cook much (that's my role at home), said this after Chef Mehta's experience: "If you're on an Iron Chef show and decide, 'mmmm...--this would make good ice cream,' you're just asking to fail. That machine never works."

                    1. re: jmckee

                      If an appliance doesn't work, shouldn't it be fixed or labeled as non-functioning?

                      1. re: Ericandblueboy

                        My impression was that Chef Mehta just couldn't get the machine to work either time; not that it was necessarily broken.

                        1. re: araknd

                          araknd is right. the machine isn't broken.

                          based on the comments from the judges about the overwhelming sweetness of all of his failed "frozen" concoctions, i get the feeling his proportions are off...sugar lowers the freezing point of liquids. if he's got too much in there, the mixture won't get cold enough for the ice crystals to form. he needs to cut back on the sugar and get the stuff in the machine as soon as the challenge starts if he has any hope of getting it to freeze in time.

                          the other issue no one seems to be addressing is that the ice cream machine they use on ICA is a monster industrial one, *and* the chefs always remove the product - which is still very soft when finished churning - from the ice cream machine and transfer to the blast chiller to firm it up before serving. Mehta needs to get over the fixation on his frozen dishes. unless he has at least 2 hours for the challenge they just won't work...but i don't think he's going to be around much longer anyway.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            So you're essentially saying Mehta doesn't know how to make ice cream? It's a serious accusation but I don't know Mehta from a hole in the wall.

                            1. re: Ericandblueboy

                              i said "i get the feeling his proportions are off." i'm not "accusing" the guy of anything, just theorizing based on what we've seen, and what i know from my background in food science.

                          2. re: araknd

                            i bet if you went through every episode of Iron Chef America, they have had many problems with the Ice Cream Machine. it seems to be a regular "plot device".

                    2. As an LA Chowhound, I was quite pleased with the episode, particularly with the choice of LA restaurants. When they said they were sending people to local Asian restaurants, I definitely cringed, knowing how bad TFN is at getting local food right, but several of these were excellent places, well known and much praised on Chowhound, including Din Tai Fung (the dumpling house) and Jitlada (Thai). I did not know the Korean or Vietnamese places, but they definitely did some homework on this one.

                      They do get points off for jumping on the over-hyped Kogi taco truck bandwagon, but that must have been a hard one for TFN to resist.

                      1. I have been trying in vain to find out the names of the Korean and Vietnamese Restaurant in this episode. Can someone help?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tomhel

                          Vietnamese was Pho Huyhn; Korean was Nak Won.