Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Oct 31, 2010 06:59 PM

THE NEXT IRON CHEF: Respect (Season 3, Episode 5) [Spoilers]

Chef Chauhan is going home.

Winner of the Iron Chef Chairman challenge is Chef Tsai.

But, first the Secret Ingredient Challenge

Secret Ingredient Challenge: Potato
Theme: Respect
Guest Judge: Lt. Col. from the Army (in charge of kitchen and mess hall?)
Winner: Chef Canora (by a hair)
Loser: Chef Forgione (by a mile)

So the judges have to Respect the very versatile and "Rodney Dangerfield" ingredient of the food universe, the potato.

Some highlights.

Did Caswell steal all the truffle before anyone else could get to it?

Tsai made sweet potato risotto with star anise that many found too strong

Chauhan? Potato ravioli with a leek sauce that everyone raved about, incl. the Lt. Col.

Canora made sort of a "petit four" of potatoes, which was a big hit.

Chef Forgione made a "nudi" which he said was a ravioli without skin ... and it turned out to be a "badi".

Ultimately, Canora and Chauhan tied amongst the self-judging, and the Lt. Col. gave the tie-breaking vote to Canora (But, of course, right? If there wasn't a tie-breaking vote needed why have a "guest" judge?)

Onto the Chairman's Challenge

Each Chef had to prepare a dish that represented the four geographical regions of the U.S. ... North, South, West, and East.

Garces was the guest judge.

Canora made the best dish with his lamb (with lavender and rosemary) with Simon saying it was the "single best piece of lamb [he's] ever tasted". w

Coming in a close second (or a 1A) was Tsai, esp. with his gazpacho which Graces raved about.

Garces loved Tsai's dishes but said Tsai's plating was not contemporary enough (huh?).

Caswell's food was not very good, with the collard greens being the best. 'Nuff said. More comments about his "looking like a linebacker" and cooking "like a ballerina".

Chef Chauhan's avocado cup was called, derogatorily, "chef jr." which is ironic because she made a bread pudding that was spiked, nay, soaked with overpowering rum. Graces called her cooking "unrefined".

Forgione came up with five dishes (which prompted Alton Brown to ask whether his compass had "five regions"). The one extra region was repped by a strawberry shortcake that might have saved him because his fish was almost inedible.

Tio impressed the judges with her overall technique (incl. use of the pressure cooker).

Chefs Tsai and Canora are on top, with Tsai winning.

Forgione and Chauhan bring up the rear, with Chauhan (finally) biting the dust and going home.

5 left and next week we are off to Las Vegas .... where it's a double-elimination.

(Feel free to correct, add, amend, etc. as I was doing this while handing out Halloween candy ...)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. hey ipse, i know it *should* be an automatic assumption, but you might want to put a spoiler alert in the title just in case :)

    a few minor additions/corrections - Simon said Canora's lamb was the best he's ever eaten *in the U.S.* - in fact, he repeated that particular qualifier more than once, and i couldn't help thinking it was a pretty elitist and condescending thing to say, as if he believes the Brits are better than Americans at cooking meat.

    Forgione explained that his strawberry shortcake was the one Americana dish he could think of that wasn't limited to a particular region.

    Chauhan's sauce was bourbon-based, not rum.

    okay, on to my opinions...

    Caswell's comment about an NBA player being the midpoint between a linebacker and a ballerina was pretty damn funny.

    i think that strawberry shortcake saved Forgione, mostly because Garces loved it and thought it showed IC initiative to bust out an extra dish like that. i was really relieved he survived, AND that Chauhan finally went home.

    i've been saying for a while now that i don't know if it's because of the edit he's getting, but i *still* really don't like the way Canora comes across.

    and finally, hooray for Ming Tsai finally hitting his stride!

    i'd LIKE to see Tsai, Forgione and Caswell as the final 3, but i suspect it will be Tsai, Forgione and Canora. i like Tio, but i just don't think she's *quite* there in terms of what the judges are looking for.

    4 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Thanks for the corrections, ghg.

      Re: Simon's lamb comment ... maybe he's only had lamb in the U.S. as part of this show and it was a bank-handed complimet to Canora? Those snotty Brits, they still can't get over losing the war ... the Revolutionary War.

      And re: the "spoiler alert" ... eh, by now, you should know ... enter at your own risk ... it is Halloween after all. :-)

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        That's exactly the final 3 I'd like to see as well. Of the 5 chefs left, Canora is my least favorite. Frankly, I'd really like to see Caswell win the whole thing.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          You guys are assuming a lot about Simon M's comment. Maybe the best lamb he ever had in his life was in France, or Turkey, or Greece.

          1. re: kleine mocha

            That was how I took it - best in the US, not the best ever in the world. He's had better.

        2. I thought it was a great episode..

          Tsai doesn't look old until he plates his food and that shows his age..

          I'm rooting for Forgione to win.. He has been a favorite since the beginning..

          23 Replies
          1. re: SDGourmand

            I like Forgione, too. I was disappointed to see him at the bottom of both challenges this week. It's funny that the strawberry shortcake saved him. In a prior season of the next iron chef, I remember concluding that anyone who did anything "extra" almost always went down in flames. If I remember correctly, I think Chris Cosentino did that often, and it didn't work out for him.

            Anyway, I think the pool of people remaining seem like they could handle the role of next chef. There are some I'd prefer to watch over others, but, still, I think any of them could compete competently.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen


              Interesting that having the extra dish is scored that way in this competition when in ICA, it always seems to work to the benefit of the one producing the extra courses (very oftern Morimoto, for example).

              I would like to see Forgione, Tsai and Tio as the three finalists. Honestly I would like to see Tsai win though Caswell could be a formidable IC. We just find Forgione, Tsai and Tio the most likeable of the group.

              Overall I'd consider this one of the best chef competition shows on tv, right up there with TC Masters. No soap opera stories, no bleeping "get the F*** out of here's", but some pretty creative cooking and, gradually, a more collegial sense of cooperation. (By the way, what did Canora do with all those truffles?)

              I do have to say that of all the chef competition shows, this

              1. re: junescook

                I think it was Caswell that was the truffle horder and they went into his tater tots.

            2. re: SDGourmand

              I don't understand the old fashioned plating criticism of Tsai.

              I'm ignorant on this topic, being I'm not a foodie, I just watch a lot of food TV.

              1. re: dach

                I think the plate he used was frosted glass from a few decades ago and not one of the modern styles.

                1. re: mucho gordo

                  And last week Symon made a comment along the lines of "inedible garnishes are so 1980s", so, they definitely think he needs to freshen up his approach to plating. I'm personally clueless about this stuff, though.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    LOL, Ming should just say he was attempting "retro".

                2. re: dach

                  Frosted plates may be passe (who knew!!) but I'm just as tired of big, oversized, white plates of sleek modern design with wisps of artfully (dare we say "precious") food arranged on them. It seems like every chef these days is marching lock-step in line with the same contemporary/modern plating technique.

                  Next thing you know Ming will be plating some skyscraper and they'll call him horribly outdated

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    If it was the frosted plate that lead to the criticism, then what the heck was it doing in the kitchen to begin with? Why are they keeping out-of-date and passe plates and silverware around?

                    Was it some sort of test to see who had enough fashion-food sense to only use the contemporary plates and not commit some sort of IC faux-pas?

                    If that was the case, then was this like a trap or some sort of hidden test?

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      a lot was the use of the red ramekin..

                      1. re: SDGourmand

                        ... ok, putting aside the absurdity that red ramekins are somehow a plating faux-pas for the fashion-forward crowd.

                        I ask the same question I asked about the frosted plates -- what was the red ramekin doing in the pantry/kitchen to begin with?

                        Were there chef's coats made from Members Only and Guess? hanging in the kitchen closet as well?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          ipse, you & i are totally in agreement on this. i don't know why in the world the frosted plate and red ramekin were even in the pantry, nor why ANY chef would choose to use them for plating. (they're both hideous.) however, i think it's silly of the judges to bash him for using something that was at his disposal - it would be like criticizing a chef for using a certain ingredient (let's say truffle or bacon) in a dish...if you don't want them to use it, why the heck did you stock the pantry with it?

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            This reminds me of the TC episode where Spike used the frozen scallops from Tramonto's walk in..

                            1. re: SDGourmand

                              precisely what i was thinking about when i posted that!

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                here is a pic of Tsai's plate to help us remember..

                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              i don't know why in the world the frosted plate and red ramekin were even in the pantry

                              Maybe, like knives, the chef's brought their own plates? That's the only (plausible or not) explanation I can think of.

                              As to why someone would use them? Hey, what's old is new, and what's new is old, right?

                              Maybe Tsai is just ahead of his time ... and come The Next Iron Chef, Season 10, Donatella will be saying, "wow, chef X needs to get with the times ... she's still using those geometric, white plates, c'mon, it's all about frosted plates and red, bright red, ramekins!"

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                That's an interesting theory, that they bring their own serving platters. I've often suspected they are able to do so on ICA become sometimes they come up with some really wacky plating ideas. The only example that comes to mind at the moment is one battle where someone served fish and chips in a newspaper cone, which isn't that wacky, except that a newspaper is not something one would assume is going to automatically be available in a professional kitchen. So, maybe ICA provides them with basic stuff, and then they are allowed to bring their own stuff, too.

                                Poor Ming. It has to be very humbling to hear them tell him he's not as cool as the other kids.


                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  I remember a past episode of ICA when the challenger served something on flat-topped blocks of a kind of hard colored natural salt. They were beautiful, definitely his own stuff, and one of the judges (I think it was Ted Allen) asked if he could take his home!

                                  1. re: huiray

                                    That's pretty neat!

                                    P.S. Did he win?


                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      I don't fully remember, and am probably wrong - but I have the notion in my head that he did not in the end...

                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    Now that I think about it, Morimoto definitely brings his own plates and serving platforms. He has probably the most unique presentations I've seen yet on ICA.

                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  I'm thinking they weren't really bashing Mming, per se, but somehow thought they had to say something detrimental, and that was all they could find.

                      2. They are setting this up as Canora v. Tsai. Probably as it should be. Personally, I think I would b friends with Forgione before any of the others; he seems like a really lovely guy. Caswell also seems cool. Purely on cooking, though, I continue to like Canora, and with Symon back judging, I think Canora has an advantage based purely on what type of food I know Symon likes to eat. Also, from a Food Network perspective, with Batali gone, they might want an Italian-inspired Iron Chef.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: whiner

                          I'd like Forgione to be my hairdresser.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Note to Iron Chef contestants: Take 5 minutes before you go on TV and learn how to use a pressure cooker, all you have to do is watch ANY episode of IC to see that you will have to know this. You could ask your granny or goggle "how to use a pressure cooker." How dumb is it that so many of these accomplished chefs are undone by this?