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THE NEXT IRON CHEF: "Seduction" (Season 3, Episode 7) [Spoilers]

Winner was Chef Canora

Chefs Tio and Tsai are going home.

Sorry, no recap tonight. I've got my hands full, literally, making dumplings, baozi, and xian bing.

Have at it.

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  1. Good episode. Sad to see Tsai go but the judges never did warm up to him. Regardless I am basically 95% sure Forgione was going to win as he made an appearance on RR with the other Food Network guys a few weeks ago. Didn't watch but seemed odd they'd only promote a contestant. Seems more network friendly than an older Canora.

    1. Canora was definitely the clear winner. However, I was surprised to see Forgione over Tio and Tsai. Given that he had a dish that all three judges didn't like I was sure he was going home.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ladycale

        I thought he wouldn't go on either. Really sad to see Tsai go. I had so hoped for him to win.

        1. re: libgirl2

          +2. i totally thought that pasta was going to be Forgione's ticket home...and the way Canora was trash-talking Tsai all season, i suspected the editors were setting them up as the final two.

          sad to see Ming go, i've always loved him. i *really* hope Forgione kicks Canora's butt in the finale!

        1. re: Shrinkrap

          Mine too. But I was kind of "anybody but Canora" tonight. I was really hoping it would be Tio and Forgione, but I would have taken Tsai in the mix.

        2. Forgione had me at the Mezcal tonight. Incredibly hard spirit to use in a drink. God, I hope he pulls it off next week. I truly really, really dislike Canora

          1. No. way. There was some bias going on here. Batali appears less frequently on Iron Chef (still fuzzy on what's going on) and they wanted a new Italian guy. All season I've watched these judges go O-face over Canora's food--most of which seemed pretty simple to me (e.g. the fruit salad on the buffet episode). Then, tonight, Tio was clearly better than Forgione--he once again messed up his pasta! I'm not sure what they had against Tsai all season, but he was definitely judged harshly, although sometimes rightly so (e.g. pork and pineapple). Sorry to be all conspiracy on you, but my theory is that they are motivated to have a new Italian Iron Chef and Canora is the chosen one. Forgione has not performed consistently and I doubt he can beat Canora. But, regardless, FN gets a new Italian ICA.

            3 Replies
            1. re: stuck_in_ohio

              Batali and FN had a falling out a while back. He still appears in the intro but is no longer part of the IC program. If I'm not mistaken, he hasn't appeared at all since '08 - only as a part of the super chef battle with Emeril

              1. re: ramenbound

                Batali is no longer connected to TVFN. I don't know why his photo is still among the Iron Chefs.

                I too was really rooting for Ming Tsai, and I felt he was held to a different standard than the other chefs all season.

                I'm afraid it's a losing cause, but I sure hate to see Canora as The Next Iron Chef. Don't see Forgione beating him.

              2. re: stuck_in_ohio

                I hate to be so cynical but when Canora started winning fairly consistently when his food didn't seem to be the best, I immediately thought of the whole Batali situation. I was 100% sure they were going to choose an Italian chef to replace Mario Batali.

                But what do you expect? All this stuff isn't real. There was a thread a few years ago, which included a link to an article written by someone who had attended a taping of Iron Chef. I think this is it:

                The whole timed contest is fake. They get to re-cook the food for the judges because by the time the technical aspects of the taping take place, the food is cold/ruined. So even if they over/undercook the food during the contest, the food that is served for judging is cooked without any time constraint. The Iron Chef the challenger will battle has already been chosen. That's the only real Iron Chef in the stadium. The others are stand-in look-alikes. And so it goes on. Not much of Iron Chef is as it seems.

                I'm not upset because I expect this from the Food Network but I remember really enjoying the first season of The Next Iron Chef. I missed the second season. Not sure why - I don't think it was broadcast in Canada and I can't find any working links online. Anyway, the first season was great - it introduced me to a lot of great chefs and I respected the credentials of the judges. This season, not so much.

              3. I really hate that Tsai got eliminated, I was hoping he would win. I am also disappointed that Tio got axed, Iron Chef could sure use another woman. I find Canora very unlikable, his personality is not what I want to see in an Iron Chef and I cannot understand how that aspect of the contestants is apparently not being judged.

                1. I guess I'm really bad at guessing from the editing; I actually thought Chef Tio came in second tonight before "the reveal". Anyway, I was wondering about that "oil poached" fish she made; As I recall the image of it sitting in a pan in the front of the stove, wasn't it an itty bitty piece? Certainly not enough for four plates? Anyone notice this?

                  1. I'm not disappointed to see Ming Tsai go. Sure he's a nice guy and a real showman and he makes for good TV but his food was all over the place.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: taos

                      I really don't know just how 'nice' he is. To me, and, I think to others, he came across as arrogant and looking down on the other chefs with disdain. He thought he was better.

                      1. re: mucho gordo

                        I've met him in person. He has a humungous ego. (He's also very large physically.) But he was nice to me. So maybe what I should have said he is nice guy personally but overly-arrogant and lacking in collegiality professionally.

                        Anyway, I don't think the Next Iron Chef should be chosen based on personality, good or bad, though I understand that since we can't taste the food, it's the easiest thing to go on when you're watching on TV.

                    2. I want to come to ipse's house for dinner!

                      I guess I don't have a whole lot to add. Sad to see Ming and Tio go. Really likable chefs, both of them. I'm rooting for Forgione. His food has been very good at times and he seems like a nice guy and that he's competitive in a collegial way, not a whiny "where did the parchment paper" rant sort of way. Canora's food does sound delicious sometimes, but not that much more delicious as everyone else's, and he's just not as fun to watch.


                      1. I'm with DQ about going to ipse's house for dinner--or maybe have him apply to be Next Iron Chef!

                        I don't know why I was routing for Tsai so much since he didn't perform THAT well on this show but maybe it's because I've seen him for so long and know he can cook great food. I thought Tio was a top 2, too, from the editing. As Forgione rolled out his ravioli, I said his dough looked too thick and it did seem like he was in the bottom. That said, once it was clear that Canora was going to be a top two, I would have been happy with any of the others-- I like Tio, Forgione and Tsai. Tio really seemed to come out as the show went on. Canora is too frenetic to do well on a show like Iron Chef--he needs to learn yoga breathing or something. I'd worry about his health if he had to do an hour of high pressure cooking often.

                        1. Before they even plated the food, I said Forgione and Canora to my husband. I think that they were consistently in the top in most of the episodes I caught, and from the get-go, I thought that Forgione would take it. Despite what they say, I think that consistency is the key quality, and whatever faults their food might have had last night, they were pretty consistent in turning out well-liked food from the beginning.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: roxlet

                            :nodding: I knew Canora was going to be one of them. I honestly wasn't too sure about Forgione, but once they dismissed Tio and were lukewarm about Tsai's pork fat dish (you know, the one that Symon liked but the others didn't), I figured Forgione was it.

                            That said, I actually don't mind Canora. Sure, he's abrasive and a bit prickly, but I'd love to eat his food. Fogione's OK -- I have absolutely nothing against him.

                            Tio never had a chance, IMO. I've noticed her inconsistency as somebody on the panel said about if she loves a particular ingredient, it shows; if she doesn't, it also shows.

                            Part of me is still sobbing for Tsai :(

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Actually, Forgione has not been that consistent. Remember he won in episode 2 (Innovation) but was in the bottom two in episode 5 (Respect)? Strangely, when he won the Chairman's Challenge in the Innovation episode, Tsai was in the bottom two. And when Tsai won the Chairman's Challenge in the Respect episode, Forgione was in the bottom two. They just switched places. The rest of the time, the two of them were somewhere in the middle of the pack, although Tsai also won episode 1's Chairman's Challenge (Ingenuity) and the Secret Ingredient challenge in episode 6. So Tsai's performance was as "consistent" as Forgione's and Tio's. Tio was never at the bottom but she has only won one secret ingredient challenge and one chairman's challenge. The rest of the time she was also in the middle of the pack. Canora was the only one who has won more consistently. Caswell on the other hand, was also consistent but in the middle of the pack and never really stood out as much as the judges wanted him to be.

                            2. I agree with all the people who were sad to see Tsai and Tio go and are now rooting for Forgione over that whiner, Canora. Although if he wins I guess the Food Network will find a way to use that manic where's-the-parchment-paper schtick.

                              1. I wonder if the judges in a sense reflect a westernized bias against certain textures and types of food preparation common in Chinese or Asian cuisine... Symon - the chef - liked Tsai's fatty pork prep but Arpaia and Majumdar (British born and bred) did not. What passed through my mind was a recollection of when Colicchio & Co. also did not like the fat layer in Cotton's tea-smoked duck on the last season of Top Chef. Perhaps Tsai's pork fat was questionable - after all we do not get to taste it - but he seemed very pleased with how it came out...but the two non-chef judges did not care for it. Just wondering.

                                (Ditto the previous pork-and-pineapple contretemps... the combination is, after all, not uncommon in certain cuisines, whereas it appears to be a personal bugbear of Majumdar as people have pointed out elsewhere)

                                In the end, it still turns on "cooking for the judges" in this reality TV dramatainment show and the results do not really reflect how someone else (an actual diner) might actually like or dislike dishes prepared by any particular chef.

                                18 Replies
                                1. re: huiray

                                  I thought that about the lardo, too. They didn't like the texture but that didn't make it a bad dish since Symon really liked it. I think they need more sophisticated judges, not dumbed down cooking.

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    I think they need more sophisticated judges, not dumbed down cooking.
                                    dingdingding! totally agree. i don't know what was up with Donatella and her picky, unadventurous palate this season, but i'll bet Symon fought for Tsai and got out-voted.

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      Donatella was just annoying this whole show. If you don't know enough not to eat a roasted hot pepper or banana peel, you don't know enough about food.

                                      1. re: chowser

                                        Can't stand her. Can't can't can't can't. Don't see any overwhelming knowledge base. Don't see any attractive personality traits. Snide. Whiny. Annoying.

                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        Indeed. I think it might have been the case too.

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          I don't understand why Symon's view is considered any more valid than Donatello's. After all, the only reason Symon is an Iron Chef is because three years ago Donatello liked his food when he competed on The Next Iron Chef. So if her judging ability is so bad, then Michael Symon does not deserve to be an Iron Chef.

                                          1. re: taos

                                            it's Donatella, not Donatello. and the reason i give more credence to Symon's opinion is that he doesn't whine that everything is too spicy or too fatty.

                                            when Symon competed to become TNIC, Donatella was, as always, one of *three* judges on the panel. the other two were Michael Ruhlman & Andrew Knowlton, both of whose palates & opinions i respect. it was up to all of them, plus the Chairman, to decide the winner. so just because i think her palate is wonky this season and she happened to be a judge during Symon's competition, your contention that he's therefore not "deserving" of the title is just silly.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              Re: judges.

                                              Personally, I would much prefer that the TNIC judges be a panel of current Iron Chefs. Who better to judge whether some has what it takes to compete in Kitchen Stadium than the folks who do it on a regular basis.

                                              Yes, I know having guest judges simulates what it would be like if they were actually competing in Kitchen Stadium against other competitor-chefs, but that's not the point of this competition, right?

                                              It's about finding out who has what it takes to be an Iron Chef, not who has what it takes to win an Iron Chef competition against another competitor-chef.

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                Sorry about the typo in Donatella's name.

                                                My contention is not that Symon is undeserving.

                                                My contention is that you are holding Next Iron Chef contestants to a double standard. Symon got to be an Iron Chef because Donatella, among others, liked his food. Now you are discounting Donatella's opinion when judging Ming Tsai. Based on your comments that she "whines that everything is too salty or too fatty" which is not at all true and that you respect Ruhlman and Knowlton, I'm wondering if maybe it's just a personal issue with you and you don't like Donatella.

                                                1. re: taos

                                                  i know what you meant - my point was that i think you're really reaching when you say that *i* should think Symon is undeserving of his title simply because i disagree THIS SEASON with the way Donatella is responding to the food put forth by ALL the chefs, not just Ming Tsai.

                                                  for the record, i'm not the only one who has commented this season about her issue with fat and spice (not salt by the way, SPICE), so no, it's not a "personal" issue with Donatella. in fact, i've liked her as a judge in seasons past, as well as on ICA. i've just noticed this season that she's been complaining a lot about dishes being too oily or spicy when the other judges don't seem to have a similar problem with them.

                                              2. re: taos

                                                I consider Michael Symon's view more valid because he's established a long and successful career on knowing and cooking good food.

                                                I don't know what Donatella's success is based on. It could be knowing good food, or it could be being a shrewd businesswoman, or being in the right place at the right time, or being the daughter of old money. Who knows.

                                                That's why for now, I will take Mike Symon's word over the other two.

                                            2. re: chowser

                                              I think that it's the chef's responsibility to know his clientele, and Tsai failed there.

                                              1. re: WNYamateur

                                                Yes, in a contest, he should have known to dumb down his menu for Donatella who was surprised to find a roasted hot pepper burned her mouth. I always wonder why they look for innovation when half the time the judges on IC are actors/actresses/designers w/ unadventurous palates. I think it was on the avocado IC that one judge said he didn't like avocado. The IC need to elevate basic and boring to a higher level, not be creative.

                                                1. re: chowser

                                                  As I recall, the original (Japanese) Iron Chef has many entertainment celebrity judges. However, I agree that Donatella often came off as being not very knowledgeable about food--and that this show calls for expertise in judging, perhaps more than Iron Chef itself.

                                                2. re: WNYamateur

                                                  Perhaps so, but that does not negate the larger question - in terms of food appreciation - of what counts as personal idiosyncratic preferences versus characteristics of a style in a cuisine, and other related topics. (We are talking on Chowhound, right?)

                                                  TFN is a TV channel largely devoted to the least common denominator in food, though, so the discussion about concepts of how one approaches food is, uh, skewed in a sense.

                                                3. re: chowser

                                                  Majumdar, on his blog on TFN, called Tsai's lardo dish "misguided". I rather suspect it was, indeed, a reflection of his personal preferences.

                                                4. re: huiray

                                                  Not all the judges on ICA are Jeffrey Steingarten. There are some celebs -- actors, athletes, "Bachelors," -- who show up on the panel due to the efforts of their PR agency and who appear to have no particular knowledge, experience, or sophistication with regard to flavor, texture, etc, and no ability to articulate what they think. And they judge Iron Chefs. Donatells makes many of them look good. So it really is a balance

                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                    sorry, didn't see that the first one actually posted. computer glitch

                                                  2. Oh, and I was going to add that these are chefs and not romantics because few of the dishes seemed like seduction to me. As the chefs described what "seduction" means to them, my teen said, "They're talking about flavor, not seduction." So true.

                                                    1. In re-watching this episode again, after a long marathon session of dumpling making, I sort of think Tsai got hosed vis-a-vis Forgione.

                                                      I mean, seriously, what's a bigger faux pas? Fatty lardo? Or bad pasta skin? I think it's much harder to make palate pleasing lardo, than it is to properly make and cook pasta. Even Forgione admitted that his pasta was the result of him running out of time and it was across the board agreed to by the judges that it was not very well done. Conversely, Tsai had Symon raving about his lardo, while Simon and Donatella found the texture off-putting, but never said it was prepared improperly.

                                                      That said, I'm not really sad to Tsai go, although I was pulling for him throughout. Increasingly, esp. this episode, he seemed rather arrogant (i.e, "it is my destiny to be in kitchen stadium" etc.).

                                                      My money is on Forgione to be TNIC.

                                                      1. I've been rooting for Tio for weeks, followed by Tsai. Forgione never had it for me. And I can't stand to watch Canora's whiny, petulant "poor me" act. So I'm done.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: jmckee

                                                          I have to say Forgione was not my favorite from the beginning but he's kind of grown on me throughout the series. Kinda surprised me.

                                                          FTV may let him win just for the hair. They've already got normal hair styles on Flay and Garces, Morimoto and Cora wear pony tails and Symon represents the bald contingent, so why not the quasi mohawk?

                                                          1. re: jmckee

                                                            I agree. At least Ming already has a TV show that we can watch.

                                                          2. my sense is, Tsai was never going to be allowed to win since they didn't want another Asian style chef. I have no confidence it was a real competition. I also felt the caliber of the judges was quite low, as others have stated. I am sure they will never get another "name" chef again to compete. Really really really didn't like the English guy and Donatella.

                                                            1. I have more or less watched this season by accident--and I'm so pleased to see so many other people voicing my opinions.

                                                              But really, from about the second or third episode I could tell that Canora and Forgione were going to be the final two contestants, though I do have a soft spot for Tsai.

                                                              1. I had an 'aw shucks' for Ming Tsai for getting killed by lardo watching Alec Eric episode on pork products, and Eric Ripert extolling the buttery melt-in-your-mouth goodness of lardo on a visit to Italy. The dish he had did not seem far different in concept than what Tsai tried to prepare. Based on Symon and Ripert positive reactions, it seems that among, at least some, chefs lardo is considered quite the delicacy, and probably consider it underappreciated by lay palette.

                                                                1. Chef Tsai was ripped off. Chef Forgione should have been one of the double eliminations in episode 6 and that would have left Chef Tsai and Canora (boo!!) as the two finalists after Chef Tio was eliminated.

                                                                  They have lost me as a viewer also.

                                                                  I blame this on extremely weak and poor judging. How does someone like Donatella Arpaia get picked to be a judge for this anyway? They should have varied the judges a little more and that would have made the show more interesting as well as offered maybe a bit more balance and fairness to the tastings.


                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                  1. re: RobbnTX

                                                                    The show is biased because of the reward (place on the ICA show). They are going to make an effort to push who they want. As mentioned, Forgione and Canora were made to look great throughout the the series despite falling back to overly simple Italian preparations in many recipes. Garces has terrible ICA tv presence so I'm sure network heads were much more concerned with marketability than before. Italian food sells. Energetic males sell. Tio was too boring to win this contest. Tsai was a ringer who was never going to make it (big name to get ratings). I'd be shocked if Forgione doesn't win this, he's younger and more charismatic, despite his incredibly inconsistent pasta preparation.

                                                                    1. re: GreekTrojan

                                                                      And the one thing noone has mentioned yet...they're both homebased in NYC making production very convenient for FTV

                                                                      1. re: GreekTrojan


                                                                        This has been posted before, but had forgotten it was about Forgione screaming at his staff so loudly that a customer went into the kitchen.
                                                                        Now I truly have no interest in who wins.

                                                                        1. re: BubblyOne

                                                                          I have been rooting against Forgione the entire time because of his behavior to his staff.

                                                                          1. re: funniduck

                                                                            Most chefs are not saints in the kitchen.

                                                                            In fact, many people regardless of profession, are not saints when under pressure.

                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                              This is not about sainthood; it's about being a rational human being in control of yourself.

                                                                              There are a number of customer-based places/products that I won't go to (or buy) because the staff is out right rude to the customer and to their staff. This is my personal belief and I stand by it. By all means you don't have to agree with me.

                                                                        1. re: RobbnTX

                                                                          Does this 2006 profile of Donatella help? Seems she has a good sense of what it takes to make a restaurant customer happy.


                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                            What a puff piece!
                                                                            She apparently is a successful restaurateur but I agree with the criticism that she spent much of this season complaining that dishes were too fatty or too spicy when other judges liked them.

                                                                            1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                              How does that differ from ICA judging? How many times has at least one ICA judge complained about things like that? There's no requirement, that I know off, that the judges like avant-guard items like lardo barded with ghost peppers.

                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                I don't watch IC that often but I've never heard an IC judge mark down a well executed dish just because he/she didn't like that type of dish, eg. the actor who didn't care for avocado didn't give every dish a zero because he doesn't like avocados. Tsai lost, not because he didn't cook well but that he didn't dumb down his dishes to the level that Donatella would appreciate. Badly cooked, too thick ravioli was preferred over a well made lardo.

                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                  I do think that's a disadvantage to NIC vs. ICA, that the contestants are often cooking from different ingredients. So, if you're Symon and you hate the way most of the world prepares lamb or you hate the way pineapple is paired with pork in some cuisines, any contestant who doesn't have that "hot button" protein is going to have an automatic advantage.

                                                                                  Michael Simon did concede that Tsai's lardo could have benefited from some time on the grill (I think is what he said). But, all three judges didn't like the ravioli and two out of three judges didn't like the lardo. I don't see how Tsai was "outcooked" by Forgione.

                                                                                  I know I'm going to sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist, but I notice Tsai has a new book out, that he was the first chef featured in the opening credits of NIC... I wonder if Tsai didn't really want to win, because of too many other obligations and commitments. And in order to entice such a "legendary" chef (Forgione's adjective) to participate, they basically guaranteed Tsai he'd make it to the penultimate episode and then be cut.

                                                                                  Everyone wins. Tsai gets some exposure. FN gets a high-stature chef for most of the competition.


                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                    From the editing, we thought Canora was a shoo-in and that Forgione was the worst. I thought it was close between Tio and Tsai so was surprised when they called out Tio after Canora was told he had won. I'm surprised that Forgione also beat Tio since she didn't have a glaring error like bad pasta.

                                                                                    Tsai being in this particular competition was surprising to me since he seems so busy w/ other things. I wonder why he didn't try TCM? I think that would have been much more up his alley. But, you're right that Tsai brought a name to the NIC.

                                                                        2. Somtimes I just want to scream at Donatella "then what DO you eat?"
                                                                          But of the final two, I reall will pull for Forgione despite his past inconsitencies. Canora is just plain unlikable.

                                                                          1. Anyone know the motivation behind inserting Simon as a judge this season? I really liked last season's triumvirate of Jeffrey, Donatella, and Anya Fernald. Donatella always tends to be a little obnoxious but I guess last season it seemed a little more tolerable with Anya as a counterbalance. This season, for some reason, Simon and Donatella set me off every episode.

                                                                            As for who wins? I honestly don't feel great with Forgione's chances against Canora - he's been thoroughly outcooked by him and been all over the place this whole competition. Of course we all have our opinions on how these decisions ultimately go down but I also have a tough time seeing FN go for another Iron Chef who's on the mellow side (after selecting Garces last time). In terms of cooking, unfortunately the very unlikable Canora did outcook the others but I thought Tio's momentum would have given her a great shot, and Tsai definitely seemed to have less going against him than Forgione in the last episode, but unfortunately they decided to eliminate the two most likable chefs in the whole competition.

                                                                            By the way, I really think that the two finalists bear some serious avian resemblances. My SO remarked today (as we were lamenting over this past weeks eliminations for the umpteenth time) how Canora looks like Iago, the parrot from Aladdin. Also, I was looking at a bottle of Sriracha recently and couldn't help but think of Forgione.

                                                                            1. I think we are forgetting what this is all about. The Food Network's shows, especially those in prime time, are all about entertainment. That's what drives everything. You cannot seriously learn anything from watching "The Next Iron Chef" or even "Iron Chef". A three hour cooking time frame compressed into 10 minutes.
                                                                              The "judges" for the Next Iron Chef are no better or worse that the judges that they have for Iron Chef--again chosen for the entertainment value, and take themselves way too seriously.
                                                                              The Chairman, don't forget, is an actor in "B" or "C" films at best.
                                                                              And Alton Brown, who walks around with a frown on his face, carrrying a little book with notes he makes, mistakes this TV show for the Grand Rounds in hospital.
                                                                              It is just a show for ENTERTAINMENT, another reality show.

                                                                              1. It's interesting how much more powerful people feel when they can criticize chefs who are more capable than they are.


                                                                                1. Slashfood interviews with Canora and Forgione. Canora describes Donatella as 'loose cannon'.


                                                                                  1. So I was at a squash tournament outside of Boston this weekend, and I saw this guy who looked so familiar and it took me the longest time to place him -- Ming Tsai, who has a little boy who plays squash. He looked like a very nice guy -- joking around with the other parents, etc.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                      Nice--everyone I've talked to who has met him has said he's a really nice guy. And, there's the opposite--where I haven't talked to anyone who's said he's not.

                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                        Ming played squash at Yale and was/is an excellent athlete.

                                                                                        1. re: BubblyOne

                                                                                          Well, that makes sense then. His son is pretty young -- in the under 11 age category, but he looked as if he was having a ball.