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The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs (Episode 2: "Take Me Out to the Ballgame") [SPOILERS]

ipsedixit Nov 6, 2011 07:00 PM

Chairman's Challenge? Make Iron Chef worthy food out of ballpark goodies and staples. Not exactly an original concept, but whatever.

Chuck Hughes, Liz Falkner, and Alex G. came out on top, with Alex G. hitting a home run, if you will. Chuck probably got a triple (poor plating technique), and Liz a double (sausage boo-boo did her in).

No more duos for Marcus Samuelsson! 'Natch.

The bottom two are Irvine and Chiarello to battle it out in the Elimination Challenge.

(As an aside, I think Zakarian's egg-in-a-avocado dish is just genius.)

Secret ingredient? Peanuts.

How predictable.

Chiarello survives. Barely.

Onto next week .... looks like desserts. Falkner? Falkner? Paging Falkner!

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  1. s
    soupkitten RE: ipsedixit Nov 6, 2011 08:06 PM

    nice recap, Ipse

    i felt bad for zakarian and macmillan huffing and puffing in the ballpark race-- the old guy and the fat guy w the banged up ankle-- rough! i'm glad they had a head start! :)

    thought it was another great episode. goodbye bob, you old fraud, you! again i was struck by the teamwork and good sportsmanship, with folks sharing ingredients and rooting for each other. alex g's lemon sorbet looked great-- i was really wondering what the heck she was going for when she was asking for orange soda & then lemonade. glad she pulled it off.

    i'd called it that both irvine and falkner would be eliminated in weeks 2&3. somehow i don't see falkner going home next week, if it's a desserts challenge! oh well.

    47 Replies
    1. re: soupkitten
      ipsedixit RE: soupkitten Nov 6, 2011 08:49 PM

      I think Burrell is going home next week.

      1. re: ipsedixit
        s
        soupkitten RE: ipsedixit Nov 6, 2011 09:02 PM

        impossible. she has three sets of double letters in her name. ;-P

        no, really? why would you make that call? is she terrible at desserts or something? or is this another thing about her figure?

        btw i kind of like burrell's goofy fashion sense, but every time she is on this, or any show dh is like: "what the hell is anne burrell wearing now?" and i try to verbally explain it, and words always fail me.

        1. re: soupkitten
          j
          Janet from Richmond RE: soupkitten Nov 7, 2011 02:05 PM

          I have a girl crush on Anne Burrell and would like to see her do well.

          I was happy to see Alex G. do so well this week. I'm a lot like her in that I can come across b*tchy but really am a nice person...hehe. I think it's the first time I've seen this type of competition where the judges had zero criticism of a dish. Good for her.

          I also LOVE the secret ingredient elimination challenge.....that's a great addition to the competition.

      2. re: soupkitten
        The Dairy Queen RE: soupkitten Nov 7, 2011 08:07 AM

        I like Falkner! Why are you predicting she's going home sooner? (I suppose I could go back and read last weeks thread, but don't wanna).

        I agree Alex's sorbet looked delicious. I wish they'd serve that at our local ballpark!

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          s
          soupkitten RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 7, 2011 08:30 AM

          i like her too. i was referring to my cold elimination order list that i made before watching the first episode (with no knowledge of any of the eps/challenges), and i gave falkner a heavy handicap because of her pastry background. i am pleased that she's currently doing well, but i still wouldn't bet on her being in the top 4 or 5, the others just have so much experience in savory food that she is a major underdog. however, i am always one to root for the underdog, despite my own calculations, so i do root for falkner despite myself, if that makes any sense whatsoever. in the meantime it's nice to have her relatively ego-free commentary here and there-- although i get the sense she personally dislikes chiarello, which amuses me.

          1. re: soupkitten
            The Dairy Queen RE: soupkitten Nov 7, 2011 08:40 AM

            She seems to think her sweet/savory experience will be her advantage. I mostly know her from Citizen Cake (another cookbook I must have so that I can not cook or bake from it just as I can't seem to find time to cook or bake from my other cookbooks lately), and didn't even know she had experience with other kinds of cheffing.

            I picked up on that, too, her dislike for Chiarello. Since they are both from the San Francisco area, I wouldn't be surprised if they've crossed paths before and if she has a genuine basis (in her mind, anyway) for her dislike.

            I don't know that much about him, but he seems a little moody to me. You don't see other chefs getting so huffy. Of course, we always have to keep editing in mind. Maybe other chefs get huffy, too, and it gets edited out.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: soupkitten
              DiningDiva RE: soupkitten Nov 7, 2011 08:46 AM

              Faulkner actually has a savory restaurant in San Francsico called Orson. It closed recently to undergo a transformation and is expected to reopen in early 2012 with a new concpet, and most likely a new menu.

              While pastry may be her strength, I strongly suspect she's got some pretty good savory chops too. This summer the Cooking Channel ran some of the old Chefography shows, one of which happened to be on Elizabeth Faulkener. I stumbled across it channel surfing late one Friday night. I knew who she was from my years of living in San Francisco, but that show gave me a whole new appreciation for what her range is. I suspect she may be around longer than many think.

              1. re: DiningDiva
                s
                soupkitten RE: DiningDiva Nov 7, 2011 09:16 AM

                i'm familiar w falkner's background. . . it's just that the others have so much depth there. it would be different if it were a weaker pool of chefs, but these folks are some heavy hitters, to be sure! in the same vein, i bet any of the others have some kick-butt desserts up their sleeves and can pull off a dessert challenge or two respectably. . . but if it were primarily a desserts competition, the depth of falkner's knowledge and experience would put her head and shoulders above the others, advantage-wise. of course, all of the challenges have a million little variables that can change the vegas odds. i like the way she is parlaying her sweets background into the challenges-- her blue cheese ice cream obviously delighted chef symon, for example-- he looked like a little kid eating it, it was obviously awesome. she is very smart to do that.

                1. re: DiningDiva
                  g
                  gfweb1 RE: DiningDiva Nov 7, 2011 09:50 AM

                  Chiarello took a bit of crap from non-judge Alton (who is getting too big for his britches) I'm sure he felt like ...who is this ass getting in my face?

                  1. re: gfweb1
                    The Dairy Queen RE: gfweb1 Nov 7, 2011 09:56 AM

                    Yeah, I guess I can see it that way. AB did say something pretty offensive along the lines of, If you can't separate an egg, don't put it on the plate. I'm sure Chiarello can separate an egg.

                    But it seems he was still fuming in Kitchen Stadium. I wish he'd regained his composure by then.

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      j
                      Jenny Ondioline RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 7, 2011 10:02 AM

                      If he could separate an egg, he wouldn't have put that stringy, grotesque mess on AB's plate. Getting pissy about being justifiably called out on a rookie mistake like that cemented my dislike of Chiarello.

                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                        huiray RE: Jenny Ondioline Nov 7, 2011 10:16 AM

                        Uh, grotesque? That egg(yolk) looked fine to me, with left-over egg white attached, even if it could have been done more neatly.

                        OTOH, I think AB was exaggeratedly snarky and prissily ewww-ing about it. I vaguely remember AB being paranoid about not-sufficiently cooked egg whites, could be wrong here - but if correct it would factor in here.

                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                          The Dairy Queen RE: Jenny Ondioline Nov 7, 2011 10:17 AM

                          I really don't doubt he can separate an egg. He obviously did a sloppy job this time.

                          But, I agree with you, he should have just taken the criticism gracefully.

                          We all make mistakes under pressure, even rookie ones. I've made dumb mistakes at work and usually it's when I 'm doing something far below my skill level and I'm not paying as much attention as I should because I'm doing too many things or whatever.

                          But I'm not going to work too hard to defend him. I don't like him much either.

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                            huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 7, 2011 01:10 PM

                            He did - in front of the judges - from what I remember of what we were shown. Wasn't it in the voice-over/talking-head (?) instead that he fumed at AB? Did he verbalize his objections to the others back in the cooking area/stadium? (I'll have to watch again)

                            1. re: huiray
                              The Dairy Queen RE: huiray Nov 8, 2011 06:56 AM

                              One of the other contestants actually said he looked angry. It was obvious he was fuming.

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 8, 2011 07:31 AM

                                Was that the instance referred to elsewhere on the thread about another chef saying he looked angry? (and not another instance, or an additional instance etc) If it was - I would have quite understood why he "looked angry". AB's snark and exaggerated slow holding up of that egg plus the dismissive comments would have raised the hackles of any accomplished chef IMO - let alone someone such as MC. But - I'll have to watch it again. :-)

                                1. re: huiray
                                  w
                                  Westy RE: huiray Nov 8, 2011 08:12 AM

                                  Out of curiousity, has AB ever competed in a show like this? I wonder how he'd do. I wonder if he'd pull an Alex G and sort of crumble. Just wonder.

                                  1. re: Westy
                                    paulj RE: Westy Nov 8, 2011 08:46 AM

                                    Isn't that a bit like ask if Alex Trebek has competed on JEOPARDY! ?

                                    Actually, Alton has competed - in battle Bacon (and lost to Chef Prairie)
                                    http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Season...

                                    Yukio Hattori, the expert commentator on IC Japan competed twice (and lost). But he is also principal of a Japanese cooking school.

                                    1. re: paulj
                                      huiray RE: paulj Nov 8, 2011 09:00 AM

                                      So did he or did he not? I am assuming at the moment that the contest described in the link you provided was a parody and that such a thing did not occur, or that it was an episode of good eats set up as a parody? If so then the comparison is bogus, even within the framework of the "manipulated reality show" that ICA is.

                                      Whereas the things you said in your last part (using the same tone of voice and word selection) about Hattori are entirely true...

                                      (I am not facing you in person as you deliver your words with a dead-pan voice and can't see the twitch at the corners of your mouth and the arched eyebrow and twinkle in your eye.)
                                      ;-)

                                      1. re: paulj
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                                        freia RE: paulj Nov 10, 2011 10:26 AM

                                        I followed your link, and as an episode of Good Eats, this was TOTALLY a parody of IC! So he really didn't compete, he acted out a role as a chef competitor. After all, that is the primary focus of his show, to give information through acting. I'll grant you, he IS entertaining, and after all got the James Beard award for Best Food TV Personality. But doesn't that last award kind of say it all? Not "Most Food Knowledgeable TV Food Host" or "TV Host with the Best Food Background", but "Best Food TV Personality"...He does make a good host, that's for sure.

                                      2. re: Westy
                                        cowboyardee RE: Westy Nov 10, 2011 10:18 AM

                                        He'd have no chance against any of these guys. He knows food and competition reasonably well, but he almost certainly doesn't have the physical skills to compete against veteran pros unless there were no time constraints.

                                      3. re: huiray
                                        The Dairy Queen RE: huiray Nov 8, 2011 10:27 AM

                                        Same instance.

                                        "Looking angry" is not the same as "accepting criticism with grace".

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                          huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 8, 2011 02:00 PM

                                          I said he did - in front of the judges... then *after that* he fumed away looking angry, yes?

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                            huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 9, 2011 10:22 PM

                                            @TDQ : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8162... :

                                            I just rewatched the episode. To me, Chiarello did not "look angry" in front of the judges. No scene was shown of him walking back into the stadium and saying anything to the other contestants. He took issue with AB's manner and dismissiveness in a 'talking head', and he was upset but did not "look angry" to any extent that would make one (me, anyway) think he was going to lose it. Not at all.

                                            The instance of another chef saying he "looked angry" appeared to be Faulkner in a talking head talking in a somewhat matter-of-fact way about him and the impending peanut cook-off. (see also: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8162...)

                              2. re: gfweb1
                                f
                                freia RE: gfweb1 Nov 8, 2011 09:20 AM

                                Especially since Alton doesn't have the cooking chops that the others have, he's primarily an entertainment figure with a special interest in food. He doesn't have the chef experience of the others nor the food critiquing experience of the judges. I can see why his comments would be hard to take.

                                1. re: freia
                                  jmckee RE: freia Nov 8, 2011 09:28 AM

                                  How do you figure? He's a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute -- not known to be an easy school. His understanding of food is equal to or better than that of some of the others.

                                  1. re: jmckee
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                                    freia RE: jmckee Nov 8, 2011 11:31 AM

                                    I guess it would be like a practicing lawyer taking criticism about how a closing argument was delivered from someone who has a law degree but never articled and never passed the bar and has never argued a case in court. Alton Brown has never been shy in publicly stating, in interviews, that he wanted to be an actor. Hence his original and first degree in Drama. After realizing that there really wasn't the opportunity to succeed in the traditional movie/tv roles that he desired, after doing alot of research he stumbled across the new FN channel. He felt that he could host a show, be the star, and fulfull his acting desires that way. Only problem? No food knowledge. So this is why he went to Culinary School. His dream wasn't to be a chef nor deal with food, it was in acting and this was the best opportunity for him to be an actor albeit in a non-traditional venue. His culinary studies weren't from an innate desire to cook: it was a means to an end. So for that reason, I would imagine that the manner of criticism that was faced on the last show would be hard to take by ANY professional chef who's actually been in the trenches as a cook. Any professional chef may have difficulty with an actor criticizing his effort in the manner in which Alton did. I can just imagine Chiarello thinking, "Well, Alton, if and when you can freaking separate an egg perfectly in a time-based competition of this level after spending 30 years in the kitchen busting your ass to get the cooking chops to be invited to a competition of this stature, then you can criticize me in this humiliating fashion, Until then, why don't you have a big steaming cup of STFU."
                                    I can see it, and I can imagine any of the chefs would think the same thing. Now, I'm not saying whether the criticism was or was not warranted, nor am I commenting on how the criticism was taken. I only say that I can understand the emotion.

                                    1. re: freia
                                      LurkerDan RE: freia Nov 8, 2011 01:02 PM

                                      No, it would be like a practicing lawyer taking criticism about how a closing argument was delivered from someone who has a law degree but never articled and never passed the bar and has never argued a case in court, **but has been a commentator covering high profile courtroom cases for the past 10 years.**

                                      As a practicing lawyer (which I am), I would find such a person's criticism very credible. Alton Brown may be an actor and not a chef, but he does have a significant food background and has spent the last decade working in food TV and on IRON CHEF AMERICA. I would think his criticisms delivered to a chef competing to become the next iron Chef on that very program would be very credible. And it says a lot about Chiarello that he doesn't seem to see it that way.

                                      1. re: LurkerDan
                                        cowboyardee RE: LurkerDan Nov 10, 2011 10:09 AM

                                        Being a lawyer doesn't involve physical skills and dexterity (AFAIK). Alton might have the culinary knowledge to compete, but my guess is he would get DESTROYED in a timed competition just because he doesn't have the practiced efficiency and fluidity of a professional chef. It would be a major disadvantage. And that type of skill seems to be a mark of respect among professional chefs.

                                        While AB might know food reasonably well, he's still always going to get some of that 'where do you come off' attitude when he's over the top in criticizing those who have actually been in the trenches. Criticism is one thing - browbeating someone who could cook you under the table is another.

                                        OTOH, I still think Chiarello is a dick. But it's not because he chafed at AB trying to rub his nose in a simple mistake.

                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                          LurkerDan RE: cowboyardee Nov 10, 2011 10:30 AM

                                          Where did I say anything about AB's ability to compete? And what does "physical skills and dexterity" have to do with my point? Being a good trial lawyer takes tremendous skill and practice. The lawyer commentator may have great experience to critique, but not actually be able to do it himself. Similarly, we have pro sports commentators who often never had the skill to actually compete. In fact, my point was exactly that, AB may not have the skills to compete against these chefs, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have the expertise to adequately critique these chefs. And if Chiarello is going to look down on him because he couldn't compete, he's doing himself a disservice.

                                          1. re: LurkerDan
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                                            freia RE: LurkerDan Nov 10, 2011 10:38 AM

                                            The lawyer commentator may have no basis from which to make the comment as he/she has never been in the same situation before. Commenting from a viewpoint of theory is different from commenting from a perspective of experience. And this really wasn't commenting, it was critiquing on a technique in a setting in which Alton has no experience. I thought Alton was a host, perhaps I'm mistaken.
                                            In any event, generic commentating on something as in the lawyer example is far different from critiquing in a personal fashion face to face.

                                            1. re: LurkerDan
                                              cowboyardee RE: LurkerDan Nov 10, 2011 12:01 PM

                                              I read a bunch of comments in a row and they sort of blurred together in my mind (they were talking about him competing a few posts ago). So my bad on that.

                                              But the rest of the point still stands. AB will not be looked upon as a peer or culinary equal of a seasoned pro. Because he's not, simple as that. And it's not the criticism that pushed MC over the edge but the browbeating and rubbing his nose in it. MC is a much better cook and surely knows the difference between an egg that's properly separated and one that isn't - no need for the dramatic demonstration, especially from a non-judge. And if AB doesn't respect that dynamic, the competitors are right to chafe under his made-for-TV scorn.

                                              Why do you think Tom Colicchio won't host Top Chef Masters? Because he probably doesn't feel comfortable sternly judging his peers ('Hubert Keller, I hate to break it to you bro, but your ravioli sucked.") And AB is no Tom Colicchio.

                                              1. re: cowboyardee
                                                LurkerDan RE: cowboyardee Nov 10, 2011 12:31 PM

                                                You bring up an interesting point. If we assume that Tom doesn't judge masters because of what you say, who should judge these chefs? No true master chef, according to what you say, but someone has to, I suppose someone "unqualified"? And remember this IS television, AB may not be a Tom Colicchio but he is paid to host the show (and other shows) in an interesting -- and perhaps occasionally controversial -- manner. Was the egg held up by AB a well-separated egg? Yes, I know Chiarello *can* properly separate an egg, and AB knows that too. But that egg? It was pretty nasty and I wouldn't want to eat it.

                                                So what is a host/judge/commentator ON TV to do with that? And what should a chef on televised cooking competition expect when they screw up something pretty bad? Especially something fairly simple?

                                                Regardless of whether AB is "qualified" to judge Chiarello's food (and truthfully, aren't we all qualified in some sense to judge a chef's food that we have eaten? AB is surely more qualified than I), Chiarello should have a thicker skin. This is TV, the judges are paid to be this way. And if Chiarello blows up at AB or anyone else, you can be damn sure that is going to be aired, because it makes good dramatic TV. And Chiarello will be the one coming away with egg on his face (sorry, couldn't resist the pun ;-).

                                                1. re: LurkerDan
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                                                  freia RE: LurkerDan Nov 10, 2011 12:35 PM

                                                  LOL and a poorly separated egg at that!
                                                  I know its a complex situation. I think that if you put yourself out there for judgement and you know the rules of the judgement per se, then you're fair game. For every IC show, there are foodies but not trained chefs doing the judgement (film stars, tv personalities, etc.), that pass comment. They pass comment on how they like the dish, pretty much restrict themselves to that. They'll say something like "I think this dish has too much cream" or "I really find the steak is overcooked", which is fair game.
                                                  In this instance, they are competing on the basis of who is the better chef in an all around perspective: adherence to the challenge (where Chef Samuellson kind of went astray, as did Chef DrDrew), ingredient preparation and selection, presentation, the whole ball of wax.
                                                  The thing is, IMHO, AB is really there as a host, a facilitator for the program. All shows have them and he does this on all his IC shows. He's there to coordinate the competitors, introduce challenges, wrangle judges. He's never to my recollection on ICA actually sat in judgement of the food. He's behind that console coordinating the roving reporters, finding fun food facts, and turning the judging over to the Chairman (who rarely comments on the food) and the judging panel which always has a food critic with a credible reputation on it to "keep them honest" I suppose. That's why I found it odd that AB would deliver a critique to a competitor in the manner that he did. That's always been my issue -- was it really necessary for him to hold up the egg and say what he did in the manner in which he did? The criticism could have been delivered in a different manner: doing what he did would likely leave the impression in any chef's mind that "wtf is this non-chef saying" and so on.
                                                  Now, had one of the judges done this, I don't think Chef C would have reacted in this way, and I don't think we would be discussing this to the extent that we are. If a judge in a judge roll was to hold up an egg and say "really, at this level, we expect better technique than this", it would have been a fair comment.

                                                  1. re: LurkerDan
                                                    cowboyardee RE: LurkerDan Nov 10, 2011 01:11 PM

                                                    Yeah, I'm sure that's why they bring in professional food critics for TCM. But what you're missing is there's still a dynamic to respect there. Being a critic doesn't mean you can say whatever you want to whomever you're judging and not expect to be called out as a... poser, for lack of a better term.

                                                    Criticism is expected. Critics are expected to state what they don't like and why they don't like it. But as soon as a professional critic starts lecturing a successful professional chef about cooking, then the professional chef will and does get indignant. Sometimes they hide it from the camera and sometimes they don't. But it's foolish and insulting of AB or a professional critic to act like they know more than the veteran chef in question. The mistake wasn't made because the chef doesn't know better; it was made because this is a timed competition. Anything can get screwed up, simple or not, under those circumstances. And anyone with a modicum of insight should know that MC would understand the criticism if it were stated plainly, without scorn or demonstration.

                                                    From what I've seen of MC, he's not at all afraid of coming off like a jerk on TV (see his interaction with his 'sous chefs' on Top Chef Masters). To be fair, he's successful enough that he doesn't really need to come off as especially lovable - he'll be just fine either way.

                                                    The irony of this whole subthread is I actually like Alton Brown a good deal more than I like Michael Chiarello.

                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
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                                                      freia RE: cowboyardee Nov 10, 2011 01:23 PM

                                                      Oh and don't get me wrong, I personally really like Alton Brown! I enjoyed his Good Eats show for a time, til he got really derailed with the acting thing. I always learn something about food chemistry from him. He's a very personable host, and has alot of knowledge. So I totally get where you are coming from.

                                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                                        chowser RE: cowboyardee Nov 10, 2011 01:47 PM

                                                        "But as soon as a professional critic starts lecturing a successful professional chef about cooking, then the professional chef will and does get indignant. "

                                                        I think it's the lecturing as you said. I don't think Chiarello seemed upset for it to be mentioned, I'm sure he felt the same way about that egg. But, he knows, it's been pointed out, no need to beat a dead horse. That was my feeling about what he was saying, after the fact. I didn't get the feeling he thought AB was beneath him and shouldn't comment.

                                        2. re: freia
                                          LurkerDan RE: freia Nov 8, 2011 10:46 AM

                                          Alton Brown may not be the chef that Chiarello is, but I think it is a mistake to say that he doesn't have the experience to comment on someone's cooking. And a chef who found criticism from someone like Brown "hard to take" is a chef who simply doesn't take criticism well. And I think it's abundantly obvious to everyone -- those who like Chiarello and those who don't -- that he is a chef that simply doesn't take criticism well.

                                          1. re: LurkerDan
                                            ChefJune RE: LurkerDan Nov 8, 2011 01:36 PM

                                            I think the issue is the WAY Brown critiqued Chiarello. Brown is NOT a judge, he's the host -- acting a whole lot like a judge. and a very snarky one at that.

                                            1. re: ChefJune
                                              LurkerDan RE: ChefJune Nov 8, 2011 01:49 PM

                                              He may not be one of the 3 formal judges, but saying he's a host and not a judge and should therefore keep quiet is like saying Padma isn't a judge on Top Chef. Or all the guests that they often have on Top Chef, that don't actually sit at judge's table, are not judges. He's eating the food and participating in the discussion. He isn't one of the 3 judges that make the decision, but he's there to comment and participate. And be snarky. :-)

                                              1. re: ChefJune
                                                DiningDiva RE: ChefJune Nov 8, 2011 01:50 PM

                                                It was, but the egg he held up was pretty unappealing looking and had it been on my plate I, too, would have considered it rather gross.

                                              2. re: LurkerDan
                                                chowser RE: LurkerDan Nov 9, 2011 04:24 AM

                                                Added to which, if you want to be on IC, you'd better be ready to take criticism from anyone, models, actors/actresses, etc. and a lot of it snarky. Is Jeffrey Steingarten still on the show? He can be so surly.

                                        3. re: soupkitten
                                          huiray RE: soupkitten Nov 9, 2011 10:13 PM

                                          @soupkitten re: post http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8162... re: Chiarello & Faulkner:

                                          I rewatched this episode a short while ago. I did not get the sense that faulkner actively disliked Chiarello, if she does at all. The only time I recall her remarking about Chiarello was in a 'talking head' at the start of the SI cookoff when she said that he was pissed off and was clearly going to do all he could to win the cookoff. The tone that came over was matter-of-fact.

                                          1. re: huiray
                                            s
                                            soupkitten RE: huiray Nov 10, 2011 11:03 AM

                                            how about when falkner "joked" about trying to trip him (specifically, chiarello) at the beginning of the foot race?

                                            i get the impression she doesn't like him, though i think she's a consummate professional and would never actually come out and say that on camera... is that what you expected to see? these people are competitive, or they wouldn't be successful. it's possible to respect someone without liking her/him, & it's possible for some interpersonal conflict to be basically invented and/or played up by editing and sound splicing alone... but we shouldn't think everybody's lovey-dovey. it isn't reality. with their restaurants in close proximity, being competitors on a business level, it is extremely likely that chiarello and falkner are to some extent acquainted and that they like/dislike each other accordingly.

                                            1. re: soupkitten
                                              c
                                              charmedgirl RE: soupkitten Nov 10, 2011 11:26 AM

                                              Interesting. I thought it WAS a joke. A real, honest to goodness joke; just some playful ribbing. And not a "joke" in quotes, implying it wasn't a joke at all.

                                              Just goes to show how much is in interpretation of what we see on screen. None of us can know for sure, unless or until Falkner gives an interview discussing her opinions on him.

                                          2. re: soupkitten
                                            y
                                            yummfood RE: soupkitten Nov 10, 2011 02:59 PM

                                            Interesting to see how different people interpret what they see so differently. I acutally got the impression that Faulkner and Chiarello might know each other and be buddies, so she was comfortable with making that joke about tripping him (or whatever comment she made). Faulkner seems like a nice person, so I didn't take it as a jab at Chiarello....just how I saw it.

                                          3. re: The Dairy Queen
                                            alliegator RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 7, 2011 09:20 AM

                                            I agree, I really like Falkner! I admit I knew very little about her going in to this season, but she seems to be very organized, calm and consistent. I think she'll stick around for a few more weeks.

                                        4. DiningDiva RE: ipsedixit Nov 6, 2011 10:03 PM

                                          Apparently the Food Networks Facebook page was inundated with people complaining about the outcome of the cook-off and are now refusing to watch the rest of the show.

                                          17 Replies
                                          1. re: DiningDiva
                                            moto RE: DiningDiva Nov 7, 2011 12:24 AM

                                            Symon was an eloquent advocate for the pesto and the woman judge sounded like she concurred. Having peanuts in every component of the (losing) dish shouldn't make it superior if the total dish wasn't as delicious as the competition. Frying the legumes to make the pesto was more original and took greater risk than what Irvine attempted -- the difference between creative and clever perhaps.

                                            1. re: moto
                                              C. Hamster RE: moto Nov 7, 2011 05:12 AM

                                              Not to mention making pasta from scratch in like 30 seconds.

                                              MC's dish looked delicious. RI's not so much.

                                              1. re: moto
                                                huiray RE: moto Nov 7, 2011 06:42 AM

                                                I agree.

                                                I did think both Irvine's and Chiarello's dishes looked good (Oh, if only we could taste these things!) but in a choice between the two, I would go for Chiarello's.

                                                1. re: huiray
                                                  w
                                                  Worldwide Diner RE: huiray Nov 8, 2011 08:36 PM

                                                  I doubt I would ever order peanut and pesto pasta. It sounds atrocious. I hate peanuts on my pad thai....but that's the closest dish to pesto and peanut pasta that I'd ever eat.

                                                  1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                                    d
                                                    DavidPalmer RE: Worldwide Diner Nov 10, 2011 09:45 PM

                                                    Yeah, I love peanuts straight up. For some reason I hate them in both savory dishes and desserts.

                                              2. re: DiningDiva
                                                The Dairy Queen RE: DiningDiva Nov 7, 2011 08:15 AM

                                                Some of those comments are pretty hilarious. Who knew RI had such a fan base?

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                  DiningDiva RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 7, 2011 08:50 AM

                                                  Not I :-).

                                                  He doesn't rub me the wrong way like he does many people, nor do I hold his inflated resume (and ego) against him.

                                                  Between the 2 chefs, Chiarello's dish was more appealing to me, and I love halibut and peanuts. I probably would have sent RI home too. But 8,000+ hits on their FB pages posting negative/unhappy comments within minutes of the verdict? Who knew?

                                                2. re: DiningDiva
                                                  huiray RE: DiningDiva Nov 8, 2011 03:44 PM

                                                  It took me a minute or two to find what you might have been referring to! Did you mean this? http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid... Or were they on the general Wall immediately after the episode aired? (I didn't try to go all the way back to then on the Wall...)

                                                  On the FN web page, equally dismayed posters vented their rage at RI's dismissal on Majumdar's blog on the episode: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2... .

                                                  [I was just looking at that one, remembered your post, and wondered if you were referring to this blog instead. :-) ]

                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                    DiningDiva RE: huiray Nov 8, 2011 04:22 PM

                                                    Interestingly enough, it was a footnote (#8) on the Wiki page for The Next Iron Chef. I just went to retreive the link and it's been removed, there are now only 7 footnotes. It was a specfiic note that the FTV Facebook page - and it clearly said FB - had been inundated with over 8,000 protests within minutes after the verdict was announced.

                                                    1. re: DiningDiva
                                                      chicgail RE: DiningDiva Nov 9, 2011 04:45 AM

                                                      Anyone can and does contribute to Wiki and with many motives. If it was removed, it may have been because it wasn't accurate and had been corrected by FN and IC.

                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                        DiningDiva RE: chicgail Nov 9, 2011 08:45 AM

                                                        I suspect the Wiki page is set up and maintained by FTV. When I discovered the footnote was gone I figured it had been posted by a non-FTV person and that they deleted it as it didn't fit with the image of the show they want to project.

                                                        1. re: DiningDiva
                                                          paulj RE: DiningDiva Nov 9, 2011 09:05 AM

                                                          Each Wikipedia page has a full history that you can read.
                                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?t...
                                                          It can take some digging to figure out who is making which changes, and why. And even then the organizational affiliation, if any, may unclear.

                                                          The note attached to the removal of the link is " Need a reliable source for this not a link to FaceBook". That action is consistent with Wiki standards for sources. The purpose of this Wiki page is not to express opinions, but to be a reference for future use.

                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                            DiningDiva RE: paulj Nov 9, 2011 12:09 PM

                                                            Cool beans, thanks for the info. I did not know each Wiki page had it's own history attached to it.

                                                  2. re: DiningDiva
                                                    kubasd23 RE: DiningDiva Nov 12, 2011 08:00 PM

                                                    It's interesting to me that the judges said the main reason RI went home was because his peanut "hummus" was too thick. If you look at the menu for his restaurant in Hilton Head, he serves boiled peanut tomato hummus as one of his tapas. He acted like it was this crazy new dish....

                                                    1. re: kubasd23
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                                                      freia RE: kubasd23 Nov 12, 2011 08:06 PM

                                                      I'll bet he serves HotBurgs there too...he's such a wild and crazy guy! (emphasis on the crazy)...

                                                      1. re: freia
                                                        kubasd23 RE: freia Nov 12, 2011 08:16 PM

                                                        Ugh.... those HotBurgs.... just the idea makes me cringe!!

                                                        1. re: kubasd23
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                                                          freia RE: kubasd23 Nov 12, 2011 08:24 PM

                                                          I was saying "REALLY?" at the screen when watching this. Poor Chef Irvine was so exCITED about his new food creation, too. Look at ME I made HOTBURGS! And I was thinking, "Top Chef, this is the best he could do? A weiner and burger mashup? Really????" Sigh...it was funny, tho. I have to rewind and watch a second time because I was on the computer the first time and thought I had misheard Chef Irvine's stroke of genius...LOLOLOL

                                                  3. chicgail RE: ipsedixit Nov 7, 2011 03:40 AM

                                                    I know the editing is key here, but Chiarello consistently looks and sounds angry and on the verge of losing it. On TCM he came off the same way: like he is always at a simmering point and ready to take off on anyone who get in his way that he can blame for something.

                                                    I know he's a celebrity chef. I know he can cook. I just don't like the guy. He won't make it to the end.

                                                    18 Replies
                                                    1. re: chicgail
                                                      huiray RE: chicgail Nov 7, 2011 06:48 AM

                                                      I disagree. Yes, the editing matters - as well as one's perception of the character, factoring in personal reactions to the person etc etc - but I don't mind Chiarello. I view him more along the lines of being forceful, forward, somewhat impolitic, but neither angry nor offensive - and yes, he can definitely cook.

                                                      1. re: huiray
                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: huiray Nov 7, 2011 08:00 AM

                                                        Actually, even one of the other chefs commented that Chiarello seemed angry this time. If this is how he is under pressure, simmering with indignant anger all the time, then I don't want to watch him on Iron Chef.

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                      2. re: chicgail
                                                        LurkerDan RE: chicgail Nov 7, 2011 09:05 AM

                                                        I don't mind Chiarello too much, but he's not my favorite. And it's very easy to understand why someone might not like him. Some of them seem genuinely likable: Samuelsson and McMillan for ex, but he just seems prickly and cocky. But seems like a damn good chef.

                                                        A little surprised to see Irvine go so soon, but only because of his experience at challenge type cooking. He is a good chef, sure, but he seems clearly outclassed by most of these guys.

                                                        1. re: LurkerDan
                                                          chefhound RE: LurkerDan Nov 8, 2011 09:00 AM

                                                          I had no major issues with him until the challenge on Top Chef Masters when he made all the Top Chef alum sous chefs do prep to audition for his team. The other Masters wanted to learn about what skills/ideas each TC had to bring and all he wanted them to do was julienne a carrot. Then he just ordered everyone around. He had no respect for them as chefs.

                                                          Now, I have to say, I would definitely choose to eat his pasta over Irvine's peanut hummus. I thought the idea to replace pine nuts with peanuts was brilliant.

                                                          I think Irvine was a predictable choice to go. He may have lots of experience cooking in crazy situations but I don't think he has the finesse of the other chefs. The people who eat his food on his Missions are just ordinary people, not foodies. So you never really know if any of his creations really taste good or not. All we know is that he can cook fast with just a blowtorch and a carrot.

                                                          1. re: chefhound
                                                            LurkerDan RE: chefhound Nov 8, 2011 09:19 AM

                                                            Oh, yeah, I remember that now. Didn't Dale Talde go ballistic on him because of that?

                                                            1. re: LurkerDan
                                                              chefhound RE: LurkerDan Nov 8, 2011 09:37 AM

                                                              Yes. He young manned him.

                                                          2. re: LurkerDan
                                                            b
                                                            Bunson RE: LurkerDan Nov 8, 2011 09:50 AM

                                                            Chiarello is a great chef but his personality is not fit for a competition type of show. He seems to have to much pride and ego take any type of criticism thrown at him. Just imagine him at Iron Chef judging table where he might have celebrity personas with a limited food background criticizing his food. His forte is cooking shows where he can just show his style where nobody is throwing feedback right in his face.

                                                            1. re: Bunson
                                                              huiray RE: Bunson Nov 8, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                              It's a valid point. Although I've been sort-of defending him elsewhere in this thread, if he were to be an Iron Chef he will have to at least learn to mask his face and act calmly on camera to criticism from dilettantes, non-food personages and the like who will turn up as judges not infrequently.

                                                              1. re: Bunson
                                                                cowboyardee RE: Bunson Nov 10, 2011 10:26 AM

                                                                A lot of the people who've won TV cooking competitions seem to have quite an ego. It doesn't make you look good on camera, but I don't think its too much of a hindrance to winning.

                                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                  paulj RE: cowboyardee Nov 10, 2011 12:20 PM

                                                                  It requires an ego to even compete.

                                                            2. re: chicgail
                                                              s
                                                              soupkitten RE: chicgail Nov 7, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                              i'm the last person who should be talking about temperamental chefs losing their cool, goodness knows i've had my moments. pro kitchens are different work environments, to be sure. it helps to have a high tolerance for profanity, and even folks throwing pans, kicking trashcans, screaming at each other, your boss putting his fist through the drywall in the office and then carrying on with the order receipts as if nothing just happened. . . a lot of the most successful chefs are very alpha personality, obsessive-perfectionist, hair-trigger types that lead to the stereotypes and television portrayals that are more accurate than not. expecting a successful chef with several restaurants to be mild mannered is a little like expecting boot camp sergeants to be even tempered and flexible. . . i am the first to cut a hot-tempered chef slack. i like gordon ramsay! but i was watching this ep and turned to dh and said "i would hate to be alone in a walk-in with chiarello." he's both scary-good and scary!

                                                              1. re: soupkitten
                                                                The Dairy Queen RE: soupkitten Nov 7, 2011 09:46 AM

                                                                This may be true, that many chefs are high strung, but I don't think watching someone act out his bad temper on television is very entertaining. Mario is my all-time fav Iron Chef because he always seemed to be having a wonderful time. These chefs are competing for a spot on a television entertainment program where they are going to be under pressure and they are going to have to accept criticism from people less knowledgeable about food than Alton Brown and Michael Symon. If they can't handle that gracefully, I think ICA might not be the right vehicle.

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                  s
                                                                  soupkitten RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 7, 2011 10:50 AM

                                                                  i get the bad vibe from ciarello, but he is obviously a very driven guy who is successful and you gotta hand it to him. not saying i'd pack up and go work for him, or anything ;-P

                                                                  chiarello has the skills to win, but i hope he does not win, just because the medi-cali-italian/italianate thing that he does so well, and does not ever deviate from, dammit. . . is kind of boring in its predictability. batali is already there, so how does another italian diaspora chef make things more interesting on the iron chef show? it's another lame right coast/left coast arm wrestling match. "our" chef is "authentic" because he used this arcane and unpronounceable aged for 25 years in an artisan-made saffron-drying crate piece of northern italian charcuterie from a pig that only roams the west-facing hillsides in a gorge outside of milan! oh yeah? well "our" chef used organic heritage microgreens grown on the widowsills of japanese bonsai masters. look, he put these purslane flowers on the plate, how pretty! ugh. i may as well start practicing my eyeroll. thing is, i would probably be very interested to watch chiarello on iron chef if he eventually *replaced* batali, but i'm not interested in seeing two "italian stallions" on the same roster. a classically trained french chef, or really, practically anyone else remaining on the show other than chiarello, would probably make the show more interesting, i think.

                                                                  um. so just to be clear, i've *predicted* that chiarello will be in the final four, based on his skills, but i'm *not* rooting for him to win, and i'd be very happy to see him go home before that. i was pretty happy he beat irvine, but i'm happy to see anybody beat irvine-- i can't stand irvine.

                                                                  speaking of death matches and italian chefs, i think a good one to watch would be chiarello vs. burrell-- just because i think if chiarello ever lost in direct competition to batali's sous. . . he'd probably implode. yikes. what kind of sick mind did the casting for this show, anyway, and why does it entertain me so much?

                                                                  1. re: soupkitten
                                                                    huiray RE: soupkitten Nov 7, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                    Well, Batali isn't really part of ICA anymore anyway since 2007/2008. He has not been "shown" in the line-up of Iron Chefs at the beginning of an episode for quite a while now, so there is no "Italian" chef there currently. The last broadcasted episode with him as a "regular" Iron Chef was in Season 6 episode 11 (2008), the rice battle with Paul Bartolotta. He made a special appearance double-teamed with Emeril Lagasse against Bobby Flay & Cristeta Comerford in that White House special in Season 8 episode 2 (2010).
                                                                    ;-)

                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Ba...
                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...
                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

                                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                                      The Dairy Queen RE: huiray Nov 7, 2011 11:37 AM

                                                                      Isn't Forgione the new "Italian" chef, or did I miss something? I think I've only seen him compete once.

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                        huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 7, 2011 12:11 PM

                                                                        I think Forgione's style is considered more as "Modern American", with Italian, French and E/SE Asian influences.

                                                                        Here's his current menu at his restaurant: http://www.marcforgione.com/menu/
                                                                        Sam Sifton's review (NYT) of his place: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/din...

                                                                      2. re: huiray
                                                                        s
                                                                        soupkitten RE: huiray Nov 7, 2011 11:38 AM

                                                                        doh! can you tell i don't really watch this show? in fact i haven't had cable, or time to watch it, until recently. i guess i have no real reason to not root for chiarello then, other than, like other folks here, i think he's a jerk. deviating from his signature style occasionally also wouldn't kill him...or would it? :)

                                                                2. re: chicgail
                                                                  xo_kizzy_xo RE: chicgail Nov 7, 2011 03:42 PM

                                                                  I caught that too :nodding: His voice over during the cookoff did nothing to alleviate that angry air he seemed to carry throughout this episode.

                                                                  I would have picked Irvine's dish. I'm not really a seafood fan, but Irvine's dish looked cleaner and more appetizing to me than Chiarello's glop of fettucine and that afterthought tomato slices-with-peanuts next to it. Points, though for him making and cooking the fettucine within the 30 minutes -- it's something I wouldn't attempt in such a situation.

                                                                3. d
                                                                  DavidPalmer RE: ipsedixit Nov 7, 2011 05:52 AM

                                                                  The judges said they loved Zakarian's dishes but he was near the bottom for skirting the rules. Maybe I'm taking the challenge too literally, but they were charged with making Iron Chef-worthy food from what they found at the ballpark. Zakarian obviously did that. He didn't leave the ballpark to pick up some fois gras and caviar, right? I guess maybe they were just looking for deconstructed chili dogs, deconstructed pretzels and deconstructed 10 dollar beer.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: DavidPalmer
                                                                    LurkerDan RE: DavidPalmer Nov 7, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                                    I forgot their exact words, but they weren't supposed to just make iron chef worthy food from what they found at the ballpark, they were instructed to make iron chef worthy ballpark food. They were definitely charged with making food reminiscent of or inspired by or a riff on ballpark food. His brunch wasn't any of that, though it looked awesome.

                                                                  2. chicgail RE: ipsedixit Nov 7, 2011 06:13 AM

                                                                    Wasn't this exact challenge done on Top Chef a couple of seasons ago?

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: chicgail
                                                                      huiray RE: chicgail Nov 7, 2011 07:16 AM

                                                                      Similar but not exactly. Top Chef Season 7, episode 11: The remaining contestants were divided into two teams which each operated a concession stand at Nationals Park stadium in DC, with each individual responsible for a dish. They devised their own dishes and bought stuff from Whole Paycheck (or wherever they bought it from) but not from food they "found" at the ballpark. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

                                                                      Season 3 episode 4 of The Next Iron Chef had the contestants rummage for ingredients found at the concession stands at a country fair and "transform" them into three dishes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Next...

                                                                      Top Chef Masters Season 2 episode 7 had the remaining contestants prepare suitable dishes for a tailgating party at a USC football game. They bought stuff from Whole Paycheck (or wherever) and devised their own dishes. Susur Lee - who didn't know what tailgating was - came in second. :-) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...
                                                                      This was based on the tailgating episode of Top Chef Season 4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

                                                                      Dinner Impossible Season 5 (the season w/ Michael Symon) episode 1 had the chef use only ingredients found in the concession stands/vendors on the Boardwalk at Wildwood, NJ, to come up with a meal for the 300 employees (& their families) of the Boardwalk. http://www.tv.com/shows/dinner-imposs... I remember the chocolate-covered bacon from this one.

                                                                    2. The Dairy Queen RE: ipsedixit Nov 7, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                                      Does anyone think AB is going way out of his way to constantly talk up how exceptional ALL of the chefs are, as if just telling us over and over will make us believe it?

                                                                      I noticed they had Symon say something along those lines in the first episode, too, that never has there been such an outstanding collection of chefs in a cooking competition...

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                        ChefJune RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 8, 2011 01:43 PM

                                                                        <never has there been such an outstanding collection of chefs in a cooking competition...>

                                                                        That's because they work for TVFN and not Bravo! ;)

                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                          chowser RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 9, 2011 04:33 AM

                                                                          It does seem like they're all cooking at a high level, much higher than last time. The last time around, it was hard to see any (other than Ming Tsai but I will admit I'm biased and have been a fan since East Meets West) as a successful IC. This time around, I could see any of them as one. There seems to be small differences that separate the top dishes from the bottom. I don't agree that there hasn't been this level of chefs in a cooking competition when you look at TCM but I do think they're very high level.

                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: chowser Nov 9, 2011 06:16 AM

                                                                            Cynical me, I was just wondering if the higher level of cooking is just part of the editing...

                                                                            I love Ming Tsai. So sad he didn't win.

                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                              chowser RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 9, 2011 07:23 AM

                                                                              Oh, that could be, too. But, it seems editing is more fun when it's made to seem some people are evil and terrible cooks.:-) I've been impressed w/ what I've seen from these chefs, on the show at least, and, even though I don't care for Michael Chiarello, I'd be sad to see any of the remaining chefs leave.

                                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                                The Dairy Queen RE: chowser Nov 9, 2011 07:25 AM

                                                                                I feel the same way. I like them all. Chiarello seems a little ill-tempered, but he does come across as a heck of chef.

                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                  f
                                                                                  freia RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 9, 2011 11:59 AM

                                                                                  I too find it interesting that this IC competition has pretty much all very well know tv personality chefs, instead of chefs who are mostly known in the industry. i wonder why that is?

                                                                                  1. re: freia
                                                                                    RUK RE: freia Nov 9, 2011 12:09 PM

                                                                                    Because TV personality chefs are "Actor- Chefs" taking time off from their jobs and getting paid for their acting stints (surely?), while those known in the industry pretty much cook for a living.
                                                                                    We are watching a written script....and yes, the players are also talented and wonderful Chefs.
                                                                                    ;-)

                                                                                    1. re: freia
                                                                                      paulj RE: freia Nov 9, 2011 12:10 PM

                                                                                      Aren't they billing this season as 'all stars' or something like that? How about previous seasons? Where those contestants well known in the industry?

                                                                                      When you write 'well known in the industry', who do you have in mind? Known in what sense? People who get written up in the industry rags? popular restaurants?

                                                                                      I imagine that there are well known chefs who are not interested in being Iron Chefs, or even being challengers. They might, for example, be sufficiently busy with their own restaurant empires. Competitions may be a distraction, even financial liability, for chefs like Thomas Keller. Others already have their TV shows.

                                                                                      1. re: paulj
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                                                                                        freia RE: paulj Nov 9, 2011 02:01 PM

                                                                                        I guess what I mean is that the chefs last season except for Chef Ming weren't exactly household names. But given their CVs, they seem to have been well known in the industry. This season, I've heard of almost every chef, and the only one who wouldnt be well known in the industry would be Chef Spike. I understand this is an All Star episode, but it is tv personality All Stars, not All Stars in the cooking world. It wasn't meant as a criticism nor as an argument point, it was just me wondering out loud...

                                                                                        1. re: freia
                                                                                          paulj RE: freia Nov 9, 2011 02:29 PM

                                                                                          Would you describe the CV's of last season's contestants as more impressive than this season's? I don't know if there's a simple measure of impressivity; number of restaurants they own or have started? cookbooks?

                                                                                          Last season nearly everyone was a chef and owner of one restaurant, and half IC challengers. This season all have a restaurant (except Burrell), and all were on IC or hosted show. Everyone also has a Wiki entry. (I'm working from the short bios on the Wiki article).

                                                                                          In any case this year was a deliberate choice to draw on known talent, rather than seeking out accomplished but unknown chefs.

                                                                                          1. re: paulj
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                                                                                            freia RE: paulj Nov 9, 2011 02:34 PM

                                                                                            No, I'm not making a judgement about relative ability. I'm just simply noting that the lineup seems to be of only TV chefs and not chefs known in the industry as an "all star" but not know as TV chefs. I'm sure they could have found an industry "all star" or two that wasn't a tv chef who might have been interested? Like a poster above noted, Alton keeps saying this is the best most talented group of chefs EVER, but I'm wondering where the" Susur Lee's" are...a mix of the two would have been nice I think...

                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                              chowser RE: paulj Nov 9, 2011 02:44 PM

                                                                                              I wouldn't say more impressive but more experience, for the most part, with these type of challenges and performing on TV. They don't seem to be floundering as much as last season where it seemed like there were definite failures. This time (at least two episodes into it), it seems like they've all done well, some just better than others.

                                                                                        2. re: freia
                                                                                          The Dairy Queen RE: freia Nov 9, 2011 12:28 PM

                                                                                          I suspect they burned through a lot of the "known in the industry" kind of chef in Next Iron Chef 1, 2 and 3 and they are running out of people who want to compete for something like this.

                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                            f
                                                                                            freia RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 9, 2011 04:05 PM

                                                                                            True, that...and like it was posted before, I imagine most of the non-tv All Stars are too busy managing/running their multiple restaurants and busy schedules to even want to participate.

                                                                              2. jmckee RE: ipsedixit Nov 7, 2011 08:19 AM

                                                                                I was struck during this episode that just about every dish shown my reaction was the same: "Yeah, I'd like to eat that." My wife concurred. I don't think that's ever happened before.

                                                                                This is a good, good cast of chefs, even the one we're not crazy about and would be OK with getting the boot.....

                                                                                1. mattstolz RE: ipsedixit Nov 7, 2011 09:17 AM

                                                                                  if mcmillan goes home next week my predictions for the first three home will be dead on, and my three least favorites will be gone. I also cant wait for chiarello to go home, because he seems like a huge jerk, based on this and TCM. I cant understand why so many people were upset irvine went home, he'd make a TERRIBLE iron chef

                                                                                  1. p
                                                                                    pine time RE: ipsedixit Nov 7, 2011 10:54 AM

                                                                                    I like to see Iron Chefs showing fun in the process, a joy of cooking, akin to Mario, Michael Symon and even Bobby Flay. With that criteria, would be happy to see Anne Burrell or Beau win. Altho' I do like the precision of Geoffrey (who can be funny at times) or Samuelsson's creativity.

                                                                                    18 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: pine time
                                                                                      m
                                                                                      master815k RE: pine time Nov 7, 2011 04:52 PM

                                                                                      I would love to see Chuck win! He's the new guy and the underdog but his cooking skills look amazing! Would love to eat at his restaurant(s) if I was ever in Canada!

                                                                                      1. re: master815k
                                                                                        w
                                                                                        Westy RE: master815k Nov 8, 2011 05:58 AM

                                                                                        I have to agree. Looking at his performance so far, he is among the most consistently solid.
                                                                                        Go Chuck!

                                                                                        1. re: master815k
                                                                                          m
                                                                                          mtlmaven RE: master815k Nov 8, 2011 08:34 AM

                                                                                          I've been to his restaurant in Old Montreal and we had a fantastic meal there. The atmosphere there was also a lot of fun.
                                                                                          I loved that line where Chef Zacharian was running and he said: " I thought he had someone else to do that stuff for him". I think he comes off as a fun guy with a good personality and sense of humour.

                                                                                          1. re: mtlmaven
                                                                                            j
                                                                                            jamesm RE: mtlmaven Nov 8, 2011 09:40 AM

                                                                                            I think for those who haven't had a lot of exposure to Chuck in the past will find him growing on them quite a bit. He's very passionate but has tons of fun cooking and a great personality. His food POV would also be something fresh for Iron Chef. I'm rooting for him.

                                                                                            1. re: jamesm
                                                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: jamesm Nov 8, 2011 10:31 AM

                                                                                              I wonder: would he wear the Canadian flag on the sleeve of his chef's coat?

                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 8, 2011 10:35 AM

                                                                                                Heh. Mind you, the show is "Iron Chef America". Now of course that raises questions about what one means by the word "America". ;-)

                                                                                                1. re: huiray
                                                                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: huiray Nov 8, 2011 10:51 AM

                                                                                                  I notice Morimoto wears an American flag on his chef's coat for ICA. But, maybe he's an American citizen now?

                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                    huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 8, 2011 11:10 AM

                                                                                                    I believe Morimoto is still a Japanese citizen.

                                                                                                    Well, I suppose the "American" flag on his chef's coat when he is on the show is emblematic of the show being called Iron Chef America. Don't the other chefs do so too?

                                                                                                    (...and by "American" do you mean someone who lives within the Americas, or a native of Peru or Canada, or a citizen of Mexico, or just a resident (legal or illegal) of one of the countries in the Americas, or a resident of the U.S. of A., or a caucasian descendent of the Mayflower folks and resident-citizen of the U.S. of A.?)
                                                                                                    ;-)

                                                                                                    ETA: Morimoto wore a patch depicting a round red spot on a white background on his sleeve in the earlier years of ICA. Then they had that remodel of the ICA chef uniforms 3 years ago... http://foodbeast.com/content/2008/11/...

                                                                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                                                                      The Dairy Queen RE: huiray Nov 8, 2011 11:19 AM

                                                                                                      Go ahead and have a look at any photo of Morimoto in his ICA jacket to see which nations flag he wears on his sleeve. :).

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                        huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 8, 2011 11:26 AM

                                                                                                        Why don't you tell me which nation it is? ;-)

                                                                                                  2. re: huiray
                                                                                                    paulj RE: huiray Nov 8, 2011 01:25 PM

                                                                                                    The 'America' just distinguishes it from the Japanese original. It does not imply that the chefs have to be 'American'. Morimoto is Japanese, though most of his fame has been in the USA. On IC Japan he was the last 'Iron Chef Japanese' (with a fair amount of emphasis on his Japanese-American cross over). W Puck was also an original ICA chef.

                                                                                                    One of the judges on the current NIC was an IC on IC UK (she's Korean American)

                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                      huiray RE: paulj Nov 8, 2011 02:15 PM

                                                                                                      "The 'America' just distinguishes it from the Japanese original"
                                                                                                      -------
                                                                                                      Yes, thanks, I am aware of that. See my post above: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8162...

                                                                                                      Perhaps you meant to reply to TDQ.

                                                                                                      1. re: huiray
                                                                                                        LurkerDan RE: huiray Nov 8, 2011 02:22 PM

                                                                                                        He probably did reply to TDQ. The way the software "groups" posts is sometimes incomprehensible. For ex, above are 2 posts of mine, right next to each other and at the same "nesting level"; both were made in response to posts by freia, but different posts. Yet my post made at 3pm is listed above the post made at 12pm.

                                                                                                        1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                          huiray RE: LurkerDan Nov 8, 2011 02:25 PM

                                                                                                          Not according to the name of the poster shown in the top right of his response indicating who he is responding to. ;-)

                                                                                                          The 'nesting posts' vagueness you describe is true enough - so for myself I often say something or indicate explicitly in my responses *which* post I am responding to, by writing a few descriptive/indicative words; or by citing the permalink of the specific post I am responding to.

                                                                                                  3. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                    ipsedixit RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 8, 2011 08:25 PM

                                                                                                    I wonder: would he wear the Canadian flag on the sleeve of his chef's coat?

                                                                                                    ~TDQ
                                                                                                    _________________________

                                                                                                    C'mon, everyone knows that Canada is merely the United States' ski resort, right?

                                                                                                  4. re: jamesm
                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: jamesm Nov 9, 2011 10:37 AM

                                                                                                    i know a lot of CHers enjoy watching him, and he definitely seems likable as a person, but his screen persona is too awkward and hyper for me. i saw his ICA battle against Flay, and he was so frantic it practically gave me an anxiety attack to watch him. i wanted to give him another shot after a fellow Hound whose opinion i value said she liked him, so i tried to watch a couple of episodes of Chuck's Day Off...not for me. his on-camera demeanor seems forced, like he's trying just a bit too hard. i just don't imagine that i'd have much interest in watching his battles if he's the next IC.

                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                      ipsedixit RE: goodhealthgourmet Nov 9, 2011 07:27 PM

                                                                                                      He also towers over the Chairman, as well as Bobby Flay.

                                                                                                      I wonder how tall, or short, the Chairman is. Because he makes Chuck look like the Jolly Green Giant. Ho-Ho-HO!

                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                        pamf RE: ipsedixit Nov 9, 2011 10:02 PM

                                                                                                        IMDB says that Mark Dacascos (the Chairman) is 5 foot 9. Random Google results say that Chuck is 6 foot 3.

                                                                                            2. y
                                                                                              ylsf RE: ipsedixit Nov 8, 2011 08:19 PM

                                                                                              I haven't read this thread yet, and i haven't watched episode 2 yet, but, I know who gets kicked out because of Food Network's website... why do they display in big graphics the person who gets kicked out on the show page? Why not an option to watch the episode online without finding out the results before hand. Very frustrating. Anyway, I will come back and read once I watch the episode but a warning for those who miss an episode, if you go to the Food Network show page you will likely find out the loser in the future :(

                                                                                              EDIT: Even if you go directly just to the "episodes" link, the video preview shows the back of two chefs and it is pretty clear those two are up for elimination. They could use better picks for their preview images.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: ylsf
                                                                                                paulj RE: ylsf Nov 8, 2011 09:54 PM

                                                                                                While there are some potential viewers who want to be kept in suspense until they have a chance to see the show in reruns, there are many more who want to follow up on the show right after seeing it Sunday evening. That's the audience of the web site

                                                                                                Presumably you have learned now to stay away from FN, especially the show page, until you have chance to see the latest episode (or which ever episode you are waiting to see). And as some learned this week it can even be a good idea to stay away from this Food Media forum if you want to remain ignorant of the outcome. In the Internet world it is more effective to avert your eyes than to expect others to keep their mouths shut.

                                                                                              2. Firegoat RE: ipsedixit Nov 9, 2011 06:12 AM

                                                                                                I went back to the food network site and watched some old Iron Chef challenges with Zakarian, Sammulson and Falkner. One thing that really stood out to me was that Falkner did the exact same blue cheese ice cream in this challenge as she did in the Iron Chef episode. Just kind of sucked the creativity out of it for me

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: Firegoat Nov 9, 2011 06:19 AM

                                                                                                  Oh! Very disappointing about the blue cheese ice cream repeat.

                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                  1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                    chowser RE: Firegoat Nov 9, 2011 07:24 AM

                                                                                                    I've seen the cheese idea done before and can't remember who/when. For some reason TC stands out but I'm drawing a blank. I don't expect these chefs to pull everything out of a hat and be new. Michael Chiarello has done pasta before, I'm guessing.;-)

                                                                                                    1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                      paulj RE: Firegoat Nov 9, 2011 09:10 AM

                                                                                                      And she probably tested the blue cheese ice cream idea multiple times before the IC challenge.

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                        freia RE: paulj Nov 9, 2011 12:03 PM

                                                                                                        I suspect alot of these recipes are ones that even though they look like they've pulled this stuff outta their butts on short notice, they've cooked these recipes many many times before. Aka Chef Alex's lemon dessert with the shaved dark chocolate. She said as much during the competition, when she was getting the lemonade and when she was putting it together. I think you have to pull on your repertoire of recipes on a show like this. I'll bet Chef Dr Drew's avocado and egg bad been done before, too. Probably the only one who made it up on the fly was Chef Irvine who ground up the hot dogs and hamburgers, but then again, maybe he's done this on his show when trying to cook on short notice for a bazillion people...

                                                                                                    2. b
                                                                                                      bear RE: ipsedixit Nov 10, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                                                                      This is the first season that I'm following from the beginning, and I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I'm enjoying it. I expected it to be pretty fluffy and lightweight being on FN. It really seems to be about the food first and foremost, and not too much drama.

                                                                                                      I'm not a huge Chiarello fan either, but I felt his plate was more sophisticated than Irvine's. The peanut hummus just didn't appeal to me, although I thought it was a clever use of the ingredient. I think he was outcooked.

                                                                                                      It'scoincidental, I guess, that TC Master winner Samuelsson and TC Master finalist Chiarello both ended up in the bottom two the first two weeks. Interesting...

                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: bear
                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                        soupkitten RE: bear Nov 10, 2011 11:10 AM

                                                                                                        what i really do appreciate about the show is that they really aren't trying to edit in a "villain" so much-- everyone seems to have their own say and gets some professional respect.

                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                          bear RE: soupkitten Nov 10, 2011 12:53 PM

                                                                                                          Exactly. Even with the egg thing between Alton and Michael C., there isn't much drama. Heck, we can't even agree on the board if Michael was really mad and if Alton was being a tool. I'll take that lack of drama any day, and replace it with some mature, professional and authentic interactions between the contestants, and some amazing chow.

                                                                                                          1. re: bear
                                                                                                            paulj RE: bear Nov 10, 2011 01:12 PM

                                                                                                            Now if Wolfgang had been a judge, he would taken Michael back to the cooking station and shown him how to do it correctly :)

                                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                              smartie RE: paulj Nov 10, 2011 08:24 PM

                                                                                                              lol - we clearly watch NFNS

                                                                                                              1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                paulj RE: smartie Nov 10, 2011 08:50 PM

                                                                                                                Actually I first read about it on Food Media thread, and later saw the clip.

                                                                                                              2. re: paulj
                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                freia RE: paulj Nov 10, 2011 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                Hahahaha! I remember that!

                                                                                                              3. re: bear
                                                                                                                chowser RE: bear Nov 10, 2011 01:49 PM

                                                                                                                I'm really enjoying this show so far and I think this is one of the reasons. There is so much respect, no game playing, just competing at their top level. I wonder how it might have changed the game if Spike had stayed since that's all he was about on his seasons--winning at the expense of others.

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