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The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs (Episode 3: "Lets All Go To The Lobby") [SPOILERS]

Tonight we're at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles where our chefs are asked to make one sweet and savory dish out of movie theater concession treats, e.g. chocolate raisins, malt balls, cinnamon candies, root beer, gummy candies, popcorn, etc.

Our hero from last time (read: winner), Chef Guarnaschelli gets the advantage and is allowed to choose which concession favorite she wants to cook with. Her choice? Chocolate raisins.

Our hero Chef Guarnaschelli also gets to dole out the other candies to the remaining chefs. You'll have to watch the show to figure out who gets what, but some highlights ... Anne Burrell gets root beer ... Hughes gets popcorn ... Zakarian those nasty oblong cinnamon candies ... Falkner is bequeathed those malt balls.

Apparently Zakarian is a control freak and cannot get the food processor to work -- even a Canadian can't help him out.

Guarnaschelli decides to make (what??) ice cream. Hmm.

Hughes is going to make (what else!) popcorn shrimp!

And I love, love the retirement home comment. Touché.

Onto judging ... and the reviews are in.

Judges love Burrell's riff on root beer desserts, as well as her inventive agrodolce.

Hughes makes a straight to Netflix dish with his popcorn shrimp -- "simply inedible" says one judge.

Malt balls in fish n chips? Why, yes! Falkner is Oscar-worthy, and her malt ball ice cream is said to be the "best thing I've eaten yet" by one judge. Yum.

How is Marcus going to compete? No duos for him, right? Meh.

Chiarello makes a lamb dish out of gummy candies and ... it works! His panna cotta? Not so much. "A funeral in my mouth" says one judge. Yikes.

MacMillan bombs with sweet and sour candy. Can't just hide an ingredient in garnish. Like trying to hide a $20M has-been, over-the-hill actress in a supporting role.

Chicken with cinnamon candy is a "winner" and "phenomenal". Zakarian is golden.

And last up is our hero from last time. Guarnaschelli makes friends with the lamb dish, but her ice cream is "off" and "grainy". Ick.

WINNER? FALKNER! (And she gives the judge a "food-gasm". Oy-ye-veh!)

Burrell and Zakarian are runner-ups.

LOSERS? MacMillan and Hughes.

Onto the Elimination Challenge! Secret Ingredient is ... tofu!

MacMillan makes (not a duo) but a trio?

Hughes stakes his claim on ... sauce? Yes, he does.

Well, looks like Hughes will have more "days off" than he had originally planned.

Lesson? Trio > duo!

Next week it's comedy night.

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  1. I liked the episode, though uneventful.I love how they help each other out, despite the time crunch. I wondered why Guarnaschelli didn't take a line from the Chopped chefs on the ice cream and add cream to thin it out. I'm happy Falkner won. I wish the other chefs would stop assuming she'll do great w/ dessert (or does great) just because she's a pastry chef. Does she automatically assume everyone will outperform her on every savory challenge? Does anyone ever say, "I knew xxx would perform well because he's a chef?" I'm not liking the British judge whose name has escaped me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      I'm not liking the British judge whose name has escaped me.
      ~~~~~~~~~
      Simon Majumdar - he's definitely the villain of the three judges.

      on the subject of judges, i'm not the least bit impressed by Judy Joo and i really wish she would stop with the foodgasm thing. Donatella may have been a bitch, but at least her comments about the food were insightful.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        That foodgasm thing bothers me, too, Seriously, if you're not in a frat or sorority, it's time to grow up past that. I do prefer her to "Oh, the banana skin wasn't edible! That roasted hot pepper was spicy!!!" Donatell.

    2. What was the retirement home comment?

      1. The cook off dished seemed to be very close, and I kind of thought they'd let Hughes stay for the eye candy factor. No such luck.

        The chefs were incredibly inventive, but I thought it was a silly challenge.

        4 Replies
        1. re: roxlet

          I was hoping he'd stay - not just for the eye candy, but because he seems like a nice guy and had a good sense of humour throughout the whole thing. Didn't treat it like a life-and-death situation, you know?

          1. re: piccola

            I agree--a cutie with a fun personality. He had a really rough go of it that day :(

            1. re: piccola

              I thought he was a bit out of luck having to work with popcorn. Getting some of it stuck between the judge's teeth was somewhat predictable. But I do think he lost the cook-off fair and square.
              Too bad, I would have liked to see him go further in the competition.

              1. re: piccola

                Agree he lost fair and square but too bad because I would have liked to see more of him too. Loved that he thought he was lucky for even being there, that he refered to himself as a cook and that parting shot was funny. To Chiarello who said he'd come to eat at his restaurant he said well as long as you can get a reservation I'd love to see you there.

            2. I am somewhat surprised that Chuck Hughes apparently had never worked with tofu ever before and had made efforts to stay away from it before. Did he also say he had never eaten it?

              I didn't think the cook-off was that close. It was MacMillan's battle to lose IMO as the cook-off progressed and his trio was risky by dividing his attention and efforts, but which he managed to pull together. Hughes' sauce did seem to be a throw-everything-Asian-you-can-think-of-together thing, as one of the judges said.

              1. I'm really having trouble with that loud sliding door sound they use a each chef comes and goes for judging ... So distracting!

                This challenge was too gimmicky for me ...

                Disappointing since I enjoyed the first episodes but I am pay Faulkner is doing well.