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Dec 26, 2011 06:49 AM

Iron Chef America - Zakarian's debut (SPOILERS)

Did anyone catch Geoffrey Zakarian's debut episode on FN last night?

Battle Brook Trout. His dishes did look good and the judges gave him a perfect score. He did show creativity besides generating apparently tasty and technically accomplished dishes.

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  1. Wtg Zakarian on a perfect score, however I cringed to see that Alex was his sous chef. We are not exactly a household of Alex fans over here lol..... That spoiled it a little for us, especially with all the face time on camera they gave her.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Senkimekia

      Your family may not like Alex, but it appears that the other chefs with have worked with her do like her.

      Personally, I'd love to sit down over a beer or a glass of wine and dish with her. I think she's probably fun.

      1. re: chicgail

        I like Alex, but I am disappointed that she is sou chef for that guy, TO ME: he appears to be sarcastic, unhappy and doesn't seem to like to cook.

      2. re: Senkimekia

        I didn't watch this episode but isn't ICA getting really unfair? From my understanding, the chefs know what the potential secret ingredients are in advance and know what they're going to cook in advance. So Zakarian having Alex as his sous is an unfair battle of two chefs against 1 challenger.

        1. re: Worldwide Diner

          Both chefs get two sous chefs....I'm a fan of AG's but not knowing the resume's of the challenger's sous chefs (who he got to pick on his own) they would be chef's also.

          All of the Iron Chefs tend to have more experienced sous chefs because of the nature of the beast...they have experience working on ICA where the challenger's sous chefs probably do not.

          ICA has always had the secret ingredient narrowed down and then the final reveal at taping.

      3. Alex's pace had to have been one of the slowest ever in a sous on ICA.I suspect Geoffrey was getting more frustrated than he let on.

        Wonder of they shot this episode right after the NIC finale.

        1. Has anyone else ever gotten a perfect score?

          7 Replies
          1. re: acgold7

            Interestingly :-) Jose Garces got one too in Battle Hawaiian Snapper against Cesare Casella (Season 9 episode 17). None of the other established ICAs have got one. :-D

            1. re: acgold7

              I would say the perfect score reflects more on the judges than the IC

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  Secret ingredient as well. Some are easier to include in a variety of good dishes. Others may be good, but just don't work in this format. Caviar had relatively low scores (Flay 44-38), truffles (Garces 40-37). But it is less obvious why chum salmon (Flay 45-35) was so much lower than this trout.

                  1. re: paulj

                    But it is less obvious why chum salmon (Flay 45-35) was so much lower than this trout.

                    Have you ever tasted chum salmon? I'm utterly flabbergasted Flay could score in double digits with chum, much less get above 40 (same for his competitor).

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I was thinking of the two fish being in the same family, but you are right, chum is the least valued fish in the salmon family. I don't buy it by name, but have bought my share of low cost wild salmon.


                      Judges were Ben Sargent, Cady Huffman, and Jeffrey Steingarten. Jeffrey probably gives low scores. But the comments by the judges give a lot of insight, e.g. low fat, low flavor, hard to cook right. Still Bobby did a better job of using the salmon. The challenger had some good elements, but generally (according to the comments) the salmon did not fit or was not the good part.

                      1. re: paulj

                        I'd rather eat wet styrofoam than chum salmon.

              1. I thought AG was extremely bossy towards GK about the soup. Rude even.

                6 Replies
                1. re: smartie

                  That's the beauty of being the sous for a close can speak your mind without fear of retribution.

                  And seeing the reaction of the judges when it came to the soup, she was right.

                  I like AG and GZ and hope she will continue to be his sous chef as her schedule permits.

                  1. re: smartie

                    They had so much personal banter/arguing that we actually thought they were romantically involved. It just sounded like a couple arguing to us. I didn't know anything about either's personal life and was actually surprised to google around and not find any rumors about them, so maybe that's just how they roll. That being said, I think Alex was really frustrated at how behind she was put since she spent like the first 40 minutes of the battle having to cut up the fish. I know someone had to do it, but perhaps if the efforts had been more evenly spread out to deal with the fish, she wouldn't have gotten so frustrated and been so behind and rushing everything. Nonetheless, the results turned out obviously well given his scores.

                    WHY OH WHY did they have that stupid woman on from the reality show? She just added nothing, and was obviously clueless about food. Oh, fennel tasted a little like licorice. REALLY?

                    1. re: rockandroller1

                      She was a horrible judge. I understand that they like to have someone who is not a food expert, who doesn't make their living via food, etc. as a judge but at least get someone who likes food and doesn't see it as the enemy.

                      1. re: Janet from Richmond

                        And who likes EATING it. "She prefers small portions." I just wanted to shove her out of the chair.

                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                          I told my wife at the onset that she was inappropriate as a judge but she was better than I would have imagined. Not saying she was good just better than I thought she would be.

                        2. re: rockandroller1

                          Yeah, we laughed she said said, "Now this is something I'd make in my own kitchen." Yeah, right. And, her bragging about being a good cook, but "not a chef." I wish they'd have people who have some knowledge of food/culture as judges.