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Next Iron Chef: Road to Redemption

cmvan Oct 15, 2012 11:12 AM

I never would have known about this web-only mini-show if the link hadn't shown up on contestant Duskie Estes' restaurant's facebook page.


Seems the next installment of Next Iron Chef coming out soon includes quite a few returning chefs (ie Elizabeth Falkner, Nate Appleman, Spike Mendelsohn and Alex Guarnaschelli). And then they've added, online only, a pre-show competition to add on 1 last contestant.

The 4 fighting for that 1 spot are Chefs Trevino and Estes from 2 years ago on NIC, and Chef Cowan (Chopped Master Champion) and Lee Ann Wong.

The duel between Wong and Cowan is up now, the one between Estes and Trevino soon.

One has to wonder why they've got so many returnees on NIC - couldn't find enough new ones willing to endure the rigors of the competition?...

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  1. paulj RE: cmvan Oct 15, 2012 11:28 AM

    My guess is that there were various factors. It's possible that most of the chefs who are interested in this kind of competition have already appeared. Or there was enough interest in rematches. But also the producers must have been seeking a new theme or gimmick to add to this year's appeal. Think for example what they did with Next Star - form teams led by 3 of their current stars.

    I'm sure FN thanks you for helping generate interest! :)

    1. huiray RE: cmvan Oct 15, 2012 11:46 AM


      1. The Dairy Queen RE: cmvan Oct 15, 2012 11:49 PM

        I wonder who is leaving ICA? Strange that they are continuously willing to erode their ICA brand this way.


        6 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Oct 16, 2012 12:04 AM

          I read on another forum a passing reference to Morimoto, but I consider that unsubstantiated at the moment.

          1. re: huiray
            JonDough RE: huiray Oct 16, 2012 11:00 AM

            To me, Morimoto followed by a distant Symon are the only two worth watching.

            1. re: JonDough
              The Dairy Queen RE: JonDough Oct 16, 2012 11:10 AM

              I, too, would miss Morimoto. But, he's been doing it a long time between the original IC and ICA. Maybe he's ready to move on...


              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Oct 16, 2012 11:45 AM

                That might be.

                Like you and JonDough, I would miss Morimoto IF it did turn out that there is something to what I said about reading a passing reference to his possibly leaving. ICA would lose most of whatever remaining credibility it still has if Morimoto were indeed to leave. I hope it is not true.

                FWIW, for a while my sense has also been that he often gets demerits from judges who don't quite take to his sensibility or taste profiles, "Japanese-derived" as they are, even though one could say it is more Jap-fusion.

                Please could we get rid of the theatrics and swoosh-swooshing of that joke of a Chairman...but alas, I fear it will continue to be there and continue to curse the show with its cringe-inducing hackles-raising histrionics.

                1. re: huiray
                  BuildingMyBento RE: huiray Oct 26, 2012 09:28 PM

                  I met Morimoto in Tokyo seven years ago (not eight like flickr says), on the Airport Limousine. I have a picture of him in the Ginza; he's got a raspy voice, certainly a curious feller. Then my parents and I saw him again at a Shiodome hotel, with his manager. He told me to stop by the NY restaurant (at the time, only the Philly one was around, I think). If I can just find his manager's business card...http://www.flickr.com/photos/84384996...

          2. re: The Dairy Queen
            paulj RE: The Dairy Queen Oct 16, 2012 11:51 AM

            NICA exists for its own sake, not just as a feed for ICA. This will be the 5th season, but only Mario and Cat have left. ICA does not have defined slots like the Japanese series.

          3. p
            Puffin3 RE: cmvan Oct 17, 2012 08:12 AM

            IMO those hired to decide who is going to be competing on any cooking show simply put all the names of anyone who's ever appeared on any cooking show into a big salad bowl and bring in the secretary to pick out as many names as needed. That way the hiring staff can get the early train home for the weekend.

            1. Phaedrus RE: cmvan Oct 17, 2012 08:37 AM

              This is riffing on what Top Chef did last season, which is to have a second chance cook off going on in parallel with the regular show, a competition that the contestants still alive won't see.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Phaedrus
                paulj RE: Phaedrus Oct 17, 2012 09:18 AM

                Or Chopped episode(s) where runner ups of previous contests have a 2nd chance. Or ICA when Roberto Donna had a 2nd chance.

                1. re: paulj
                  Phaedrus RE: paulj Oct 17, 2012 10:12 AM

                  It's almost like the same people are making the same calls on all these shows...oh wait.

                  1. re: Phaedrus
                    paulj RE: Phaedrus Oct 17, 2012 11:00 AM


                    1. re: paulj
                      The Dairy Queen RE: paulj Oct 17, 2012 11:04 AM

                      Michael's a busy guy.


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        Phaedrus RE: The Dairy Queen Oct 17, 2012 01:28 PM

                        Not really. He just keeps using the same idea over and over again.

              2. j
                Janet from Richmond RE: cmvan Oct 18, 2012 06:46 AM

                Michael Symon as a judge...woohooo.....love him. I am looking forward to this.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Janet from Richmond
                  huiray RE: Janet from Richmond Oct 18, 2012 06:56 AM

                  He is not going to be one of the main NIC SEason 5 judges.

                  1. re: huiray
                    Janet from Richmond RE: huiray Oct 19, 2012 07:27 AM

                    Well, poo :-(

                    1. re: Janet from Richmond
                      huiray RE: Janet from Richmond Oct 19, 2012 07:54 AM

                      I must say I'm not enthused about the designated 3 main judges, especially Arpaia.

                      1. re: huiray
                        Janet from Richmond RE: huiray Oct 19, 2012 11:03 AM

                        Me either.

                2. twyst RE: cmvan Oct 18, 2012 07:04 AM

                  Oh dear, Marcel and Spike?

                  1. LurkerDan RE: cmvan Oct 19, 2012 08:51 AM

                    the battle between Estes and Trevino is up now.

                    1. chowser RE: cmvan Oct 19, 2012 09:17 AM

                      I wonder when we'll start hearing the conspiracy theories that the next contestant will be a woman, even though they've been wrong on so many of these contests from NICA to Next Food Network Star to Chopped All Stars... At some point, the conspiricists will be right, just like a broken clock.

                      I'm happy to see Elizabeth Faulkner back. And, Alex Guarnaschelli. I didn't like her at first but I think she does get a bum rap. She's proved herself on NICA and the "stink eye" that she is accused of, I think, is more how close set her eyes are. She doesn't look overly enthusiastic even on Best Thing I Ever Ate.

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: chowser
                        paulj RE: chowser Oct 19, 2012 09:25 AM

                        Alex is already an ICA regular, as Zakarian’s sous. An uppity one at that!.

                        1. re: paulj
                          chowser RE: paulj Oct 19, 2012 09:40 AM

                          I follow NICA more than ICA but I have seen Alex on ICA in the background when I catch a few minutes here and there. Is she uppity on the show? I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt because I have disliked her as a judge on Chopped but thought the sour face might be more genetic than intentional.

                          1. re: chowser
                            paulj RE: chowser Oct 19, 2012 09:55 AM

                            There are bits of verbal sparing between the two. This gives an idea of what goes on, from Battle Trout

                            One comment was: "My understanding is that both of them are happily married – and not to each other."

                            1. re: paulj
                              chowser RE: paulj Oct 19, 2012 10:24 AM

                              From the article and comments, it sounds like they get along well. I can't get over the Real Housewives as judge, though.

                        2. re: chowser
                          JonDough RE: chowser Oct 19, 2012 10:27 AM

                          I am really happy to see Elizabeth Faulkner as well. I thought she was fun to watch last season. I would really like for her to win. I am also interested to watch Tim Love cook.

                          1. re: JonDough
                            The Dairy Queen RE: JonDough Nov 9, 2012 05:32 AM

                            I would love for Faulkner to win. I felt really sad for Tim Love. I think he thought his schtick with the steak was quirky and charming, and it might have been if he served it to the judges as an appetizer or something, but instead it just came off as selfish and arrogant.


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                              huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 9, 2012 06:18 AM

                              Faulkner winning would be fine by me. A pastry-cum-savory chef on ICA would be interesting.

                              I didn't care for Jehangir Mehta in his first go-around; I thought his dishes and presentation always looked like the aftermath of explosions and IIRC their tastes were found by the judges to veer wildly from fantastic to dreadful.

                              Tim Love did come off as a jerk. I was actually rooting for Mendelsohn NOT to lose to him.

                              1. re: huiray
                                iL Divo RE: huiray Nov 9, 2012 07:11 AM

                                I was also hoping Spike didn't get the boot.

                              2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                iL Divo RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 9, 2012 07:09 AM

                                yep he (Tim Love) seemed annoyed at being booted.

                                1. re: iL Divo
                                  The Dairy Queen RE: iL Divo Nov 9, 2012 07:24 AM

                                  From the voiceovers, I got the impression he didn't appreciate being grouped with Marcel, Spike and the gal in pigtails whose name escapes me right now, but, you know, the one who is the underdog because she had to fight for her place on the show. Honestly, I can't say I blame him.


                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                    huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 9, 2012 08:06 AM

                                    That's right...after all, he's a high-profile, A-list celebrity chef , a superstar in Texas, cowboy chef extraordinary, TV personality, etc etc. And to be grouped with the likes of those people... :-)

                                    Here's an interesting article that relates to famed Texas chefs...or not, as the case may be: http://www.dfw.com/2011/09/20/512131/...

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                      chowser RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 9, 2012 12:36 PM

                                      Ha, not only was he grouped with them, he lost to them! I agree that I think he thought his steak lunch was quirky but he should have realized a salad wouldn't cut it!

                                      1. re: chowser
                                        The Dairy Queen RE: chowser Nov 9, 2012 12:51 PM

                                        Exactly. Don't you feel at least a little bad for him?

                                        ETA: P.S. Duskie Estes is the woman in pigtails whose name I could not remember, ironically, since her name appears in the first sentence of the OP to this thread!


                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        iL Divo RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 11, 2012 09:05 PM

                                        yeh DQ, is it Estes or close to that? the chef who got calamari?

                                        1. re: iL Divo
                                          The Dairy Queen RE: iL Divo Nov 12, 2012 04:16 AM

                                          Yes, Duskie Estes.


                              3. b
                                Bunson RE: cmvan Nov 1, 2012 11:17 AM

                                I'm hoping Spike or Marcel wins. Food Network would drown in it's own self-induced vomit, and, imagine how irritated the existing Iron Chefs would feel.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Bunson
                                  Phaedrus RE: Bunson Nov 1, 2012 04:25 PM

                                  Think of the possibility of the Chairman doing his flying kick into Spike or Marcel and taking him out.

                                  1. re: Bunson
                                    iL Divo RE: Bunson Nov 8, 2012 11:17 AM

                                    I finally watched the 1st episode this morning-glad it had taped on the kids tv.
                                    they showed bits&bobs of future episodes and one thing they caught on tape was Marcel having a huge hissy fit over something. the guy seems to have a temper.

                                    1. re: Bunson
                                      The Dairy Queen RE: Bunson Nov 9, 2012 05:32 AM

                                      Notice how Spike is Chef Mendelsonn this season and not Chef Spike as he was first time around on NICA?


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        huiray RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 9, 2012 06:14 AM

                                        Heh. I didn't notice that!

                                        1. re: huiray
                                          chicgail RE: huiray Nov 12, 2012 03:59 AM

                                          I bet it was written into the contract. His PR gal insisted.

                                    2. iL Divo RE: cmvan Nov 8, 2012 11:12 AM

                                      my guess is it's a huge title that would bump up their status tremendously.
                                      if these returning chefs have an opportunity to redeem themselves (stupidly crazy rigors et al) they're more than willing to tough it out. plus they've got an advantage-they've been there and done that on same show previously so they have a leg up.

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: iL Divo
                                        JonParker RE: iL Divo Nov 10, 2012 07:54 PM

                                        How do they have a leg up when they've all been on the show before?

                                        1. re: JonParker
                                          chowser RE: JonParker Nov 11, 2012 09:02 AM

                                          Tim Love and Marcel weren't but Marcel at least has experience w/ challenges. Has Tim Love been in any show like this? I wondered if that was why he didn't do as well.

                                          1. re: chowser
                                            paulj RE: chowser Nov 11, 2012 09:12 AM

                                            According to his Wiki article:
                                            " Love defeated Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in a 2006 "Chile Pepper" battle on Iron Chef America. In 2009, he appeared on Top Chef Masters, but came in third in his first heat, thus ending his run on the show."

                                            I believe both of those were mentioned on this show. The ICA score as 48:47

                                            1. re: paulj
                                              huiray RE: paulj Nov 11, 2012 09:28 AM

                                              Re: the ICA episode [Season 4, episode 9] - note Tim Love won by just 1 point with an ingredient (chiles) he would have experience with. Morimoto had basically no experience with it. I vaguely remember that episode - Morimoto was actually biting into and tasting the chiles as he worked with them, just to get an idea of how they tasted. I remember because of the pained and screwed-up face expressions he showed as he tasted them.

                                            2. re: chowser
                                              huiray RE: chowser Nov 11, 2012 09:15 AM

                                              Tim Love was in Top Chef Masters season 1.
                                              He was eliminated in the first round [HEH!!], the first cook-off (Hubert Keller [winner of that round], Christopher Lee, Michael Schlow, Tim Love) TL came in 3rd in that 1st round. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

                                              1. re: chowser
                                                xo_kizzy_xo RE: chowser Nov 11, 2012 02:11 PM

                                                It seemed to me that he intentionally threw his chance off the bat, as though he knew he was brought in as a ringer to round out the playing field. What else would possess him to make himself lunch during the challenge?

                                                1. re: xo_kizzy_xo
                                                  huiray RE: xo_kizzy_xo Nov 11, 2012 08:30 PM


                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                    ipsedixit RE: huiray Nov 11, 2012 08:34 PM

                                                    .... or maybe petulance?

                                                  2. re: xo_kizzy_xo
                                                    cresyd RE: xo_kizzy_xo Nov 11, 2012 11:07 PM

                                                    I sincerely felt that way about Spike in the last season - that he was brought on as a way of reassuring all of the other chefs that they wouldn't go out first.

                                                    Obviously not all of them can win or do "as well or better" than they did in their season - but at least there's not the "pie in the face" moment of going out first. Especially for someone like Chef Greenspan who I think would rightfully feel like his failure with grasshoppers was hardly a way of evaluating his abilities. By telling him "in no way will you go out first" - he knows he'll get a few more chances to prove himself as well as saving some face.

                                                    1. re: xo_kizzy_xo
                                                      iL Divo RE: xo_kizzy_xo Nov 17, 2012 09:29 AM

                                                      overly confident 'I got this'
                                                      'piece a cake' attitude

                                                      I like Alex and Amanda personally.
                                                      Judith, Nate & Jehangir seem to be stepping forward.

                                                  3. re: JonParker
                                                    iL Divo RE: JonParker Nov 11, 2012 09:07 PM

                                                    JP, they haven't all been in the show but most have

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