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Oct 15, 2012 11:12 AM

Next Iron Chef: Road to Redemption

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. 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. 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

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

          1. re: huiray

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

            1. re: JonDough

              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

                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

                  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...

          2. re: The Dairy Queen

            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. 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. 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

                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

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

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

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