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Next Iron Chef: Road to Redemption

  • c

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.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food-netwo...

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.

        ~TDQ

        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...

              ~TDQ

              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...http://www.flickr.com/photos/84384996...

          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.

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

                4 Replies
                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

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

                1. Oh dear, Marcel and Spike?

                  1. the battle between Estes and Trevino is up now.

                    1. 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

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

                        1. re: paulj

                          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

                            There are bits of verbal sparing between the two. This gives an idea of what goes on, from Battle Trout
                            http://blog.chron.com/tubular/2011/12...

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

                            1. re: paulj

                              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

                          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

                            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.

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              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

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

                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

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

                                1. re: iL Divo

                                  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.

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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!

                                        ~TDQ

                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

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

                              3. 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

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

                                  1. re: Bunson

                                    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

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

                                      ~TDQ

                                        1. re: huiray

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

                                    2. 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

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

                                        1. re: JonParker

                                          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

                                            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

                                              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

                                              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

                                                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

                                                    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

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

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

                                                  2. re: JonParker

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