In this season of The Next Iron Chef, it is all about the Super Chefs. Ten of the best chefs in the world gathered in one place to duke it out to join the ranks of Bobby Flay, Morimoto and Cat Cora to become a Kitchen Stadium master.
After the elimination of four chefs only Anne Burrell, Michael Chiarello, Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marcus Samuelsson and Geoffrey Zakarian remain in the competition.
The competitors left Los Angeles and headed to New York City and Grand Central Station where host Alton Brown explained their next challenge: storytelling. Brown stated that storytelling was the difference between victory and defeat in Kitchen Stadium. The contestants had to weave a story about a key New York City landmark in their dish and each of them had to pick a landmark. In addition to the theme, the Super Chefs had to cook for six people (the judges, Alton and two special guests).
After receiving their landmarks and going on a 20-minute shopping spree in the Grand Central Station markets, the competitors returned to the kitchens to prep their dishes. Chef Burrell created a meal that focused on her journey to New York City and used her landmark: Central Park as an inspiration. Chef Zakarian, the rule breaker of this competition, made a four-course post New Year’s breakfast that focused around eggs and fish.
One of the biggest obstacles that Chef Guarnaschelli faced while making her dish was that her food fell into water. She determined that she needed to rebuild her Empire State Building-inspired dish and Guarnaschelli was able to execute a dish based on farm staples before time was called. After the end of the cooking, the judges- Iron Chef UK’s Judy Joo, Iron Chef Michael Symon and food writer Simon Majumdar were joined by guest judges Chef Charlie Parker and last season’s winner Iron Chef Mark Forgione to critique the dishes.
During the presentations, several chefs faced criticism from the judges. Judy Joo called out Chef Samuelsson for his salmon and Chef Parker thought that his and Chef Faulkner’s stories were difficult to follow. Meanwhile, Iron Chef Forgione praised both Chefs Burrell and Guarnaschelli for the meals but was confused by Chef Zakaran’s four dishes. At the end of judging it was announced that Chef Burrell won the challenge and that Chefs Samuelsson and Faulkner had to face off in the Secret Ingredient Showdown.
This week’s Secret Ingredient Showdown involved a popular New York City food…bagels. During the intense cook off, Chef Samuelsson prepared bagel dumplings with pickled trout while Chef Faulkner countered with a toasted bagel and cream cheese ice cream. As the chefs presented their dishes, all three judges praised both of them for their creativity and execution and had to made a difficult decision. That decision involved the surprising elimination of Chef Marcus Samuelsson from the competition.
Next Week: The final five will face off in a food auction and two people will once again have to battle it out in the Secret Ingredient Showdown.