Next Iron Chef Episode 3- Innovation


next_iron_chef_silverThe third installment of The Next Iron Chef rolled out last night and the chefs finally left the confines of the Iron Chef Kitchen for some fresh air. Jose Garces added Vietnamese to his repertoire and we moved one step closer to crowning another culinary superhero.

Test One-Innovation- Part 1

  • The chefs were paired off by reigning winner Seamus Mullen. Each pair would head to an Asian restaurant and try to recreate a signature dish. The winner would gain five extra minutes in the next test.
  • Nate Appleman and Seamus Mullen headed to a Korean spot to make Bibimbap. Appleman was the closest to the original.
  • Roberto Trevino and Brad Farmerie were sent to a Chinese restaurant for their dumplings. Both had similar dishes, but Trevino was awarded the win because he finished quicker.
  • Jehangir Mehta and Amanda Freitag visited a Thai eatery to scope out their Green Curry. Freitag had the most authentic Curry of the two.
  • Jose Garces and Dominique Crenn were off to a Vietnamese place to make Pho. Garces was told that his Pho was “unservable” and Crenn walked away the winner.

Test Two- Innovation-Part 2

  • The second part of the test was to create a classic American dish with the inspiration of your earlier culinary journey.
  • The winning chefs were given an hour to work. The rest would have 55 minutes to complete their dishes.
  • Garces’ innovation came in the form of a Pho French Dip with Banana Milkshake topped with Coconut Foam. The judges found Garces’ choice to include some of the tendons and cartilage in the sandwiches to be authentic, but not always pleasant.
  • Other dishes included an Asian-Inspired American Breakfast (Crenn), Kimchi Braised Pot Roast (Appleman), Meatloaf Dumplings (Trevino), and a strange Green Curry “Takeout” (Mehta).
  • The second strongest dish belonged to Chef Freitag. She took a focused and clear approach in embracing Thai flavors and applying them to a Halibut Cake- ala Maryland Crabcakes.
  • The winner once again was Seamus Mullen with a Korean Reuben with Salt and Rice Vinegar Chips paired with a Barley and Ginger Soda.
  • Brad Farmerie’s Asian Pierogies were inconsistent and make Chef Farmerie the third chef eliminated.

Observations

  • No subtitles for Dominique Crenn this week.
  • I like the guy, but Chef Mehta’s presentation and concept was very odd.
  • Amanda Freitag has been very impressive. (And I am not just saying that because we are friends on Facebook.)
  • Jose Garces has shown flashes of brilliance, but has also disappeared at times. Some of these earlier challenges are a bit campy; he should have no trouble if he were to get to the final showdown.
  • The Vietnamese guy who judged the test for Garces/Crenn should be added to the panel of full-time judges.
  • Why does Alton Brown speak for the judges when they are right there?