Resourcefulness was the word of the day on The Next Iron Chef season 3 week 3, which aired October 17 on the Food Network. The surviving 8 chefs went knife to knife creating pickle snacks and fresh-from-the-sea cuisine. By night’s end, Chef Mary Dumont became season 3’s third contestant to hear the words ‘you will not be the next Iron Chef’, courtesy of her repeated failure to dig deep and offer truly fantastic fare. Here’s a recap of the action.
Host Alton Brown got The Next Iron Chef week 3 started with a bang as he introduced a 30-minute secret ingredient challenge: Battle pickle! The contestants were presented with a variety of pickles and told to use their resourcefulness to create a snack. Most of the chefs seemed unfazed by the challenge, and got to work lickety split putting together their delicacies (and in some cases, strategically hogging ingredients). Here’s a peek at who made what.
Chef Dumont – Grilled Chicken and Lemon Verbena Salad
Chef Canora – Tonnato of Pork
Chef Caswell – Stuffed Barcelona Red Hot
Chef Forgione – Duck Liver Crostini
Chef Chauhan – Pickle Wrapped Chorizo
Chef Tsai – Beef and Veggie Sushi
Chef Tio – Corn Pancake with Chorizo
Chef Estes – Lobster Lettuce Cup and Pickled Pepper
As usual, Alton called on the chefs to name their favorite and least favorite dishes. Chef Forgione and Chef Caswell drew praise for their resourcefulness, while Chef Estes found herself under the ‘least successful’ gun thanks to a runny sauce and poor visual presentation. Chef Forgione was ultimately declared the winner of the challenge, and of an advantage during the next round. Alton used pickles as a lead-in to the next activity, telling the chefs that fishermen eat the tasty treats in order to stave of seasickness. And then of course, he told them that they to would be taking to the high seas.
The eight chefs boarded a boat, and Alton informed them that they’d be cooking whatever fish they managed to catch. Back in the studio, they faced the night’s Chairman’s Challenge. Chef Forgione’s advantage gave him the right to trade a fish with any other contestant, and he opted to take Chef Tio’s Snapper in order to diversify his two-course menu. Chef Tio quipped that she “expected nothing less”, garnering a puzzled and nervous response from Forgione. As punishment for her earlier challenge loss, Chef Estes had to sit out the first 60 seconds while the other contestants got to work with cleaning and preparing their fish. In order to make things ‘fairer’ for chefs who hadn’t caught many fish, Alton revealed that they could also make use of the bait from the fishing trip.
‘Highlights’ from The Next Iron Chef season week 3’s Chairman’s Challenge included Chef Tio igniting a bowl of couscous in impressive fashion, the strange last-minute disappearance of Chef Canora’s artichoke slices which left him crying “sabotage”, and of course, lots of frantic motion.
Up next, judgment!
Chef Estes: Bacon Wrapped Sardine and Scorpion Fish and Chermoula. Both earned high praise from the judges.
Chef Forgione: Snapper Salad Nicoise and Scorpion Fish En Croute. They were deemed “two winners” by the men, with Donatella Arpaia calling her efforts “creative” but not resourceful.
Chef Tio: Scorpion fish Crudo and Cataplana and Couscous Crusted fish. Donatella appreciated seeing her personality in her dishes.
Chef Dumont: Scorpion Fish Tartare and Seared Rockfish. The judges noted inconsistencies from one plate to the next; she’s probably in trouble here, given that she didn’t fare well during weeks one and two, either.
Chef Caswell: Warm Seafood Salad with Scorpion fish and Sand Dab Carpaccio. Simon Majundar noted that Caswell “looks like a linebacker but cooks like ballerina” as he praised his delicate dish.
Chef Tsai: New Style Scorption Sashimi and Yuzu Glazed Dip. All three judges called it a comeback.
Chef Chauhan: Sardine and Scorpion and Coconut Scorpion Fish. Donatella didn’t like the first dish and Michael Symon and Simon agreed, calling them her worst dishes yet.
Chef Canora: Classic and New World Cacciuccio of Scorpion Fish. Michael liked the “old world, new world” spin, and Donatella proclaimed “welcome to the race” as she praised the quality of his sauce.
The judges deliberated amongst themselves, with Chefs Dumont and Chauhan quickly becoming the night’s least favorite contenders. As they faced elimination, Alton revealed that two contenders had risen to the top, while two had faltered badly. He proclaimed Chefs Estes and Canora the most resourceful contestants of the week, and proclaimed Chef Canora the winner of the challenge. Both were spared to cook again. Chefs Caswell, Forgione, Tio and Tsai were deemed middle-of-the-packers and were saved to participate next week, leaving Chefs Dumont and Chauhan left to face the fire. After noting the former’s failure to dig deep in her efforts and citing the latter’s lack of seasoning ability, Chef Dumont was eliminated from The Next Iron Chef season 3 competition.
Tune in to The Next Iron Chef season 3 next week as the 7 contestants work to transform ordinary ingredients into something amazing.
The Next Iron Chef Season 3 Week 3, October 17, 2010, Food Network