The Next Iron Chef season 3 week 4 aired Sunday evening on the Food Network, and featured the seven remaining contestants as they tackled the concept of transformation. They took part in a condiment challenge, followed by a Fair Food Chairman’s challenge that left Chef Duskie Estes on the outs with the judges. Here’s a recap.
Host Alton Brown got the Next Iron Chef week 4 ball rolling by placing a selection of condiments on the counter in front of the chefs. He challenged the hopefuls to choose a sauce, and then transform it into something delicious, either sweet or savory. Alton addressed Chef Canora, winner of last week’s Resourcefulness challenge, and told him to choose his own sauce, and then assign each of his challengers a condiment as well. Canora selected blah mayonnaise, ad then carefully saddled the other chefs with the sauces he assumed would give them the most trouble, assigning yellow mustard to Chef Estes, barbecue sauce to Chef Forgione, hot sauce to Chef Tio, steak sauce to Chef Tsai, the very American ranch dressing to Chef Chauhan, and ketchup to Chef Caswell.
Here’s a peek at who made what:
Chef Caswell: Ketchup Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
Chef Chauhan: Lemon and Ranch Mousse
Chef Canora: Mayo pudding
Chef Forgione: BBQ Pasta and BBQ Bolognese
Chef Tio: Almond Cake with Hot Sauce and Hot Sauce Ricotta
Chef Estes: Crop Crepes with Mustard
Chef Tsai: Steak Sauce Carpaccio
As usual, the contestants were required to judge each others’ dishes. Chef Tio garnered the most votes and emerged the winner of the challenge, while Chef Chauhan wound up with the short end of the stick. A video featuring The Chairman aired and revealed that the contestants would be heading to a county fair to keep the Next Iron Chef season 3 week 4 action moving along. Chef Caswell responded enthusiastically to the idea, as did Chef Estes, who praised the fried food that looms large and in charge at such events.
The Chefs met up with Alton at the San Diego County Fair. Alton challenged them to use only ingredients available at the fair’s concession stands to create three dishes: One grilled, one on a stick, and one fried. The goal was to ‘transform’ fair food into something different and great. Chef Tio, as winner of the earlier challenge, enjoyed an extra 5 minutes of ‘shopping’ at the concession stands. While the six other chefs got to work creating their three dishes using a massive (and out of control) grill, Chef Chauhan was penalized for one minute thanks to her loss.
After the cooking came to an end, the judges did their thing in a nearby tent. Chef Canora went first, and gained praise from Michael Symon that he was “hitting his stride”. Chef Forgione was up next with his trio, which included a bacon cheeseburger. Michael praised him for doing “some really fun and interesting stuff”. Chef Tsai presented his “deconstructed” menu third, and all went okay until Donatella Arpaia ate the banana peel garnish — oops. Up next Chef Chauhan showed her dishes, and the judges were particularly impressed with — and surprised by — her avocado and chocolate beignet. Up fifth was Chef Estes, whose dough was deemed undercooked. Chef Caswell failed to impress with his corn snow cone, but excelled with his other dishes. Chef Tio brought up the rear with her three creations. Judge Simon enjoyed her funnel cake in particular.
Back in the Next Iron Chef judging chamber, Alton sat down with Donatella, Simon and Michael to discuss what they’d eaten. Michael deemed Chef Forgione the most creative of the bunch, and said that Chefs Tio and Canora had delivered the best dishes. The three worried over Chef Chauhan’s lack of consistency and similar offerings from week to week. But who failed the transformation challenge?
Week 4 judgment commenced with Alton proclaiming Chefs Canora, Caswell and Forgione as the head of the class, but went on to deem Chef Tio, a “sleeper” in the competition, as the winner for the week. The judges turned their attention to Chef Tsai next, telling him to be more “elegant” in his presentation, but saved him to cook again. Left in peril were Chefs Chauhan and Estes. In the end, a tearful Chef Estes was dismissed from The Next Iron Chef season 3. And then there were six.
The Next Iron Chef season 3 week 4, October 24, 2010, Food Network