The Next Iron Chef season 3 week 6 aired November 7 on the Food Network. The latest installment of the high-stakes reality cooking show featured the five remaining contestants as they took on the keyword Inspiration in Las Vegas. The night ended with a planned dramatic double elimination-turned-hung jury that saw only Chef Bryan Caswell get the boot. Here’s your Next Iron Chef week 6 recap.
The Next Iron Chef season 3 week 6 kicked off as the chefs met up with Chairman Mark Dacascos and Alton Brown in City Center, Las Vegas. Alton introduced the concept of the week, inspiration, and then just a hop, skip and an edit later, it was time for the first secret ingredient challenge: A dessert showdown that gave the five chefs two hours to create high-class wedding desserts using chocolate. Three chefs found ‘inspiration’ in a sample dessert found in the kitchen, and set to work creating little cream puffs, with just Chefs Forgione and Tio daring to be inventive with their offerings. In a dramatic moment, Chef Tsai appeared to deliberately sabotage Chef Canora’s efforts, but will it matter? We shall see.
Up next, judgment. Chef Caswell presented his Croquembouche first, followed by Chef Tsai and Chef Canora. I’d be more precise, but they all made essentially the same dish, so eh. Chef Forgione presented his chocolate and peanut butter parfait dessert next; the guest chef enjoyed the flavor, but didn’t dig the presentation. Chef Tio showed off her chocolate ganache last. Chef Tsai earned the victory in the end, with the promise of a great advantage during round two.
When The Next Iron Chef season 3 week 6 continued, Alton introduced the Chairman’s Challenge. He encouraged the contestants to create their own inspired “modern” interpretations of the traditional Las Vegas buffet, and then revealed that the day would end with a double elimination. They were challenged to create three hot and two cold dishes over the course of a 3-hour time limit. As the winner of the secret ingredient challenge, Chef Tsai was allowed to shop for his ingredients one minute before the others were allowed to begin. And then it was off to the races for everyone else, too. In a nutshell, Chef Tsai acted like a better-than-thou snot; Chef Tio seemed lost and overwhelmed; Chef Canora moaned and complained; Chef Caswell worked his Southern Thang; and Chef Forgione chilled and cooked. So in essence, pretty much the norm for each thus far into the competition.
Chef Forgione was the first of the five contestants to face the judging panel. Mychael Simon praised the flavor of his tomato water, while Simon Majumdar called his prime rib “terrific”. Chef Tsai, who focused on a Tour of Asia theme, presented next. Simon enjoyed his chicken and rice, while Donatella Arpaia called the butter film atop his Pho off-putting. Chef Caswell came up next. Simon called his shrimp a bit mushy, but Mychael enjoyed his ribs, calling them “fantastic”. Chef Tio faced the judges fourth, earning praise for her salmon from Mychael and criticism of her duck from Simon. Finishing up the line-up was Chef Canora. Donatella enjoyed his eggplant parmesan, while Simon thanked him for presenting a piece of pineapple that made him “not want to jump off a cliff”.
During judgment, Simon, Donatella and Mychael mulled the food they’d eaten. They mostly praised Chef Canora’s efforts but noted that he hadn’t necessarily been the most ‘inspired’ of the bunch, and questioned Chef Caswell’s ability to rise to the occasion. While Chef Tio earned great comments from Simon, Donatella was less than impressed. So who gets canned?
The Next Iron Chef week 6 came to a final head as the five contestants joined the judges for final judgment. Chef Canora was quickly named the winner of the challenge, and proclaimed himself “erupting with victory”. Er, okay. He’ll cook again next week. Alton turned to Chef Caswell next, and announced that thanks to his incongruous menu, he would not be the next iron chef. The judges turned to the remaining three contestants one at a time, with Mychael deeming Chef Tsai his bottom-dweller, Donatella choosing Chef Tio as her least fave, and Chef Forgione hitting the bottom spot on Simon’s list. Given the hung jury, Alton announced that all three chefs would advance to the next round, with a sure-thing double elimination showdown set up for next week.
Tune into The Next Iron Chef season 3 next Sunday night to see which of the four remaining chefs will pass on to the finals in Kitchen Stadium.