The contestants arrive in the kitchen to find the altar is stocked – with canned meats. There is pâté, clams, ham, SPAM… and three sets of cans with question marks on them. What is this – MYSTERY MEAT!? Will somebody end up with Pink slime?
Also, why didn’t they do this in a featured foodie locale – say, for example, one of the shuttered BPI plants.
AB then announces the theme of tonight’s Chairman’s Challenge: redeem canned meats using Transformation.
In other words, the Iron Chef wannabes have to turn a Steaming Pile o’ Turds into a sweet-smelling bouquet of roses.
The contestants pick their poison choose their cans. As the winner of last week’s Challenge, Chef Frietag gets theSignificant Advantage of picking her can last. She has the option of stealing someone else’s can, but decides she wants them to fail with what they chose, so she chooses corned beef.
One hour is put on the clock, and it is time to cook: GO!
And: cooking happens. In other news:
Chefs FoamBoy and Spike decide to form an “alliance.” Which the other contestants feel obligated to comment on. The scary thought? These things normally end up on the other Reality TeeVee shows with one member stabbing another in the back. And these contestants? Use real knives.
Chefs Spike and Falkner explain how important Transformation is to an Iron Chef. Apparently, it is very important.
Fun Fact: Chef Freitag DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO OPEN A CAN OF CORNED BEEF (“Oh, there’s a key on the bottom of the can! D’oh!“)
Ding! Cooking is done, and it is time for Tasting and Judgement.
Chef Falkner (Roast Beef) – First up, Roast Beef with Bordelaise Sauce. The judges like it. No… they LOVE it! I’m guessing there will be no Secret Ingredient Showdown for her this week.
Chef Freitag (Corned Beef) – Presents her Homage to Corned Beef. Iron Chef Zakarian liked it. But, did sheTransform it? Or was it just a garnish?
Chef Spike (Vienna Sausage) – He goes Asian again, with a Vietnamese Vienna Sausage Crepe. Simon Majumdar comments that the heat is very pronounced. Chef Spike hits the Room In Which Side-bars Happen to explain that his sauces are never unbalanced. Iron Chef Zakarian: it would have been better “as an omelette.”
Chef Mehta (Chicken) – He delivers a Chicken Pakora w/curry rice. Donatella Arpaia: it is “perfect.” Iron Chef Zakarian thinks it is a “touch of sheer genius.” Simon Majumdar observes that the “rice is overcooked.” (but, was it Transformed?)
Chef FoamBoy (Clams) – His dish is an Acqua Pazza with clam cake. Simon Majumdar commends Chef FoamBoy on his good presentation, but says the dish is too salty. So salty, in fact, that he calls for a priest to perform an exorcism on his mouth. Donatella Arpaia and Iron Chef Zakarian agree on the level of saltiness. Mayor Bloomberg shows up with his Food Police and has Chef FoamBoy summarily executed. (OK, that last thing didn’t actually happen. But, it would have been awesome if it had.)
Chef Appleman (Canned tuna) – He serves up Tuna Three Ways. Iron Chef Zakarian loved it. Donatella Arpaia and Simon Majumdar said it was transformative, but the results weren’t tasty.
Chef Guarnaschelli (Spiced ham) – She made a Ravioli w/spiced ham, peas, and basil sauce. Simon Majumdar observed that it “looks like Kermit in a blender,” while Iron Chef Zakarian noted that it “tasted better than it looked.” Chef Guarnaschelli is planning her strategy for the Secret Ingredient Showdown.
And then, Judgment is pronounced.
Chefs Freitag, Falkner, and Mehta were on the top. Chef Falkner got the W. (Finally! Yea!) Chef Appleman was saved by the shaved tuna. Chef Guarnaschelli’s dish was lacking in flavor. But it was transformative, so sheSurvives To Cook Another Day, as well.
Poor Chef Spike FoamBoy [thanks to readers/viewers MC and CL for the correction!] – it seems that the judges used the “I” word (“inedible”) when describing his dish. And so, it will be Chef Spike vs. Chef FoamBoy in theSecret Ingredient Showdown. The Grand Alliance dies before it gets a good start.
The Secret Ingredient Showdown
The two chefs will have 30 minutes to create an amazing dish using the secret ingredient, which is… LOBSTER!Allez Cuisine! Let The Cooking Begin!
As she puts her shattered nervous system back together, Chef Guarnaschelli quips that “This is not s Showdown – it’s a Bro-down.”
Chef Spike, on his strategery for this segment: “I want to make the food that makes people want to go home and have the sex. Or go to sleep.”
Chef FoamBoy breaks out the Liquid Nitrogen to cool off his hibiscus mixture. Because all about the Molecular Gastronomy, he is. Which is a good thing, as it is very Transformative.
Chef Spike starts piping his lobster noodle into the boiling water. Will it work, or is he going to be in hot water with the judges? It works!
Chefs FoamBoy and Spike decide to take a major risk, and plate their dishes USING THE SAME PLATE. Will they both be sent home? They seem to hope that both of them will be safe. However, it is “Iron Chef” – not “Iron Chefsssssss!”
The other contestants, they are not amused. One of them says something about “disrespectful” and “breaking the rules.” AB looks at the whole thing, and his face gets even longer than usual. But, he notes that it will make presentation of the dishes to the judges much easier.
Chef Spike presents his Lobster Laksa. Iron Chef Zakarian noted he “used it [lobster] in a global fashion.”Doantella said it was “well balanced.” Simon thought it was “really nourishing.”
Chef FoamBoy presents his Lobster salad w/mango, black bean sauce and hibiscus. Simon Majumdar thought the lobster & fruit worked well, even though they shouldn’t. Iron Chef Zakarian and Donatella Arpaia also liked it.
So, it is on to the $64,000 question: Do they hang get judged together, or separately?
Iron Chef Zakarian thought they (the judges) got played by FoamBoy and Spike. Donatella Arpaia thought it showed arrogance on their part. AB said he would talk to the Chairman. Simon Majumdar thought that would be a good idea.
My bet is that both of them are 86ed.
Apparently, the Chairman had other ideas. AB coldly informs Spike and FoamBoy that the judges were not pleased. However, they had to render a decision: in this instance, they chose to reward creativity, so Chef FoamBoy Survives To Cook Another Day. However, AB says, the other contestants won’t be having his back in the future. (Unless it is for target practice, perhaps?)
Which means that, by process of elimination, Chef Spike Will Not Be The Next Iron Chef.
As Chef Spike takes his leave, Chef FoamBoy quips: “And then there were six.” The other contestants give him a dirty look.
Next week, on The Next Iron Chef: it’s the Auction Challenge, redux. In a hangar. Cow heads are seen. And bid upon. The whole thing should prove completely disgusting. Which is as it should be.