Tonight was the first episode of the second season of The Next Iron Chef. Iron Chef America is one of my favorite TV shows. However my least favorite Iron Chef is the chef who won the first competition, Michael Symon.
The first challenge was to cook a "memory" recipe that was then judged by the other competitors. The winner gets an advantage in this week's elimination challenge. It was a good challenge with a huge variety of dishes. You could see the chefs already jockeying for position and making political calls. Chef Garces won this challenge handily, getting half the votes.
The second challenge was to get a mystery ingredient and make a dish out of it, while being"fearless". The only ingredient I would have had a chance with was the duck's tongues..I would have made a meat loaf and a pate. To make things worse, they only got an hour and fifteen minutes. I was totally impressed..I wouldn't have known even where to start with some of those ingredients.
The only judge I like is Jeffrey Steingarten, but he is the only one I know really well, so maybe the other two will grow on me. During the judging of the first set of dishes things went pretty mildly. No big confrontations or outright disgust. But the teaser for the commercial seems to hint that things will heat up with the second set of dishes.
A little more heat from the judges during the second set of dishes, but nothing hair raising.
Now the judges deliberate. Most of the heat was the judges attacking each other.
They talked to each chef individually. Chef Appleman won with his unlaid eggs. They started with the winner, then worked their way down the survivors. They made a big point the whole time about fearlessness, much moreso than taste. The final two chefs had grasshoppers and sea cucumbers as their ingredients. I don't know if I could eat either one, let alone cook with them. The first chef eliminated was Chef Greenspan and his grasshoppers.