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The next Next Iron Chef 2009


Reignking
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I've finally watched the first two episodes. It seems that this version has taken more elements of top chef into the contest. I'm finding it hard to describe what it is that makes me not like it. I found it to not be very compelling. Perhaps its the quickfire or whatever they are calling it, where the judges judge themselves. It reminds of why there is no pirate king in pirates of the carribean (they all vote for themselves!) But also for me I think it's the hokey chairman bit. Also , I seem to continue to compare the show to Top Chef. I will of course watch the whole season. I sat through all of the Chopping block.

On a molecular side note, I did see a sous vide bath in the background and it appears as if chef Mehta chose to use LN2 to make his sorbet the second time. Top chef now has all this as standard appliances as well. So when can we drop the "molecular" and just call it Gastronomy?

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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With a Zagat rating of 26, Graffiti must be doing something exceptionally good.

Zagat schmagat. Wendy's gets good ratings too. I recall a bunch of those troubled, roach ridden restos on Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares show having big Zagat signs by the door.

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I can’t help feeling that the people at NIC are giving Chef Jehangir Mehta an unfair ‘villain’s edit’ for the season’s second episode. His posts about the show on his personal website indicate otherwise. On winning the first test he said his mantra ‘was to draw attention with simplicity and precision’. He just seems very focused. He has also posted recipes on his website. I watched a video (on his website) on how to make thyme roasted potatoes and I have also tried his Prosecco Lychee Martini recipe. Both the recipes turned out amazingly well! Simple and delicious. I like him and really hope he wins.

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I cant help feeling that the people at NIC are giving Chef Jehangir Mehta an unfair villains edit for the seasons second episode.

Nah taking all the grape leaves and gloating was a douchebag move even if he did part with some later. He purposely made the other chef panic.

There's no fancy editing there. He acted like an asshat.

Edited by KristiB50 (log)
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I can’t help feeling that the people at NIC are giving Chef Jehangir Mehta an unfair ‘villain’s edit’ for the season’s second episode. His posts about the show on his personal website indicate otherwise. On winning the first test he said his mantra ‘was to draw attention with simplicity and precision’. He just seems very focused. He has also posted recipes on his website. I watched a video (on his website) on how to make thyme roasted potatoes and I have also tried his Prosecco Lychee Martini recipe. Both the recipes turned out amazingly well! Simple and delicious. I like him and really hope he wins.

You can't edit in what doesn't happen. He'll have to own it.

And Zagat ratings are not the best indicator of a restaurants quality.

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Im really surprised by both farmerie and Mehta. My meals at public and double crown were both mediocre and i had a very unpleasant meal at graffiti. There are much better cooks in nyc as chef de cuisines at numerous restaurants than these two guys. If i had to pick one out of the group to win it would be a tie between appleman and mullen.

Thank god you didn’t pick the contestants then. If you had, then all of them would have been pizza chefs… Haven’t visited public or double crown but I have visited Graffiti and I liked it. I visited it after Jehangir Mehta’s performance on Iron Chef America and was surprised to find Mehta taking time out to explain his preparations to us… Maybe you tried the wrong dish (not a big fan of eclectic cuisine?). Most of his food tends to be light so if you like your food to be heavy on the carbs then you may not like the place. With a Zagat rating of 26, Graffiti must be doing something exceptionally good.

If I had to pick one out of the group I would pick Garces or Mullen. Appleman is too political.

When i went to graffiti he was not there. I worked very closely with a good friend of his in the past and was told to go there. I had shitty steamed buns and a horrible take on a watermelon and feta salad, followed by a over cooked and dry porkbelly dish. Maybe it was "eclectic" but it was just plain bad. Not to mention the bad service of what seemed like waitresses working their first job. And Zagat? Tim Zagat is the most payed off man in the restaurant guide world. If you ever worked in a restaurant getting a review from them you would have been shortly thereafter called for a "contribution"

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Mehta taking time out to explain his preparations to us…
Perhaps on your next visit, he can explain how being an ass was going to help him win this thing. Maybe that week's mantra was to draw attention with pettiness and unsportsmanlike conduct.

eta: Not enough faith in his food, I guess.

Edited by hsm (log)
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Episode 3 was awesome! All the chefs were thrown off the deep end by the chairman this time. The second test of this episode was definitely the toughest challenge the chefs have faced so far. None of them specialize in West Asian cuisine yet for their first test they had to recreate Thai, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. This was the easy part. In the second test they had to create a completely new dish that was a hybrid of Asian flavors (which they had sampled in the first test) and American culinary sensibilities. Of all the chefs on the show Chef Jehangir Mehta has proven to be the most daring and imaginative of the lot, while Chef Seamus Mullen and Amanda Freitag are clearly battling it out at the top. Brad Farmerie was a very talented chef but I knew he would be knocked out.

That said; I can’t believe that only one Chef wins at the end of the show! All of them are so talented. However, if I had to pick a restaurant to eat at I would pick Seamus Mullen’s Boqueria Flatiron, Jehangir Mehta’s Graffiti or Jose Garces’ Amada. I would pick Chef Mullen’s Boqueria Flatiron because his food looks well though out and balanced, I would pick Graffiti because I love the way Chef Mehta experiments with food and because his preparations always look so good and I would pick Chef Garces’ Amada because he comes across well.

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. . . None of them specialize in West Asian cuisine yet for their first test they had to recreate Thai, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. . . .

Could you elaborate on the type of food they were expected to recreate? I'm not sure I understand how "West Asia" (formerly known as the Middle East) fits in with the countries you mentioned (which are Southeast Asian--Thai and Vietnamese, and East Asian--Korean and Chinese).

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I thought the challenge was awesome.

But I still hate Mehta. WTF was that DNA take out crap? I did not see innovation as Thai food is already available for takeout. :rolleyes: And he didn't even try to stick to the challenge-his line was, "Americans love takeout." I think they're keeping him around because they need an asshat and Appleman isn't being as jerky as he was in episode one.

Appleman making up a story about his mom's crockpot roast beef and lumpy mashed potatoes cracked me up.

Garces and Freitag are my faves. I'm glad Freitag is smiling more.

Steingarten is a jerk. He knows food but he seems to want to say something negative just for the sake of saying something negative.

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Yeah the thing with Appleman was hilarious. If i was on a show like that i would do the exact same thing. Mehta needs to go home, fast. Freitag is surprising me. Im not that inspired by her ideas but i also am not tasting the food. Finally Steingarten is the one person on the panel that i think really has a good sense of food. Donatella is a good business woman but i think she doesnt know what shes talking about when it comes to judging chefs that have ascended to the level these guys have, not to mention i worked for her very briefly. ,

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I'll triple up on the Appleman hilarity from this episode. I'll also say Frietag was a surprise, but I still don't think she'll win or finish in the top two. Just seems a bit vanilla. I really thought Mehta was going home this week.

Side note-I was generally not too excited with this cast, even though I am an Appleman fan. If some of them would have been on ICA and won it would be different. Instead it is giving me the impression of the bar being lowered. At least for now.

Jeff

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Side note-I was generally not too excited with this cast, even though I am an Appleman fan. If some of them would have been on ICA and won it would be different. Instead it is giving me the impression of the bar being lowered. At least for now.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Garces beat Bobby Flay on ICA?

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Side note-I was generally not too excited with this cast, even though I am an Appleman fan. If some of them would have been on ICA and won it would be different. Instead it is giving me the impression of the bar being lowered. At least for now.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Garces beat Bobby Flay on ICA?

You are correct-my mistake. Farmerie beat Cora as well...Ooops

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Side note-I was generally not too excited with this cast, even though I am an Appleman fan. If some of them would have been on ICA and won it would be different. Instead it is giving me the impression of the bar being lowered. At least for now.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Garces beat Bobby Flay on ICA?

You are correct-my mistake. Farmerie beat Cora as well...Ooops

Nothing against Brad (who I work for and have learned a lot from), but anyone can beat Cat Cora.

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I thought the challenge was awesome.

But I still hate Mehta. WTF was that DNA take out crap? I did not see innovation as Thai food is already available for takeout. :rolleyes: And he didn't even try to stick to the challenge-his line was, "Americans love takeout." I think they're keeping him around because they need an asshat and Appleman isn't being as jerky as he was in episode one.

Appleman making up a story about his mom's crockpot roast beef and lumpy mashed potatoes cracked me up.

Garces and Freitag are my faves. I'm glad Freitag is smiling more.

Steingarten is a jerk. He knows food but he seems to want to say something negative just for the sake of saying something negative.

Jehangir Mehta’s approach was different and gutsy. We know his plating skills are amazing. It would have been a cinch for him to create another fancy plate but he chose a different concept. I thought he nailed the challenge in terms of his understanding of American sensibilities. Gourmet take-out is a cool concept and very American.

I find that Jehangir Mehta is one of the most interesting chefs to watch on the show because he’s unpredictable and wacky and more importantly his food is good. I’m sure his Thai Curry must have been good too. Just because Jeffery disliked it (and the others were too afraid to disagree) doesn’t mean it was bad. In the end, it all comes down to pandering to the judges’ palates. Jehangir Mehta decided to do his own thing (not flatter the judges) that’s what makes him stick out of the crowd. Besides like Alton Brown said while announcing the results, the judges thought Jehangir Mehta's take-out idea was and I quote "a brilliant presentation and a strong play to break out of the pack".

I like Freitag too but I think her only flaw is that she’s too safe all the time. My other favorite is Chef Mullen.

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Side note-I was generally not too excited with this cast, even though I am an Appleman fan. If some of them would have been on ICA and won it would be different. Instead it is giving me the impression of the bar being lowered. At least for now.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Garces beat Bobby Flay on ICA?

How hard is that?

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Last night's show was a mini-Iron Chef -- use one ingredient (tamarind) three ways (savory, dessert, drink). However, they had to make it evoke Mexico; I think it was Sean Mullen who obviously showed his experience there in his take on street food (although, taste-wise, it didn't seem to be on the money). In the end, it came down to the raw churro vs. the nicely-cooked not-so-Mexican eclair.

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Last night's show was a mini-Iron Chef -- use one ingredient (tamarind) three ways (savory, dessert, drink). However, they had to make it evoke Mexico; I think it was Sean Mullen who obviously showed his experience there in his take on street food (although, taste-wise, it didn't seem to be on the money). In the end, it came down to the raw churro vs. the nicely-cooked not-so-Mexican eclair.

I am not a big fan of Chef Nate Appleman but he did pretty well this time. Chef Mehta, the winner of this battle , also impressed me with his preparation especially the tamarind braised apple pork which looked mouth watering. I am really impressed with his consistency but I agree with the judges that he should just let the ice – cream machine be for a while. I think, in case of Chef Mehta, there is more than what meets the eye. I agree with Brad Farmerie’s comment that he is someone to look out for. The first time he won was because of his authentic curry and rice preparation but since he has grown up eating that, it was obvious that he could cook it well but this time around he made a Mexican preparation and excelled at that too. That says a lot about his talent. A lot of chefs commented that this was a tough battle. Perhaps because it had more to do with food flavors, specific cuisines and how well each of them could bring the flavors together

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I'm thinking that only Garces and perhaps Mehta have the chops and the [i]gravitas to be an Iron Chef.

Mullen is too pasty looking and limited in scope. Appleman...eh. The woman who is left, i forget her name, has a lot of 'tude but seems to be a lesser chef. The guy from PR has made too many mediocre things to be TC. Anyone else, I forget...which says something in itself.

Edited by gfweb (log)
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I agree with you, but I'm still thinking Jose has Mehta beat. Mehta makes some odd choices and I still can't forgive him for being such a dickhead about the grape leaves. Jose has the chops and he doesn't have to be a jackhole to succeed at someone else's expense...

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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I agree with you, but I'm still thinking Jose has Mehta beat. Mehta makes some odd choices and I still can't forgive him for being such a dickhead about the grape leaves. Jose has the chops and he doesn't have to be a jackhole to succeed at someone else's expense...

I agree with this. And if he won he wouldn't he a jackhole to a contestant on ICA, but seeing him be one on this show left a bad taste in my mouth and I probably wouldn't watch his episodes.

Plus he reminds me of Nosferatu.

Actually I'd watch every show if the Iron Chefs were just Morimoto and Batali. :biggrin:

Edited by KristiB50 (log)
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