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Iron Chef America (Part 2)


banco
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HOLY COW! Rachel Ray on ICA?

I just saw a promo for an upcoming show (Nov 12) that has Rachel Ray and Mario vs Bobby and Giana Delaurentis.

So, what is Rachel going to do with the extra 30 minutes she has?

Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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HOLY COW!  Rachel Ray on ICA?

I just saw a promo for an upcoming show (Nov 12) that has Rachel Ray and Mario vs Bobby and Giana Delaurentis. 

So, what is Rachel going to do with the extra 30 minutes she has?

I have a little thread going on the subject HERE if you want to toss around a few more thoughts on the subject!

SB:smile:

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Chris, what does wild boar taste like? Can you describe it? I kept thinking that it might be like pork before they put it on a diet and made it the 'other white meat'. There wasn't one dish in that battle that didn't look 'awesome' :wink: - can't always say that, but I would have given a LOT to trade places with one of you!

Kim

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Couldn't believe the venison battle between Cora and Campanaro.

I don't know about his food; but, her food looked just awful. When they were describing the ingredients, I was cringing. It looked like baby food on a plate! She put bacon in her Mole!

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Couldn't believe the venison battle between Cora and Campanaro.

I don't know about his food; but, her food looked just awful.  When they were describing the ingredients, I was cringing.  It looked like baby food on a plate!  She put bacon in her Mole!

I just caught this episode, appropriately enough right in the middle of deer hunting season here in Minnesota. (I'm in the minority group who don't hunt.) After many mild winters in a row deer have become so numerous as to become pests and traffic hazards. In some suburban areas archers have been hired to cull the herds, and on the Reservation where my friend Big Lou is elgible to hunt the "limit" is seven deer :wink::wink: !

Maybe it's because the deer in these parts don't eat properly, (the old Brilliat-Savarin/Tiny Tim adage that "you are what you eat" being applicable to deer), but I can't imagine any of the dishes produced on ICAm being served around here.

Most hunters will have one meal of a roast and maybe fry a few chops, then grind up a few pounds for hamburgers and make the rest into sausages and jerky. Often the backstrap, (tenderloin), is the only cut that isn't ground, although some Old-Timers eat the heart and liver for dinner the night of the kill.

SB (Beef is fine by me, thank you)

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  • 1 month later...

I caught this battle a couple weeks ago and was proud to see Chef Blais go out there give it his all for "Team Modern." Although Wylie and Richard have not reigned supreme, and I'm not sure if the Cantu battle has aired, it's great to see modern cooking on a channel that is decidedly not.

I was watching the battle with my roommates and when they saw Chef Blais using a lot of the same techniques I use, they suddenly thought me (a little) less crazy. Certainly a great battle to watch for two very different takes on an interesting theme ingredient.

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I agree with you, Bryan. I saw the episode last week and it was a relief to watch "the home team". I, sadly, missed the Wylie episode. However, I can't wait to see the Homaro episode. I worked with the man, so I can only imagine what he pulls out of his nitro-hat.

It was a shame to see Chef Blais lose.

Cheers.

Trev.

eGullet Ethics Signatory

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Blais' loss was highly predictable. Won comfortably on originality and plating, lost big on taste. I think Blais is a heck of a chef, but given the secret ingredient and time constraints, it's no wonder Batali with his Mediterreanean background and ICA experience was able to do more with the chick pea and 1 hour time limit than Blais. I also am not sure Blais is quite to the level of chef that Batali is. Blais was one of the best chefs in Atlanta when he left, a noticeable step above most, but also a noticeable step down from the very top. That's no slight to Blais. There's nothing wrong with being excellent rather than superb, especially considering his youth.

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  • 1 month later...

There is an extensive article about ICA and Graham Elliott Bowles in today's (2/11/07) Chicago Tribune Magazine (also available online -- though perhaps only briefly -- with free registration). It's quite a substantial article -- a great deal of behind-the-scenes stuff which, though all known before, might be interesting to those who know the show only casually.

I do want to point out something that is possibly a new legitimate cause for complaint about the show. I think there's been enough behind-the-scenes-type articles and judge's testimonies to conclude that the show is not, as some have charged, "fixed." On the other hand, though it's just a TV show, winning or losing does have at least a little impact on participants' exposure, publicity, business, etc., so there should be as much avoidance of impropriety, specifically conflict-of-interest, as possible.

The article quotes Bowles' team grumbling about Karine Bakhoum, one of the "regular" judges, who is portrayed as, among the judges, the least enthusiastic about Bowles' cuisine and the most enthusiastic about Flay's.

Bowles, watching from the kitchen with his fellow chefs, muttered, "Do you think somebody is on somebody's side?"

"Totally," Sutton responded.

The problem is, of course, that Flay is a past and current client of Karine Bakhoum's. It seemed to me before that Food Network was sensitive to this: Bakhoum had, in 11 previous battles judged, never judged a Flay battle. (Related to this, Chris Cognac once wrote that he was not allowed to judge an LA chef's battle because of the conflict-of-interest thing.) However, in this 4th season's tapings, Bakhoum is known to judge at least two Flay battles.

Trivia: No challenger shown thus far has won a battle that Bakhoum has judged.

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Today's followup article in the Chicago Tribune brings up this very issue. The feeling on the producer's part was that the interval of time that's elapsed since Flay was a Bakhoum client was sufficient that she would be an impartial judge.

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Today's followup article in the Chicago Tribune brings up this very issue.  The feeling on the producer's part was that the interval of time that's elapsed since Flay was a Bakhoum client was sufficient that she would be an impartial judge.

... yes but am I alone here in feeling that she's probably one of the worst judges that they have ever had?

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Today's followup article in the Chicago Tribune brings up this very issue.  The feeling on the producer's part was that the interval of time that's elapsed since Flay was a Bakhoum client was sufficient that she would be an impartial judge.

... yes but am I alone here in feeling that she's probably one of the worst judges that they have ever had?

I didnt know about this, but I am not surprised. I think Jeffrey Stiengarten and that Japanese lady (forgot her name) are the only good judges on that show! Its no wonder that Jeffrey is always making comments about Bakhoum's lousy critique.

Take last nights show for example...Bakhoum knocked Bowles lobster dish for being too sweet for a first course. Then bobby serves a pumpkin soup with chocolate, which Jeffrey says is too sweet but Bakhoum of course thinks its delicious!.....Oh and Im sure they gave him pionts for serving it in a mini pumpkin, your a genius bobby!!

Bowles food was a lot more innovative and well thought-out. Flays was just flat out playing it safe. Shame on the Food Network for allowing this.

God forbid Grant Achatz goes up against Flay and Bakhoum is on the panel!!! could you imagine?? "Oh I love these ancho -chili glazed tomatillos bobby!!"

"The Bacon on a string is just not working for me" "This Potato soup is too small and its cold!" **shudder**

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Bakhoum is catching a lot of flack for her new venture, which amounts to a reservation-scalping operation in NYC. There is one blog, can't remember which one, that seems to have daily updates on her. Her husband is a chef, also.

I think Mo Rocca has to be the worst judge on that show. If they need a court jester, they should just have him come out and perform rather than judge.

Incidentally, I thought Bowles had won easily judging by the comments from the panel. It also seemed like there was some genuine tension between Flay and Steingarten, I could tell Bobby was holding back a little bit when Jeffrey was critiquing him.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Just wondering if anyone out there had any insight on how to get on Iron Chef America...obviously assuming the qualifications were there; what is the process?

Thanks.

The usual method does seem to be getting a surprise phone call: Walter Royal has said in several news pieces that he thought his invitation was a prank at first. In another news article, Mary Dumont referred to her invitation as a "shock".

There have been a couple of FN-sponsored competitions, the winner of which appears on the show. Linton Hopkins and Ouattara Morou got on through this method. But you still have to be invited to these competitions, so this route is of little use for most.

I can't find the reference now, but I'm pretty sure I read of an upcoming challenger that knew Bobby Flay, and Bobby Flay basically said one day something to the effect of, "you know, you should come on the show." Helps to know people, I guess.

But all is not lost. People have apparently successfully "applied" to be on the show. David Bull sent, "his résumé, video, menus and accolades." I don't have the references now but I remember reading about other challengers who seem to have done something similar. Actually, I think it's the publicists of these chefs who actually got the job done in these cases.

I don't know if that helps. You were probably hoping for a response from an actual competitor (this website counts a couple such as members).

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Couple of other observations:

Thus far, new episodes have been taped about every 8 months. The last set was taped in October. I don't know when they put together the list of whom to call, but it seems challengers are called 1-2 months ahead of taping. This season, at least, they had all their challengers slated by at least a month ahead. So my guess is you'd want to make yourself heard ASAP, or else you'll have to wait quite a while for the next available round of tapings.

Assuming you're asking for yourself, it's worth noting they've never had a challenger from Pennsylvania (not even from Philadelphia). It's a gap you could fill.

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Make a name for youself, be different from the other chefs and try to stand out....there are a number of ways people are chosen for the competition. I do know that geography play a part as they dont want, say 8 chefs from DC all in one season....they try to get a good mix of folks from across America and beyond....

If you are good enough, people will begin to notice you...then someone involved will notice you and drop your name....but, you need to have something special that makes you a good choice....Chef Cantu was a good example using lasers and stuff like that...it had people talking, it was good TV....

Sell yourself.....

Leonard...funny you mention Chef Bull....damn, now I want some wild boar!

Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

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