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Season 7
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Ten chefs will rise through the ranks, but only one will achieve greatness. Who will be the next Iron Chef?

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host Alton Brown
Judges Donatella Arpaia
Anya Fernwald
Jeffrey Steingarten
Creator Keiichi Tanaka (based upon "Ryori no Tetsujin/Iron Chef")
EP Eytan Keller
Stephen Kroopnick
Stu Schreiberg
Packager Triage Entertainment & Fuji TV for Food Network
Origins American Culinary Institute, Los Angeles
Airs 9p Sun, Food
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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July 5

Michiba... Sakai... Morimoto... Flay... Symon... The history of the Iron Chef is riddled with the greats. In a few weeks time, one more name will be added to the roster of these men (and woman) of metal. Ten chefs will be tested as they've never been tested before, and their culinary journey will take them from Los Angeles to the birthplace of the Iron Chef legend, Japan. Who will seize this moment and change the course of culinary history forever? Who will be named... THE NEXT IRON CHEF?

We start in the gastronomical melting pot of Los Angeles with 10 celebrity chefs...

- ROBERTO TREVINO: San Juan, PR; head chef, Budatai; Latin Asian
- AMANDA FREITAG: New York City; head chef, the Harrison; American/Mediterranean
- SEAMUS MULLEN: New York City; head chef, Boqueria; Regional Spanish
- BRAD FARMERIE: New York City; head chef, Public & Double Crown; Fusion
- NATE APPLEMAN: New York City; chef, Pulino's Bar & Pizzeria; Regional Rustic Italian
- HOLLY SMITH: Kirkland, WA; head chef, Cafe Juanita; Northern Italian
- JOSE GARCES; Philadelphia; restauranteur; South American
- DOMINIQUE CRENN; San Francisco; head chef, Luce Restaurant; "Farm to the Table"
- ERIC GREENSPAN: Los Angeles; head chef, The Foundry on Melrose; Modern American
- JEHANGIR MEHTA: New York City; pastry chef; Graffiti; Pastry

The ten arrive at the American Culinary Institute in Los Angeles, greeted for the first time by the scion of Kitchen Stadium... the legendary Chairman...  He tells them to be creative, be ambition, be brave... "You are the chosen few, and soon we will learn which is the chosen ONE..."

The next face they meet is the Chairman's trusty ward, Alton Brown. He puts it more directly... All ten are capable of being the next Iron Chef. It's just a matter of which nine to send home. Enough talk. Time to cook.


Each chef has been given an ingredient that has both a personal and a cultural connection with them. They are to turn that ingredient into a culinary masterpiece that tells us a story about who you are and why it's important to you. They will have to prepare these dishes family style, and - as with all Iron Chef challenges - they will be timed.

The ingredients...

Appleman: Country Ham
Crenn: Apples
Farmerie: Asparagus
Freitag: Beer
Garces: Queso Fresco
Greenspan: Matzoh
Mehta: Mango
Mullen: Salmon
Smith: Lamb Kidneys
Trevino: Masa

You have 45 minutes... from now! When the airhorn sounds, we're left with these dishes...

Appleman: Green Bean Stew with Country Ham
Crenn: Apple Scallop & Bacon Salad
Farmerie: Asparagus with Salsify Noodles
Freitag: Beer Braised Beef Stew
Garces: Ecuadorian Locro with Queso Fresco
Greenspan: Matzoh Ball Soup
Mehta: Mango 3 Ways
Mullen: Wild Salmon Confit with Spring Menestra
Smith: Sautéed Lamb Kidneys with Bruschetta
Trevino: Migas with Carne Asada

The reason why these dishes are prepared family-style is because you are all about to taste your opponent's stories. You'll decide amongst you who had the more tantalizing story to taste, and that person will receive a special advantage in the next test.

Future tests will be judged... by judges. This test, it's you against you. They vote...

Appleman: FARMERIE
Farmerie: GARCES
Freitag: GARCES
Greenspan: GARCES
Mehta: CRENN
Trevino: MULLEN

With five votes, Chef Garces will be given an advantage in the next test...


"My uncle used to say, 'A good chef reads the cookbook; a great chef writes the cookbook.'" An Iron Chef must be prepared to cook with ANYTHING, including the lesser-known bits of protein amongst the many edible critters.

Appleman: Unlaid Eggs
Crenn: Stinky Tofu
Farmerie: Durian
Freitag: Eel
Garces: Cockscombs
Greenspan: Grasshoppers
Mehta: Duck Tongues
Mullen: Sea Cucumber
Smith: Jellyfish
Trevino: Chicken Feet

You'll have 75 minutes to create a tasting sample of a dish focusing on your ingredients. You will be judges on presentation, taste, and your overall fearlessness, how bold you were in the cooking of your sample.

As Chef Garces won the first test, he will be given the advantage of swapping out ingredients with someone else. He likes his, so he can swap out two others' ingredients. He asks Chefs Mullen and Crenn to switch, so Mullen will cook with stinky tofu, while Crenn cooks with sea slugs.

One will have the dubious honor of being the first person to leave the kitchen when this is over. And your time will start... NOW. After the 75 minutes of all out war, we have five minutes... Get it on a plate or it's not going to the judges.

Five seconds... three... two... one... Put it down, walk away. Time to go to the judges. Returning from season 1 is famed restauranteur Donatella Arpaia. Joining her this season is KSA mainstay judge Jeffrey Steingarten and arbiter of the sustainable-food moment Anya Fernald.

The dishes to be judged...

Freitag: Eel Osso Bucco with Tomato Anchovy Broth and Yogurt Marinated Eel with Cucumber Salad

The judges loved the eel, but it had a few bones inside of it.

Mehta: Pickled Dock Tongue with Raisin & Tomatoes and Fried Duck Tongue with Rhubarb Duck Confit Jam

The plating's beautiful, but the high acidity is not necessarily needed. It was bold to render the fat and infuse the biscuit with that flavor.

Mullen: Datiles con Beicon with Stinky Tofu & Cashews and Cocido Madrileno with Bean Stew & Stinky Tofu

The judges don't taste the funk as much. The stew is delicious, but perhaps a little sanitized.

Garces: Braised Cockscombs in Leek Mushroom Broth and Cockscomb Tempura

The cockscombs are rubbery. The dishes are balanced and a little safe.

Crenn: Port Wine Bacon-Braised Sea Cucumber with Grilled Fig and Confit Sea Cucumber & Vanilla Pudding

Jeff wishes that the pudding had a flan textures. There's a great complexity of flavor and texture working, though.

Farmerie: Grilled Scallop with Durian Chili Mayo and Durian Custard with Berries

The dessert was a little boring. But he produced a solid result.

Greenspan: Salad of Grasshopper with mint, mole & yucca and Grasshopper Gremolata with Pork Milanese

Greenspan concealed the grasshoppers... when he didn't show them whole and challenged the judges to eat them.

Trevino: Phoenix Foot Chinese Salad with cold noodles and Chicken Feet with Sweet Plantains

They're very succulent and very sweet, though the plantains were very undercooked and the feet were a little rubbery.

Appleman: Egg Yolk Carbonara with Chicken Intestines and Zabaglione with Unlaid Egg Yolk Crumble

They give him points for using the entire product, but we're looking for a little more wine in the zabaglione.

Smith: Cold Jellyfish Salad with Sesame Noodles and Lobster Coconut Soup with Jellyfish Noodles

The flavors are not so different from your usual soy vinegar. The textures are intriguing, but the judges couldn't get past the salt content.

And now, the judgment. One person's cuisine is nowhere near supreme enough to continue... And like the test before, the winner will get an advantage in the next test.

The winner of this test... is NATE APPLEMAN. He'll have an advantage in the next test, and he survives to cook another day. Joining him... Chefs Mullen, Mehta, Trevino, Freitag, and Garces. That leaves us with the bottom four: Farmerie, Smith, Greenspan, and Crenn.

Farmerie... is in.

Smith... is in.

Leaving the bottom two. The person who lives to cook another day is.... Chef Crenn. Unfortunately for you, ERIC GREENSPAN, you will NOT be the next Iron Chef. But let us remind you: Iron Chefs are not allowed to have bad days.

For the other nine chefs, it's a time for a very short celebration, because the next test looms just around the corner.

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