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The Next Iron Chef
Season 2
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Previous Episodes
October 4

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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October 11

Last time, the Chairman welcomed 10 celebrity chefs and tested them on fearlessness. Unofrtunately, Eric Greenspan couldn't make grasshoppers work for him, so he was sent packing. Now only nine remain in the running to become the greatest of the great, an Iron Chef.


"This container harbors precious cargo, unique cooking tools gathered from around the globe from Korea, Thailand, Spain and Mexico to name a few. You must demonstrate that simplicity is a global phenomenon. And remember... thrill us with your imagination!"

Each chef will be given 45 minutes to use one pot to serve a dish family style. It doesn't necessarily have to be a dish that is unique to a vessel's country, but the vessel has to be used in a creative and imaginative way.

Chef Appleman gets to pick his vessel, having won the last test. He chooses... the Moroccan tagine.

It's general admission, kids... The pots and their dishes...

Appleman: Mixed Lamb in a Moroccan tagine
Crenn: Bouillabaisse in a Portuguese cataplana
Farmerie: Sausage & Clam Curry in a Thai curry pot
Freitag: Stuffed Swiss Chard in a Chinese bamboo steamer
Garces: Clam & Chorizo Paella in a Spanish paella pan
Mehta: Lobster Curry & Rice in a Tunisian couscousiere
Mullen: Crispy Rice with Prawns in a Mexican comal
Smith: Squash Blossom and Pork Broth in a Korean stone hot pot
Trevino: Spicy Noodles with Skirt Steak in a Mongolian hot pot

The chefs struggle to find the smallest imperfections with the dishes. No one's here to make nice. After the group vote, Mehta's dish is the best, and the worst... Chef Mullen's. Chef Mehta will receive an advantage in the next test...


"As an Iron Chef, you must develop a vast knowledge of global cuisine. FOr your next test, you'll go in search of classics so you can ultimately push the envelope with an exciting new interpretation and taste sensation."

Three menus follow three different disciplines: Greek, Italian, and French. The chefs are to redefine a classic, and they'll have one hour to do so.

Chef Mehta goes in with the advantage, so he chooses his discipline... Greek. Alton orders up some spanakopita. He has never made a spanakopita before. He has tasted one, though... not a very good one.

The dishes to be redefined...

Appleman: French Ratatouille
Crenn: Greek Moussaka
Farmerie: Italian Vitello Tonnato
Freitag: French Coq au Vin
Garces: Italian Minestrone
Mehta: Greek Spanakopita
Mullen: Italian Pasta Puttanesca
Smith: French Bouillabaisse
Trevino: Greek Dolmas

The trick here is to elevate a very simple dish to Iron Chef quality. The cooking starts... NOW. We have a lot of separation, a lot of substitution, and in the case of Nate "I'm a Carnivore and I Make No Apologies" Appleman, a lot of addition of meat. Mehta brought a brix to test the waters... literally... to make a sorbet. This ought to be fun. Meanwhile, Chef Mehta is trying to throw Chef Trevino under the bus by taking all the grape leaves. A chief ingredient of a Greek dolmas is grape leaves. With only 39 minutes, you have to think on your feet. This is both the gift and the curse of an Iron Chef. Eventually, he gets grape leaves.

And three... two... one... Put it down and walk away, time to present to the judges.

MEHTA: Spanakopita Mille Feuille of Spinach & Feta and Spinach & Oregano Sorbet. There's a contrast of salty and sweet, but it's a little too sweet for the judges' liking.

GARCES: Deconstructed Minestrone. The texture of the zucchini was a bit much, but all in all, it was deconstructed done right.

APPLEMAN: Ratatouille Raw, Roasted & Fried. It invokes a classic base ratatouille. But all of his zucchinis were a little burnt.

TREVINO: Dolmas with Greek Crudo. The judges are wondering if replacing rice with couscous is "reinterpreting", but it is delicious.

SMITH: Butterfish, Clams & Prawns with Bouillabaisse. The fennel favor is really strong, and the flavor didn't do anything for Jeff.

CRENN: Moussaka with Pork Sausage, Eggplant & Caul Fat. It was salty, but not overpowering. And though it was light, it was very rich.

FARMERIE: Vitello Tonnato Raw and Vitello Tonnato Rillette. The remoulade isn't too acidic and the rillettes are a little pasty.

FREITAG: Coq au Vin with Chicken, Mushrooms & Grilled Ramps on a Beurre Rouge. There's a richness about in the dish, and there are some very deep flavors.

MULLEN: Pasta Puttanesca with Zucchini Spaghetti. He presents all of the dishes in a salad form. The judges know what he was going for, but it was supposed to be hearty. "Sometimes fresh and light stinks."

So who wins this challenge and who'll be left to scrub? We'll find out in mere moments, but first, a word from the judges: "Deconstructing" isn't necessarily "reinventing." If you're to be an Iron Chef, you need to take some outside-of-the-box risks. If you can make a dish that will take the judges back to the best of that dish that they've ever eaten AND inject a little of yourself into said dish... all the better.

Chef Freitag was outdone by one chef, BUT her coq au vin was gobbled up. She survives to cook another day, as does Chefs Garces, Appleman, Mehta, Trevino, and a most-improved Crenn.

That leaves only Smith, Farmerie, and Mullen. One of them is the winner of this test. Mullen's pasta puttanesca salad... wins him this test. That leaves only the bottom two. The judges didn't really care for either dishes. The vitello tonnato really threw off the judges. Smith took apart a dish that should, by no means, be taken apart.

The person who is one step closer to becoming the next Iron Chef is... Farmerie. Unfortunately for HOLLY SMITH, she will NOT be the next Iron Chef. Great chefs have bad days in the kitchen. Iron Chefs can't afford such a luxury.

Next time, the chefs go on a field trip and Asian American fusion is on the menu.

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