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'The Next Iron Chef': Back away from the ice cream machine!

Chef Is Chef Jehangir Mehta insane? Or insanely determined? He swears he won't use the seemingly faulty ice cream machine again, but he calls it quits on a high note: It helped him win this week's challenge, to transform tamarind into both sweet and savory dishes, and employ a Mexican flair. The competitors did their shopping at Grand Central Market in downtown L.A.

Mehta juuuuuust managed to edge out Nate Appleman, who yet again takes this public platform ... to make himself look like a bit of a jerk. What is it with that guy? Does he just want people to dislike him? He admitted concocting more stuff just to endear himself to the judges -- "I'm just trying to say anything I think they want to hear ... they didn't catch me." Of the departing Chef Dominique Crenn, with whom he'd shared part of a work station, Appleman gloated: "I'm so happy I'm going to have the whole station to myself."

Crenn did herself in by making an under-flavored and under-salted entree, and a raw churro. That sent her to the bottom with Chef Amanda Freitag, whose served up tasteless, mealy shrimp and a tamarind eclair. Luckily for Freitag, the judges declared the eclair to be "better than most eclairs on planet Earth," which meant that Freitag lives to cook another day while Crenn was sent packing.

That eclair added insult to injury for the French chef, who seemed shocked that Freitag would even consider making an eclair in a challenge that was supposed to invoke Mexico: "I cannot believe the 'Mexican eclair' beat me. Being French, it's like a punch in the face."

I would like to hand out two special merit badges to Chef Seamus Mullens: He has not one, but two innovative uses for newspapers: One, to wrap freshly roasted poblanos, to help in the skin-removing process. And two, as a serving tray. I find that to be a great use of newspaper -- after you've read it, of course.

-- Rene Lynch 

Photo credit: Food Network

Comments () | Archives (5)

In case we didn't realize that Iron Chef takes an entirely different skill set than what we go to restaurants for, note that Dominique Crenn, who is incidentally the executive chef at Luxe in San Francisco, won a Michelin star in the latest SF guide.

Ah, well.

Am I crazy or did anyone else see chef Mehta taste his ice cream with a spoon and then put the spoon back into the ice cream???? I thought that "double dipping" was most certainly an instant disqualification - especially in this H1N1 flu scare that we are dealing with! What the heck?

If this guy was on "chopped", he would've been!


I need to clarify my previous comment about chef Mehta and the "spoon" - it wasn't a spoon, it was his "FINGER"!!!
I don't know which is worse...once again, why is this guy still here?

Sorry for the confusion.....

Chef Mehta did surprise everyone by deciding to make ice cream again but this time his attempt did not fail. Judge Donatella really enjoyed his ice-cream with Queso Fresco and was all praises for it. Anya even mentioned that he tackled the entire challenge very gracefully. I am really impressed with his consistency. I loved the expression on Chef Appleman’s face when Alton Brown told him that he was second and that Chef Mehta had just managed to edge him out of the first spot because, I quote, “Chef Mehta could bring out several different personalities of tamarind through his preparations”. This was the second time he had to accept defeat on the same day. First was with the pressure cooker, it was a disaster and he nearly gave up when he saw the charred ingredients. So much for bullying Chef Crenn out of the spot to use the stove, he had to use the burnt remains in his soup. The second defeat was at the judges’ table. For me the other highlights were Chef Freitag and Chef Mullen, who decided to follow Chef Jehangir Mehta’s example of trying something innovative and breaking away from the pack. The competition is really heating up and I can’t wait to see the next round which has double elimination.

Although Chef Mullen's idea was good, I don't think it was all that innovative. Anyone who has visited an Asian country knows that it's a common practice to use old newspapers to serve street food. The idea is not to waste anything. Chef Jehangir Mehta had used the same concept while preparing his “third world mango” dish in the first episode. He used ALL the elements of the mango without wasting anything. In-fact when I visited Chef Mehta’s restaurant I saw the NY Times and other newspapers from around the world, being used as a placemats!


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