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'The Next Iron Chef' recap: Even good chefs can have a bad day

October 4, 2010 |  8:05 am

Well. That was fast.

For the second year in a row, the Los Angeles chef competing to become an Iron Chef became the first person eliminated.

Andrew Kirschner, executive chef at Wilshire in Santa Monica, was bounced off "The Next Iron Chef." (Last year, the first to depart the challenge was chef-owner Eric Greenspan of The Foundry on Melrose.)

Kirschner was felled by duck -- the ingredient he said he would most wish to have if he was stranded on a desert island. (He got his wish: He and the other competitors were forced to cook that wished-for ingredient beachside.)

But the duck wasn't well prepared -- the fat wasn't properly rendered, the skin not quite crispy enough. Worse, it showed no ingenuity, the very point of the challenge.

"It sucks to be first," he said afterwards.

Stuck in the bottom with Kirschner was Duskie Estes, a ranking that knocked the stuffing out of the 'tude she brought into the competition. (Who votes for themselves as having the best dish!?!?) She admitted as much: "My cocky first day is all gone."

First victory went -- no surprise -- to Ming the Merciless: "I'm striving for an undefeated record," he said. 

--Rene Lynch / renelynch