Category: The Next Iron Chef

'Next Iron Chef' shocker: Appleman goes home

Nate Appleman was cocky 'til the end.

This week, the competitors had to cook a five-course Indian feast. At one point, Appleman crowed: "I'm a white boy who's never cooked Indian before and I just cooked five Indian dishes and I'm pretty sure I won this."

The winner and survivors of this challenge would be heading to Asia for the next round of the competition. Not only did Appleman not win, he found himself up for elimination: "The Next Iron Chef" host Alton Brown held one plane ticket in his hand as he stood in front of Appleman and chef Seamus Mullen to deliver the news. One of the chefs would be going home. Appleman seemed certain it wouldn't be him: "Alton is holding one ticket. ... I think it has my name on it."

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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

'The Next Iron Chef': If only they'd hand out a prize for lying...

Brad_Ep-3 Nate Appleman is clearly an amazing chef. He's also a liar. Hey, that's his word.

He arrived before the judges with his Americanized spin on an Asian dish -- he took pot roast and mashed potatoes and made it with short ribs and mashed rice. And then he began spinning a charming tale about how it was an homage of sorts to his mother's pot roast and her always-lumpy mashed potatoes.

Later, he said none of that was true. "It's complete lies," Appleman confided to the camera. "I'm just trying to wow them."

The judges ate it, and his dish, up. It was enough to allow Appleman to survive to cook another week, as they say, but not enough for outright victory. That went to Chef Amanda Freitag's fish cake, and Chef Seamus Mullen' reuben.

And that irritated the fellow competitors. Chef Jose Garces questioned whether such simple fare was "Iron Chef-worthy." While Appleman remarked, "I got beat by a sandwich and a crab cake -- that didn't have crab."

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