Last night on Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef,” the final four chefs were whisked off to Japan, where they would compete in the birthplace of the Iron Chef series. For the initial challenge, Chefs Garces, Freitag, Mehta and Mullen had to first create small dishes with the UMAMI flavor profile (a savory soy-based flavor originated in Japan). Iron Chef Masumatu Morimoto would be the judge.
Each chef appeared to do a nice job with this challenge, but chef Mehta won it with his leeks with panko; soy clams; grilled beef; apples; and strawberries. Morimoto thought he did the best job of incorporating the UMAMI profile, and suddenly he is looking like a contender.
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Nothing like being thrown into the fire, huh? Last night, Season 5 of “The Next Food Network Star” kicked off with the ten finalists meeting in their cramped living quarters, and then being basically being thrown into a cage with wild animals…..well, you know what I mean. They had to cater a party for the network’s “sweet 16” party, where celebrities and Food Network stars would be eating their creations and critiquing them. Yikes.
The ten (Brett August (Washington Heights, N.Y.), Katie Cavuto (Philadelphia, Pa.), Melissa d’Arabian (Keller, Texas), Teddy Folkman (Alexandria, Va.), Eddie Gilbert (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Jen Isham (Orlando, Fla.), Debbie Lee (West Hollywood, Calif.), Jamika Pessoa (Atlanta, Ga.), Michael Proietti (New York, N.Y.) and Jeffrey Saad (Los Angeles, Calif.). were broken up into two teams of five, with Bobby Flay picking those teams. Bretty, Teddy, Jamika, Melissa, and Jen made up one team and Michael, Debbie, Katie, Jeffrey and Eddie the other. Each team had $1200 to shop for their ingredients and five hours to prepare their dishes. The event would be held at Alex Guarnaschelli’s Butter restaurant.
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