From the beginning, I though Marchel, Spike and Chef Estes didn’t have much of a chance against the more experienced, heavy-weight chefs. I mean, this competition is TOUGH, and if you can’t win a Top Chef title, you just can’t be an Iron Chef.
My bet alternates between Chef Falkner or Mehta. I’m rooting for Flakner, just because there aren’t any women Iron Chefs at the moment, and she needs to represent!
I think Appleman lacks the “playfulness” necessary to be an Iron Chef. Every one of the IC have a streak of whimsy that can appear and set their dishes apart. I’ve never seen that in Nate, on any show. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t have it, but it’s buried deep if it’s there.
I’m rooting for Appleman, Guarnaschelli, and Freitag to be any of the winners.
Mehta won’t win because he doesn’t have a personality. And don’t give me that “he’s just intense and focused” bullshit. Dude has no personality.
And I’m rooting for Falkner to lose, like last season. For as good as her savory cooking is, that I’ll admit, she falls back on pastry and dessert techniques more often than some of her followers would have you believe. Especially when she does it as a side dish to her savory dish, instead of making a full-on savory dish.
EDIT: And I don’t see the whole “controversy” over the Spike/Marcel plating together thing. They both cooked separate dishes that were arranged separately on the plate. What’s so hard about judging them separately as well? I like that they still only kicked one of them out. It’ll be funny to see Marcel lose next week because he went all emo “woe is me, my bestest friend ever isn’t in the competition anymore and it’s because of me”.
Guarnaschelli definitely has the personality to be an Iron Chef, and experience as Zakarian’s sous-chef on the ICA show, even to the point that it seems to me that she treads dangerously close to overstepping her bounds as sous.
Falkner was very impressive the last go-round of TNIC, and she has an incredible creative streak that really wowed the judges, and fellow chefs alike. I’d like to see her win.
Freitag has surprised me a bit, here. I didn’t see TNIC until the last season, when Zakarian won, so I know her only from Chopped, and her appearance (re-run) on Iron Chef America. I just had the impression from her demeanour that she was maybe a bit too flimsy of character to come through successfully under pressure, the way this competition requires of its victor. She has been fairly good.
Mehta is indeed one snooty SOB, but he seems to have the acumen, and mad skills, so we’ll see. I think sometimes, a guy like that ends up victimized by their own ego.
Spike is not going to win. I don’t much care for him.
I don’t really know much about the others.
Zakarian as judge is quite a step down from Symon, who was excellent. He just seems a bit too complimentary, when compared to Arpaia, and especially the authoritative Majumdar.
Keep in mind that I have only been watching Food Network for just over 1 year, so I’ve missed a lot.
They should have bounced both of them when they weren’t willing to commit to the presentation. If you are going to break the rules/conventions, you have to be willing to go all the way or you are just a poseur. When Marcel waffled, the whole thing turned into a joke. At that point they should have canned both their asses. But that would mean that they would come up an episode short in programming, and Bob wouldn’t like that.
When was it that they weren’t willing to go all the way? The plate made it to the judges, how else would you want them to commit to it? When they were asked about it?
I thought it was funny how badly Marcel did start stumbling over himself.
I guess I’m okay with it because I know neither of them are going to win or even make it quite that much further. If you’re not cutthroat enough to go against your best friend, you’re not going to put in your best as things get more heated in the general competition and therefore they’re going to eliminate themselves eventually anyway. You could even look at it as a concession to that from them as well, “I know I’m not going to win, so I’m going to have fun with my best friend and try to pass it off as something serious.”
I was so sure Elizabeth or Alex were going to win last season because of the lack of female chefs. Now I’m even more sure of it. Though I’ll replace Elizabeth with Amanda in your last sentence.
I think Zakarian is probably secretly hoping Alex doesn’t win because she’s been his sous chef for his battles. Now he’ll have to find someone else. But of course as friends I know he’ll be happy for her.