Next Iron Chef, Season 3

Of course, if Food Network has a reality based competition show that isn't about making fanciful cakes or confectionary sculptures, I'm watching it. Which is how I got sucked into Next Iron Chef Season 3.

No, I didn't blog about it, like I enjoy doing with NFNS, because it's just too much to keep track of that stuff while studying. Instead, from the beginning, I had a favorite, and a few that I thought would be cool to see in Kitchen Statium on a regular basis. Ming Tsai was my front runner, because, well, he IS old school Food Network to me. Bryan Caswell and Marc Forgione just exuded calm competence and cooking chops. Dusty Estes and Marco Canora annoyed me from Week One, and I wanted them gone.

Dusty's arrogance was her downfall somewhere around week four, but Canora made it to the final. In the whole competition, he took every opportunity to knock Chef Tsai's efforts while puffing his chest about how he was truer to whatever the week's theme was.

Last week, he was running around the kitchen, freaking out because he couldn't find the parchment paper. That is not something people want to see if they're watching Iron Chef. Hissy fits over something that small don't play well with the judges.

However, this was the competition to be selected, and this happened out of sight of the three judges. When the dust settled in the double elimination week, it was Marc Forgione and Marco Canora headed to the Kitchen Stadium showdown.

Tonight's battle was Honor, the ingredients focused on Thanksgiving and the proteins placed before them were Venison, Duck, Turkey and Lobster. Forgione went traditional and mentioned that the first Thanksgiving (really the "Harvest Festival") did not have turkey on the menu, so he used venison, duck and lobster.

Canora kept harping on Forgione's lack of turkey as not being traditional, while he puffed up his chest once again that HE had the traditional turkey on his menu. Enough already!

Through the judging, it looked like it was very close. The only thing I thought might tip it towards Forgione was the fact that there are already two Iron Chefs serving Mediterranean foods. A comment here and there indicated that Forgione's risk taking all season long was what a true Iron Chef does.

Ultimately, the three judges and two other Iron Chefs on the selection committee made their pick:

Marc Forgione!

I'm looking forward to seeing what his battles look like soon.


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