I’ve never been a big fan of reality TV … but I have to say, I’m really enjoying the show “The Next Iron Chef” on Food TV. I’ve always enjoyed The Iron Chef (although I do admit to liking the American version better than the original, Japanese, version … maybe because it’s easier to follow).
It really seems to show the pressure that the chef’s are under and the extraordinary challenges they are presented with.
I also see a genuine camaraderie amoung the chefs … they clearly know each other, know each others cooking, and respect each other. They are friendly rivals instead of being out and out combatants.
I like the fact that Alton Brown, acting as commentator & moderator, is able to participate in the evaluation … if not acting as a full judge.
The other judges I could take or leave … they are unimpressive at the very best. Boring in some respects. This last episode, in the Lufthansa’s catering facilities, they included the head chef from Lufthansa … who added a unique perspective. I really liked his inclusion in the judging. IMO, he was probably the only person qualified to really judge this competition.
(warning, spoiler ahead)
In the end, I was pleased that Chef Simon won … he’s been my favorite from the beginning … even though he had a slightly shaky start. He’s also one of the most consistent and interesting, I think. Chef Besh seems like a bit of a ringer … but we’ll see.
I was disappointed that Chef Sanchez was eliminated … I think his perspective on food was interesting. Although I don’t go for really spicy food, I do like food that has flavors that pop. I think I’m going to see if he has any published recipe’s available.