Critical Moments: On The Next Iron Chef, One Rival "Finds His Mojo"

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Next Iron Chef judge Simon Majumdar joins us on the FN Dish each week to share his insider’s take on what went down Sunday night.

Episode 3 of The Next Iron Chef should have been subtitled “ Chef Canora Gets It.”

I didn't see what went on in the kitchen, I was judging only what was on my plate, not how it arrived there. I am, however, pretty sure that at some point during the “Resourcefulness” challenge, a bright cartoon light bulb suddenly popped on above Marco Canora's head as he finally realized that it would take more than just his considerable skills to reach Kitchen Stadium. His New World/Old World take on a classic Italian seafood stew not only mastered The Chairman's challenge, but marked him out as the chef to beat amongst his rivals. Chef Canora may have lost his artichokes, but he certainly found his mojo.

As Donatella put it to him so perfectly, “Welcome to the race.”

Almost as pleasing to the judges were the efforts of Chef Estes. She produced two plates of gutsy, attractive food which showed she been listening to our comments and pushed her right back into contention. Judges are shallow that way. We like people to listen to us. It keeps us happy.

That left Chef Chauhan and Chef Dumont to face possible elimination. Chef Chauhan's presentation was very poor and I would not have argued if my colleagues had decided to show her the door. However, there was enough about her cooking for us to want to taste it again. Chef Dumont, on the other hand, had only scraped through the previous challenge thanks to some undercooked meatloaf. This time, there was nowhere to hide and she too fell victim to the dark shadow that hung like a black curtain over the whole proceedings...The Curse of The Pineapple.

Look inside Chef Dumont's Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 3.

More about Simon Majumdar:
Simon’s Website

Simon’s book, Eat My Globe
Follow @SimonMajumdar on Twitter
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