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End of the Road to Redemption

Owner of ZAZU Restaurant + Farm in Sonoma, Calif., Chef Duskie Estes competed on The Next Iron Chef Season 3 and most recently won the Road to Redemption. Each rival was given a scrapbook to use during the Next Iron Chef competition, and Chef Estes filled hers with notes on challenges, go-to recipes and points to make when presenting to the judges.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Duskie's Dessert Collection

Before the first challenge began, Chef Estes made sure to write down a few recipes for classic sweet treats like caramel and marshmallows so that she wouldn't have to rely on memory alone in the heat of battle.

Redemption Calamari

For her Redemption ingredient, Chef Estes was gifted calamari by the Chairman and a second opportunity to let this fateful ingredient shine after it proved to be her downfall in Season 3. "Now I know I can cook it right," she said after serving a disappointing calamari gyro in the past.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Play-by-Play

Before the first challenge, Chef Estes made an ordered to-do list of what she hoped to accomplish when the cooking began. Her first step was to "build fire." She and other rivals had to cook over live flames in self-built fire pits in the Chairman's Challenge of Resourcefulness.

Posing for the Camera

Chef Estes showed off her pan of sautéed calamari to host Alton Brown, who collected behind-the-scenes footage of the rivals during challenges with his own miniature camera. This was one of her two preparations of calamari (the other was deep-fried), an example of her resourcefulness, she said.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eat With Your Hands

"I go for the po' boy," Chef Estes explained, "because it's a perfect thing to eat on the beach." She knew that she wanted her dish to speak to the seaside setting at which she and the rivals were cooking.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Close Call

In a surprise mid-elimination twist, Alton told the bottom-four chefs to head back to the kitchen so that he could discuss further with the judges. Lucky for Chef Estes, she and Chef Vigneron ultimately survived to cook another day and did not have to face off in the premiere Secret Ingredient Showdown.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Challenge: Innovation

In the week-two Chairman's Challenge, the rivals were tasked with innovating classic International comfort foods, either the banh mi sandwich, taco or falafel. Chef Estes joined Chefs Mendelsohn and Guarnaschelli on Team Taco.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Talking Tacos

When the challenge began, Chef Estes faced no shortage of ideas of ways to reinvent this classic Mexican dish. She penned possible plates like a "frico taco" with beef, "coco taco" with lime or a "honey tabasco taco."

Soup and Salad 2.0

Despite her planning of other dishes, Chef Estes ultimately cooked up a taco-inspired take on the classic soup-and-salad combo, this time featuring tortilla-style soup with corn and a panzanella salad with fried duck skin. "I'm going to do what it takes to become The Next Iron Chef," she said of her challenge strategy.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Breaking It Down

An organized list of components to prep and needed equipment helped Chef Estes stay efficient and focused in Kitchen Stadium.

Cilantro Overkill

While Donatella called Chef Estes' offering "cohesive" and "nice to look at," Simon thought that there was a bit too much cilantro in it. A seemingly small detail like that was enough to send her to the Secret Ingredient Showdown against Chefs Falkner and Freitag.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

White Bread With Breakfast

In Battle White Bread, Chef Estes put the humble slices to work in a dish inspired by a classic breakfast platter of bacon, eggs and toast. In just 30 quick minutes, she stuffed freshly made pasta with ricotta cheese and an egg yolk and served it with buttery croutons. "I glorified that bread," she said after the Showdown.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Work Then Play

At the end of the Secret Ingredient Showdown, Chefs Falkner, Estes and Freitag let their culinary rivalries turn physical. Together, they took part in The Next Iron Chef's first food fight.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

An Emotional Goodbye

The judges appreciated Chef Estes' runny-egg ravioli, but they questioned whether or not bread, the Secret Ingredient, was the primary focus of her dish. In the end, Alton announced that she had fallen to Chef Freitag and would not be The Next Iron Chef. "In that moment, I was completely numb," Chef Estes reflected after the Showdown.

Photo By: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved