Top Moments of Iron Chef Gauntlet, Episode 4

Join Alton Brown, the challengers and the judges on set to see what it takes to make a bid for the most-revered title in the culinary industry.

Episode: Classic Combos

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen

When Classic Meets Creative

It's the halfway point of the competition, and with just four competitors remaining, Alton pulls out all the stops. This week's Chairman's Challenge brings together "classic combinations," as Alton calls them, including honey and mustard as well as chocolate and peanut butter, and asks the hopefuls to fuse the pairing "and reimagine it at the same time." That innovation part is crucial, as the challengers will come to find out.

Missing Half the Mark

Pleased to be working with her desired combo of chocolate and peanut butter, Chef Izard admits, "I really love soy and chocolate together." She's set on prepping chocolate-sauced short ribs with a peanut caramel, but ultimately her plan falls short in execution. "If you hadn't have told me there was chocolate here, I would not know it," Alton explains, though Chef Izard isn't convinved.

In the Wheelhouse

"I freakin' love pasta. It's my jam. That's what I cook," Chef Grueneberg says simply, opting to make zlikrofi, Slovenian dumplings that are similar to tortellini. She earns high praise for her rustic pesto atop which the zlikrofi are nestled, though the final touch of bottarga she grates over the dish proves to be too much. "I should have left the bottarga off," she admits.

Showdown-Bound Yet Again

Given that his honey-mustard shrimp offering features too little mustard for Alton's liking, Chef Nakajima is deemed the least-successful challenger this round, and he lands in the Secret Ingredient Showdown for the third time in four weeks. This time, he's forced to face off against Chef Izard, after Chef Dady selects her to do battle. "I'm starting to get a little exhausted about it," Chef Nakajima says.

Frozen Fantasy

"If I don't do something that Alton's never seen before, I'm toast," says Chef Dady, who's making a curry inspired by his pairing of coconut and lime. He attempts to make a coconut foam, but when that flops, he resorts to coconut ice, with the help of the too-cool liquid nitrogen tank. Alton's indeed wowed by the result, telling Chef Dady, "This is a really, really smart pairing of the combo of lime and coconut." The challenger goes on to win his first Chairman's Challenge and an automatic ticket to next week's penultimate episode.

Battle Chicken

"Chicken's one of those ingredients that you can think of too many dishes [to make with it]," explains Chef Nakajima after Alton unveils an altar of the poultry as the Secret Ingredient. For Chef Izard, it's simply "a blank canvas" and something on which she wants to put a unique spin.

Highs and Lows

Chef Nakajima earns praise for using the notoriously tricky black silky chicken in one of his offerings, but the judges take issue with several elements of his menu. "That chicken ball — it's just so dense that I couldn't even pit it up with my chopsticks," says Iron Chef Cora.

Risks Rewarded

"I think to be an Iron Chef you have to take risks, so I'm going to try something new," Chef Izard declares, and indeed she presents not one but two potentially love-them-or-hate-them dishes: chicken feet and chicken liver ice cream to accompany her dessert-inspired chicken pot pie. Fortunately, for her, both impress the judges, as Ali Bouzari tells her, "Using chicken livers as an emulsifier in a really, really smooth, creamy ice cream is awesome."

Safe No More

After stunning victories in back-to-back Secret Ingredient Showdown, Chef Nakajima ultimately falls in this third one-on-one battle. "I learned a lot about myself as a person, as a chef, and I am proud to go home with my head held high," Chef Nakajima notes.

Want More Iron Chef Gauntlet?

Head to Food Network's Iron Chef Gauntlet headquarters for more insider coverage of the competition, including behind-the-scenes photos, exclusive interviews with the challengers and old-school clips of Iron Chef America.

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