Season 5, Episode 1

Resourcefulness

Ten great chefs arrive on "redemption beach" to find that they must cook with the ingredient that sent them packing from previous Next Iron Chef competitions. The chefs must re-write their unpleasant histories with these ingredients and get a jumpstart on the road to redemption. Who will fail to redeem themselves and go down in flames?
See Tune-In Times

Restaurants From This Episode

Episode Photos

See All Photos

Redemption Island

It's day one of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption and the Chairman sends the rival chefs to Paradise Cove Beach in Malibu, Calif., for their first test of Resourcefulness. "What does this mean," Chef Greenspan wonders, "and what is the Chairman up to?"

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

Ingredients of Battles Past

At their cooking stations, the chefs find a cooler that Alton likens to "a Pandora's box," and it's full of the ingredient that has wronged them in the past. The rivals have just one hour to redeem their fateful ingredients in a single dish using a limited pantry and self-built fires.

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

Redefining Intensity

Chef Mehta was deemed the "bad guy" after his run on The Next Iron Chef Season 2. This time he says he wants to show the world a different side of himself without losing his signature focus. "Just because I'm intense does not mean that I am a bad guy."

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

SOS

"We need fire help," Chef Freitag says over a dwindling flame. Now more than ever she must make sure her redemption ingredient, shiitake mushrooms, is properly cooked, since she was last eliminated because of a raw mushroom.

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

Bugging Out

For the second time on The Next Iron Chef, Chef Greenspan is cooking with grasshoppers, and although he isn't pleased about it, he recognizes a possible advantage: "The good thing about grasshoppers is that if you lose with grasshoppers, nobody blames you."

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

Feel the Burn

Fire-pit friends Chef Appleman and Chef Guarnaschelli fully embrace the idea of Resourcefulness, as he uses the leaf, peel and flesh of the banana in his curry dish and she relies on three different cooking methods to properly prepare just one succulent lobster.

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

All About Avocados

Chef Vigneron shaves the flesh of fresh avocados into thin strips, tops it with coconut-spiked shrimp and rolls it cannelloni-style. While Dontatella admits to being "intrigued" by the offering, she says that the dish, which is served with peewee potatoes, "is a little one-note."

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

On the Line

After the judges criticize Chef Estes' use of bread in her calamari po boy, she and Chefs Vigneron, Love and Mendelsohn face the possibility of being the first two to compete in the Secret Ingredient Showdown.

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

Lunch Time

While preparing a kale salad, Chef Love grills a steak for lunch and treats himself to a few glugs of white wine. "In the spirit of making sure that I don't overcomplicate my dish," he says, "I made sure that I made time for myself just to relax."

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

Lobster, Redeemed

Thanks to what Iron Chef Zakarian calls "an exceptionally cooked lobster," Chef Guarnaschelli's dish is named the best of day. She automatically advances to week two of the competition, when she'll have an advantage in the Chairman's Challenge.

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

Another Go at Black Garlic

Chef Falkner recalls that she "was literally a clove of black garlic away from becoming The Next Iron Chef" when she fell to Chef Zakarian in the Super Chefs finale. She's now featuring the garlic with duck breast and a side of cornbread, which Simon says is "one of the best things" he's tasted as a judge.

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

Round One Déjà Vu

In a surprising twist of fate, Chef Mendelsohn is once again one of the bottom-two chefs in the season premiere. He'll be joined in the Secret Ingredient Showdown by Chef Love, whose pork fat-laced kale salad was a sign of "laziness," according to Alton.

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

"The Death Fruit"

The Secret Ingredient du jour is revealed to be pineapple, and neither Chef Mendelsohn nor Chef Love is pleased to be working with what Alton calls "the death fruit."

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

Kale, Take 3

In an attempt to deliver "a little bit of in your face for the judges," Chef Love incorporates crispy fried kale into his Showdown dish. This time, the panel won't be able to say he didn't cook the leafy green.

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

Chef Mendelsohn's Dish

Chef Mendelsohn relies on his familiarity with Vietnamese cuisine to cook up sweet-and-sour fish with tomatoes and pineapple. Simon praises him for serving skin-on branzino, as it adds texture to the plate.

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

Chef Love's Dish

Along with the fried kale, Chef Love serves quail breast with juiced corn and pickled pineapple, which Alton says is "something that nobody here had ever had before."

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

Chef Spike Is Safe

Ultimately, it's Chef Mendelsohn whose cuisine reigned supreme in Battle Pineapple. He's outcooked Chef Love and, for the first time, will advance to the second week of the competition. "It is fabulous to move to round two," Chef Mendelsohn tells Alton and the judges after the showdown.

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