Next Iron Chef, Season 3: Behind the Scenes of Episode 1

Browse The Next Iron Chef rivals' dishes and get a closer look at the first episode's challenges.
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Let the Battle Begin!

Alton welcomes 10 new rivals to The Next Iron Chef.

Your First Secret Ingredient Is ... Bread!

Season 3's inaugural challenge: "What could be more American than the perfect sandwich?" — Alton Brown

You Between Bread

With goods from the Next Iron Chef pantry and their extensive selection of bread, each chef must create a sandwich that represents his or her personality.

Intimidation Factor

Some were shocked to see chef Ming Tsai in the rivals' lineup: "Ming Tsai? Come on, is that fair?" — Chef Caswell

Chef Tsai Between Bread

Grilled Rare Teriyaki Tuna With Fennel Salad and Leek Shiitake Truffle Fondue, Mini Potato Chips and Pickled Daikon and Onions

Chef Chauhan: Game On

"Whatever you have in your mind about a traditional, stereotypical Indian woman, you can throw that out of the window." — Chef Chauhan

Chef Chauhan Between Bread

Naan Cucumber Mint Chicken Sandwich With Chipotle Onion Rings, Chipotle Yogurt Dip and Mango Mint Chutney

Like Father, Like Son

Chef Forgione's dad, Larry, is a household name in the culinary world. "Being in this competition is my opportunity to be seen as Marc Forgione, not as the son of the Godfather of American cuisine."

Chef Forgione Between Bread

Sausage and Peppers With Homemade Pork Belly and Anise Sausage, Micro Arugula and Parmesan Cheese

Chef Canora Between Bread

Tomato and Egg Bruschetta With Chiles, Oregano, Basil and Fresh Porcini Mushrooms

Chef Caswell Between Bread

Tempura Banh Mi: Tempura Filet of Sheephead Fish With Julienned Daikon, Carrot and Cucumber With Mint, Cilantro and Red Chile and a Namprik (Fish Sauce) Dressing

Foraging

Chef Kirschner surveys the pantry.

Chef Kirschner Between Bread

Prosciutto and Wild Mushroom Bruschetta With Black Truffle, Tomato, Asparagus and Fontina

Chef Pagan Between Bread

Pain Tostado on Baguette With Chorizo, Onions, Manchego Cheese and Tomato

Chef Tio Between Bread

Breakfast Cuban on Brioche with Slab Bacon, Chorizo Vinaigrette and Housemade Pickles

Chef Dumont Between Bread

Crispy Tempura Oysters on Grilled Corn Bread With Pickled Radish and Yellow Tomato Soup With Creme Fraiche and Opal Basil

Confidence

When the chefs judge one another, Chef Estes votes for her own sandwich. Bold move.

Chef Estes Between Bread: Winning Sandwich

Grilled Sonoma Lamb Meatball Sandwich With Cherries Two Ways, Pistachios, Harissa and Goat Cheese

Chairman's Challenge

The chefs arrive at Paradise Cove, a beautiful stretch of beach in Malibu, Calif., to meet their next challenge.

Setting Up

Each chef's beach "kitchen" includes a grill and a prep table. That's about it.

Mad Dash

The chefs scramble for ingredients — except Chef Estes, whose sandwich challenge victory won her five extra minutes.

Ready to Cook

The cooking equipment may be minimal, but the view is spectacular.

Watch the Clock

Timing is key on The Next Iron Chef — it's good preparation for Kitchen Stadium.

An Intimidating Spectator

Alton surveys the competition.

At the Ready

Chef Caswell and Chef Tio bring their game faces.

Chef Pagan, Ready to Battle

"I want to become an Iron Chef because I want to expose Puerto Rican modern cuisine."

Desert Island Ingredients

The chefs were asked what one ingredient they'd choose if stranded on a desert island. Chef Caswell fillets his choice, whole Amberjack.

Chef Caswell: Amberjack

Cactus and Seaweed-Cured Amberjack With Watermelon Rind, Finger Chiles, Grilled Nopales and Sea Beans

Chef Pagan: Lime

Santa Barbara Prawn Ceviche in Lime-Coconut Milk-Mint-Cilantro Mojo Over a Pan-Seared Ripe Plantain With Papaya-Lime-Honey Relish

Chef Dumont: Corn

Corn and Coconut-Poached Santa Barbara Prawns With a Ragu of Sweet Corn, Habanero Chile, Hearts of Palm and Mint with A Grilled Corn, Dried Apricot and Mint Chutney Garnished With Fresh Sea Beans

Corn Showdown

Chef Tio also chose corn as her desert island ingredient.

Chef Tio: Corn

Prawn with Fire-Roasted Corn and Oyster With Raw Corn Salsa

Chef Canora Plates Up

"I'm into subtlety in food."

Chef Canora: Suckling Pig

Grilled Stuffed Pork Loin With Papaya and Pineapple With Lemongrass Skewer Pork Shoulder and Tropical Salsa With Coconut Sauce

Battle Pig

Chef Estes also receives a whole pig for the desert island challenge. She has two pigs of her own on her Santa Rosa, Calif., farm.

Chef Estes: Suckling Pig

Suckling Pig Surf and Turf

Chef Chauhan: Turkey

Charred Ginger-Flavored Turkey Topped With Coconut Turkey Gizzards Sauce and Caramelized Plantains With Watermelon Basil Slaw

Chef Forgione: Chicken

Chicken Under a Coconut With Caramelized Plantain Puree and a Watermelon Salad

Chef Kirschner: Duck

Duck Salad With Green Papaya, Mango and Sea Bean

Focus

"I'm not trying to prove to the world that I can cook; I'm doing this to prove to myself that I've still got game." — Chef Tsai

Chef Tsai: Whole Suckling Pig

Winning Dish: Chile and Garlic Marinated Pork Loin With Coconut Kidney Clam Stew, Mango-Avocado-Sea Bean Parfait and Lychee Sambal

Judgment Day

Judges Michael Symon, Donatella Arpaia and Simon Majumdar hold their first tasting.

Break Between Dishes

The judges share a laugh with Alton between tastes.

A Long First Day

The rivals return to the Chamber of Judgment to await their fate.

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