A Look Back at the Next Iron Chef Road to Redemption

Relive the first two battle of the Road to Redemption, in which Chefs Madison Cowan and Lee Anne Wong then Chefs Duskie Estes and Robert Trevino face off for the chance to compete on Food Network's Next Iron Chef: Redemption.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo By: Kevin Lynch ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Road to Redemption Rivals

Chefs Robert Treviño, Duskie Estes, Lee Anne Wong and Madison Cowan are returning to Kitchen Stadium in the hopes of competing on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. Before the first battle begins, the rivals gather to meet their judges: Alton Brown, Iron Chef Jose Garces and Simon Majumdar.

Round 1 Showdown

Chefs Cowan and Wong are the first hopefuls to face off on the Road to Redemption. These competitors have previously gone head-to-head with reigning Iron Chefs — and won — but today they’re here to prove that they have the culinary chops to join the all-star cast of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption.

Battle Peanut

When Alton lifts the drape to reveal peanuts as the secret ingredient, the chefs are at once shocked and relieved. "I actually might have a laugh because it's such a fun, sort of whimsical type of ingredient," Chef Cowan says. They have just 30 quick minutes to cook up a single peanut-centric dish.

Peanut Pals

Realizing that peanuts pair naturally with the flavors of Asian cuisine, Chef Wong wastes no time in prepping an Asian-inspired dish, a fillet of striped bass that's coated in crunchy peanuts, sautéed in butter and served atop tender braised peanuts with garlic, ginger and soy sauce.

Soup and Seafood

Chef Cowan, too, heads straight for seafood. His plan is to serve deep-fried fish with a peanut-leek soup and a shooter of rum-infused Peanut Punch.

Time's Up

After only 30 minutes of cooking, Battle Peanut is complete and the chefs await their fate from the judges.

Braised Is Best

Chef Wong's braised peanuts prove to be the best element of her dish, with Iron Chef Garces calling them "clever" and "a straightforward approach to the secret ingredient." Although Simon said he "really liked" them, he wonders how well the braised peanuts pair with the bass.

Shooter Success

Chef Cowan is confident in his offering, promising that "there's no better ending than Peanut Punch." Simon agrees and names the drink "the star" of Chef Cowan’s plate. His peanut soup, however, gets differing feedback from the judges. Iron Chef Garces says that "it's a little thick," although Alton is satisfied with its feel.

Round 1 Victor: Chef Wong

In the end, Chef Wong claims Round 1 glory and automatically advances to the Road to Redemption finale where she will battle either Chef Treviño or Chef Estes, depending on the outcome of battle two. "I gotta give it my all in this next challenge," Chef Wong reflects after the competition.

Round 2 Warriors

After disappointing losses in The Next Iron Chef Seasons 3 and 2, respectively, Chefs Duskie Estes and Robert Treviño are returning to battle to earn a final opportunity to redeem themselves.

Battle Coconut

Both Chef Estes and Chef Treviño are taken aback when Alton unveils coconut as the secret ingredient, since neither rival cooks with them frequently. “My mind is just kind of starting to race,” Chef Treviño explains. Like the Round 1 competitors, Chefs Estes and Treviño have 30 minutes to cook up one dish that highlights their secret ingredient.

Breaking the Shell

Once the cooking begins, Chef Treviño immediately cracks open a few coconuts to get as much water out of them as he can. He uses the light, fresh liquid to poach in-shell clams, which he'll serve with sausage and fish laced with more coconut water.

Second-Half Secret Ingredient

Alton notices that halfway through the battle, Chef Estes still has yet to use a coconut in any way. She soon adds coconut water to a sauté of kale and yams and later incorporates the ground flesh of coconuts into a mixture of cilantro, hazelnuts and pistachio nuts, which is served atop seared duck.

Time to Taste

At the end of Battle Coconut, Chefs Estes and Treviño must serve their plates to the judges before finding out which one proved worthy of the finale.

Cooking the Components

Iron Chef Garces calls Chef Treviño's dish "pretty well balanced," but Simon tells him, "I'm questioning how much you're using the coconut." In spite of any critiques, Chef Treviño maintains, "I think my dish is a winner. Absolutely."

Marrying Flavors

"I'm thinking that all of these ingredients are going to work together, but it's definitely a risk," Chef Estes says after cooking. The judges are indeed impressed with the outcome of her dish, as Simon tells her, "I actually think it comes together very successfully."

Round 2 Victor: Chef Estes

Come evaluation, Alton announces that Chef Estes has outcooked Chef Treviño. She will go head-to-head with Chef Wong in the third and final showdown of Road to Redemption.

Finale Battle

Chefs Wong and Estes return to Kitchen Stadium for one final head-to-head matchup on the Road to Redemption. At the end of this third-round battle, one of them will have earned the rights to join nine other rival chefs in the cast of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption.

Battle Potato

Alton announces that, as in the previous rounds, Chefs Wong and Estes have only 30 minutes to prepare a single dish that focuses primarily on the secret ingredient, this time potatoes. When he unveils a table full of spuds, both chefs wonder how they'll work with these starchy, versatile beauties. "How do you do a dish that is going to showcase the very humble potato?" Chef Wong asks.

Pesky Potatoes

Chef Estes admits that "potatoes are difficult because the classic things you think about take a long time." So she sets off to prepare a shellfish chowder with colorful potatoes, fresh corn and "green cream." Looking ahead to Chef Estes' chowder, Alton tells his fellow judges, "Hopefully it'll be clamtastic."

Potato Trio

Unlike Chef Estes, Chef Wong focuses on more traditional potato preparations. She uses jumbo Idahos to make French fry lookalikes in a batch of deep-fried round potato rings, which are served with a blue-potato puree, filled with a smooth combination of russets and crème fraiche and topped with a clam-chorizo mixture.

Top Technical Execution

In judging her chowder, Alton tells Chef Estes that "the potatoes — in each case — are cooked perfectly," while Simon believes that "the star is the cream," made with bright fresh herbs. Despite Iron Chef Garces wondering if the potatoes are, in fact, the most-prominent ingredient in her dish, Chef Estes says after the battle, "I think the judges really liked my dish and I'm psyched."

Positive Potato Feedback

The judges taste Chef Wong's offering and several note that the celery flavor is a bit too powerful. When it comes to her use of the secret ingredient, however, Simon tells her, "I don't think that anyone can doubt that you used the potato really, really well." Reflecting on her dish, Chef Wong admits, "I know it had a couple minor flaws, but overall it was really successful. I'm proud of what I did."

Last One Standing

After a grueling three-part showdown, Alton announces that Chef Estes has out-cooked Chef Wong and won the Road to Redemption. "You have indeed redeemed yourself here," he tells her, "but keep in mind, this is just the beginning."

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption

Chef Estes will join nine other rival chefs on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption and battle it out for the chance to earn the ultimate culinary title. Don't miss the season premiere on Sunday, November 4 at 9pm/8c.

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