Behind the Scenes of the Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, Episode 5

Get a closer look at the challenges faced by a lineup of Super Chefs on this season of The Next Iron Chef on Food Network.
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Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Leanna Creel/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Leanna Creel/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Marcus Misses

Chef Samuelsson landed in the bottom two after stumbling a bit on his New York-inspired dish. Then, Chef Falkner edged him out in Battle Bagel. He left with no regrets: "I cooked the food that's been successful for me all my life. No competition, no judge can ever change that. Ever."

Welcome to NYC

The remaining six chefs arrived at Grand Central Station to kick off the New York leg of the competition. Each chef was given a postcard with another iconic NYC location and challenged to create a dish, and a story, inspired by it.

Shopping Frenzy

With only 20 minutes to shop for ingredients in Grand Central Terminal, Chef Burrell wasn't wasting any time getting to what she needed for her dish.

Chef Burrell's Dish: Central Park

For her dish inspired by Central Park, Chef Burrell served Grilled Cornish Game Hens over Everything Bagel Panzanella, Chicken Fried Chicken Livers, Zucchini Blossoms and Fried Pickles.

First Win

The judges, joined by Iron Chef Marc Forgione and Chef Charlie Palmer, loved Chef Burrell's dish and her story about Central Park that wove in the three places most important to her: her hometown, New York City and Tuscany. She scored her first win.

San Francisco Girl

Chef Falkner lives on the West Coast, but she was familiar with NYC history and came up with a German dish to represent the Brooklyn Bridge, since the architect who designed it was German.

Chef Falkner's Dish: Brooklyn Bridge

Chef Falkner made Pork Schnitzel With Braised Fennel, White Asparagus Puree, Rhubarb-Raspberry Mustard With Raw Fennel, White Asparagus and Apple. The judges found it delicious, but her accompanying story landed her in the bottom two: "In Kitchen Stadium, whatever you're selling, you need to sell it with conviction," said Michael Symon.

Inspired by Heritage

"I really want to show my dream, my heritage and also this beautiful, diverse New York City in one dish," Chef Samuelsson said. He brought together elements from Africa, where he was born; Sweden, where he was raised; and NYC, where he lives now.

Chef Samuelsson's Dish: Broadway

With "Broadway Dreams" as his theme, Chef Samuelsson cooked Hot Smoked Salmon With Crunchy Steak Pickle Salad, Apple Horseradish Puree and Bacon-Peanut Reduction. The judges felt that there was too much going on on the plate and "never really got what your story was about," said Alton Brown.

Been There, Done That

The judging panel was tasked with a difficult decision, but still found time for some laughs. Iron Chefs Michael Symon and Marc Forgione are both previous winners of The Next Iron Chef. Chef Samuelsson and Chef Falkner ended up in the bottom, with one chance to duke it out for a spot alongside them in Kitchen Stadium.

The Secret Ingredient Is ... Bagels!

Alton revealed a very NYC-inspired secret ingredient: bagels. Chefs Falkner and Samuelsson were provided with nine different kinds to work with, from plain to cinnamon-raisin to pumpernickel.

Bagel Ice Cream

Chef Falkner knew to draw upon her strengths and headed straight for the ice cream machine. "Making the bagel the star is what's going to keep me here. I'm doing a bagel with the works, but Elizabeth Falkner style," she said.

Chef Falkner's Bagel Dish

"Bagel With the Works": Toasted Plain and Pumpernickel Bagel and Cream Cheese Ice Cream With Egg Bagel Crouton, Smoked Salmon, Black Olive Grilled Eggplant and Bagel Puree, Cucumber, Tomato and Pickled Red Onion Brunoise and Brown Butter Toasted Bagel Breadcrumbs

New York State of Mind

Chef Samuelsson also played off of the iconic New York combo of bagels and lox. Drawing from his Swedish upbringing, he cured his own smoked salmon. "I cooked myself into this situation, but I'm going to cook myself out of it," he said.

Chef Samuelsson's Bagel Dish

"Lox, Bagel and Cream": Pickled Trout With Horseradish and Everything Bagel Sprinkle, Bagel Dumplings sautéed with Crab and Snow Peas, Horseradish Crab Cream With Soy-Soaked Bagel Gazpacho

Peanut Gallery

The four "safe" chefs marveled at the creativity and ingenuity of Chef Falkner and Chef Samuelsson and tried to cheer them on. But in the small kitchen, "they just feel like an obstacle course," said Chef Falkner.

One Stays, One Goes

"Neither of you tripped," Alton said. "You both used creativity and really great technique. One of you truly embraced the secret ingredient." That chef was Chef Falkner, who survived to cook another day.

More Super Chef Highlights: Three Chefs in the Middle

Chef Chiarello, the other West Coast chef in the bunch, drew from the history of Liberty Island for his dish and story. "I thought it was fantastic, the way you wove in facts that nobody really knows about," said Chef Charlie Palmer. The chefs cooked at his restaurant in Grand Central.

Chef Chiarello's Dish: Statue of Liberty

Lapin al Porchetta With Barley Roman Gnocchi; Blanquette of Rabbit With Cherry Dressing

Rebel Chef

Once again, Chef Zakarian disregarded the rules and pushed to create not one but five dishes to represent New Year's Eve in Times Square. "The best and worst thing about Chef Zakarian is his inability to follow the rules," said Chef Guarnaschelli. "He never colored inside the lines and he never will."

Chef Zakarian's Dish(es): Times Square

"Midnight Celebration": Scrambled Eggs "Black & White" Style, Indulgent Scrambled Eggs, Smoked and Fresh Salmon Tartare, Superfood Fruit Soup.

New York Native

A born-and-raised New Yorker, Chef Guarnaschelli wanted to win this challenge and watched it slip away when some of her food fell into the pasta cooker: "I can't believe I'm feeling this way in this particular challenge. I hope my story is enough to make the difference between winning and losing."

Chef Guarnaschelli's Dish: Empire State Building

Grilled Pork Chop With Mustard, Pickles, Marcona Almonds and Brussels Sprouts; Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Shallots

Saved by the Story

Chef Guarnaschelli was, in fact, spared from the Secret Ingredient Showdown because her story about walking by the Empire State Building was so strong. "The story is great. I'm afraid the dish is not as good as the story," Simon Majumdar said.

The Ladies Are Safe

The women now outnumber the men left in the competition: Chefs Guarnaschelli, Falkner and Burrell take a moment to relax in Grand Central Station once they all know they're safe. The entire challenge took 15 hours to film.

Super Chef Footwear

Check out each chef's choice of footwear for cooking (and running around Grand Central Station)!

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