Behind the Scenes of the Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, Episode 6

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.

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. All Rights Reserved

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. All Rights Reserved

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

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. All Rights Reserved

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

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

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.

Chef Burrell Says Farewell

Chef Burrell's advantage ended up backfiring when she found herself in the bottom two and lost a close Secret Ingredient Showdown to Chef Zakarian.

Unusual Auction

The Chairman's Challenge this week was all about risk-taking, so why not kick it off with an auction? Alton explained the rules of the game: The chefs would bid on ingredients using minutes instead of dollars.

Let the Bidding Begin

In this reverse auction, the prize went to the lowest bidder — the chef who bid the least amount of cooking time. "The Chairman has found new and more interesting ways of torturing us," said Chef Zakarian.

Too Much Time?

Chef Burrell had the most time to cook, since no one outbid her for the canned sardines. With 50 minutes at her disposal, the other chefs watched her until their time began. "I felt guilty for a split second, then I was off to the races," she said.

Chef Burrell's Dish: Sardines

With 50 minutes, Chef Burrell felt that she couldn't just make one dish. "I'm taking a risk by making three different dishes on one plate," she said, and presented this trio of Sardine Parmesan Bread Pudding, Fried Sardine Spines and Portuguese Sardines on Fried Beet Chips.

Risking It

Chef Falkner came out of the auction with tuna jerky, an ingredient she'd never even tried before, and 25 minutes to cook. "I can't think of anything riskier than making a soufflé in 25 minutes," she said, and ran with the idea.

Chef Falkner's Dish: Tuna Jerky

Tuna Jerky Soufflé With Tuna Jerky Dashi Cream Sauce sounded "gross" but "tasted divine," according to Judy Joo.

On Fire

Chef Falkner was the unanimous winner, taking home her second Chairman's Challenge victory. "I expect you to be a witch to be able to do the things that you do," said an impressed Alton Brown.

Highest Bidder

Chef Zakarian bid on a much more desirable ingredient than tuna jerky at the auction: Wagyu beef. He scored it with a 30-minute bid.

Chef Zakarian's Dish: Wagyu Beef

With his ingredient and 30 minutes, Chef Zakarian prepared Wagyu Beef Cooked Nicoise Style With a Wagyu Fat Hollandaise and Wagyu Rillette Butter. "My risk today was to try to use the fat in different ways," he explained. Chef Burrell didn't think this was much of a risk — and her opinion held some weight.

Advantage Revealed

As the winner of the last challenge, Chef Burrell had an advantage — but Alton wouldn't reveal it until all of the cooking was complete. She would serve as the fourth judge and nominate one chef to go to the Secret Ingredient Showdown. "That's a big responsibility and it's going to create enemies," said Chef Guarnaschelli.

Another Twist

Chef Burrell put Chef Zakarian's name on the ballot for her least favorite dish. Then she ended up having to battle against him, because her own dish was the judges' least favorite. They faced off in battle Panko-and-Ponzu, which had an added twist: the ingredients must be used in a dessert. "Ah, karma," said Chef Burrell.

Souffle Master

"I'm not a pastry chef, but I do know one very good side of dessert and that’s soufflé," said Chef Zakarian. With that weapon in his arsenal, he decided to make one with the secret ingredients, ponzu sauce and panko bread crumbs.

Chef Zakarian's Dessert

Sweet and Sour Blackberry Ponzu Soufflé Japanese Style With Panko Herbs, drizzled with Ponzu Bourbon Lime Caramel, served with a White Panko Gazpacho Dipping Sauce

Focused

Chef Burrell didn't let her frustration over landing in the bottom or the surprise dessert twist get the best of her. She felt confident in the kitchen: "I think I came up with a dish that tastes good and uses the secret ingredient in many ways."

Chef Burrell's Dessert

Panko Crusted Zucchini Involtino With Ricotta Panko and Dried Cherry Filling, Ponzu Ginger Kumquat Ice Cream With Butter Toasted Panko and Pine Nuts and Ponzu Macerated Cherries

Final Judgment

The judges were impressed with both desserts, which did not make things easy for them. "Both were Iron Chef-worthy dishes," said Michael Symon. "That we have to eliminate either of you today has made me almost physically ill."

Strategy Backfires

In the end, it was Chef Burrell who took the fall, despite her advantage. "It's very Shakespearean. Chef Burrell pulled out her sword and then fell on it," said Chef Guarnaschelli.

Final Four

Four chefs remain — Chiarello, Falkner, Guarnaschelli and Zakarian. "The remaining chefs don't have a lot of weaknesses," said Chef Chiarello. His strategy? "You have to find a crack somewhere and then exploit that crack."

More Super Chef Highlights

When Chef Chiarello saw lobster come up for auction, he pounced on it, bidding just 25 minutes.

Chef Chiarello's Dish: Lobster

His risk was making risotto, which normally takes 45 minutes, in 25 for this Butter Poached Lobster With Tamal, Saffron and Fennel Frond Risotto, Ragu of Heirloom Tomatoes and Crispy Basil. "I thoroughly enjoyed this dish," said Judy Joo.

Loser at the Auction

Alton warned the chefs that getting stuck with the last ingredient at the auction would leave minimal time to cook. Chef Guarnaschelli was outbid on her picks, so ended up with the final draw: leg of lamb and 20 minutes.

20-Minute Lamb

"Wow, what a mistake," said Chef Guarnaschelli when Alton revealed her ingredient. "Bone-in, fat cap, the whole nine. I pretty much can't think of a worse scenario."

Cook or Be Cooked

Instead of taking the easy road and making a raw tartare or carpaccio, Chef Guarnaschelli ground the lamb to make sausage. "I'm really scared that for the first time in the competition, I'm going to end up with no food on the plate," she said.

Chef Guarnaschelli's Dish: Leg of Lamb

Fortunately, her Lamb Sausage With Carrot, Star Anise and Sage did make it to the plate, fully cooked. The judges gave it mixed reviews, but were impressed with Chef Guarnaschelli's risk-taking in 20 minutes.

Symon Says

Though the final decision in the Secret Ingredient Showdown was not an easy one, Chef Zakarian edged out Chef Burrell: "As is always how I feel about your food, your technique is so good that quite honestly sometimes it makes me mad," Michael Symon told the winner.

Kitchen Fashion

Chef Burrell, rocking red clogs and mismatched neon socks, left the competition with her head held high.

No Hard Feelings

"It came down to inches. Centimeters. Millimeters. It was my day. End of story," concluded Chef Zakarian.

More from:

The Next Iron Chef