Behind the Scenes of the Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, Episode 7

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.

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: 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.

The Final Matchup

After an intense double elimination, just two Super Chefs are left standing for the final battle in Kitchen Stadium. Chef Zakarian and Chef Falkner will cook it out for a permanent spot there.

Montauk Bound

This episode was an exhausting one that started with a leisurely boat ride over to Montauk, Long Island. As the boat approached the shore, the four Super Chefs caught a glimpse of what was in store for them on the dock.

The Game Plan

The chefs had two hours and $500 to create a seafood tasting menu for 20 guests. They also had to run around the beach town procuring ingredients during the time allotted.

First to the Fish Market

As the previous challenge winner, Chef Falkner got an extra 15 minutes to start her shopping spree. She made a beeline for the fish market to get the freshest catch. She also got an extra $50 to spend on ingredients. "My strategy is to go with my gut and be open to what I find," she said.

Chef Falkner's Dish

With the advantage of a little extra time and cash, Chef Falkner served Clam Chowder Vichyssoise, Smoked Scallop on Corn Puree and East Coast Cioppino. Simon Majumdar licked his soup bowl clean: "No comment. That tells you everything you need to know about that," he said.

Racing the Clock

"My head is exploding, I just want to finish," said Chef Zakarian as he hustled to complete his three complex seafood dishes as the clock ticked down behind him.

Chef Zakarian's Dish

Chef Zakarian's seafood tasting was inspired by some of his favorite destinations: Chilled Sea Bass Salad from St. Bart's, Grilled Black Fish Minute Steak from Mykonos and Warm Scallop Sausage Sandwich from Brittany. The judges deemed it all "sensational" and Chef Zakarian took home his biggest win yet: a ticket to the Kitchen Stadium finale.

Strategy: Passion

"This is now my favorite challenge," said Chef Chiarello as he prepared his seafood menu. "I'm not afraid to show the passion of my food."

Chef Chiarello's Dish

Chef Chiarello told stories of passion from history and from his own life as he presented his trio of Cocoa Spiced Scallop With Carrot Caponata, Ahi Tuna Crudo With Tomato Caviar and Smoked and Olive Oil Poached Fluke. He just barely lost to Chef Zakarian.

Throw Down or Go Home

"It's really crazy out there today and it has so much to do with the high wire and the fact that there are so few of us left," said Chef Guarnaschelli. "It's time to throw down or go home."

Chef Guarnaschelli's Dish

Chef Guarnaschelli's seafood tasting included Fluke With Tomato Jam and Radish, Clam Chowder With Smoked Potato and Lobster With Hollandaise. The judges had both compliments and critiques: "Regardless of some nuances that could have been better here and there, I think it went well," said Chef Guarnaschelli. But at this point in the competition, those nuances were enough to send her home.

Waiting It Out

The final four chefs take a moment to relax on the beach after the challenge, awaiting their fate. After all they've been through so far in the competition, they've formed a close bond.

Super Chef Bonds

The remaining three chefs rallied around Chef Guarnaschelli after the judges sent her home. "I can't believe it's not going to be me," she said. "I am disappointed, but if you don't put yourself out there to take these kinds of chances, then what kind of chef are you?"

Game On

That left the chefs in the middle, Chef Falkner and Chef Zakarian, to battle it out in the very last Secret Ingredient Showdown. The winner would face Chef Zakarian in the finale.

Crackers and Wine

In an unconventional twist, Alton revealed Town House crackers and entwine wine as the secret ingredients. Chef Chiarello and Chef Falkner were challenged to create three bites, one with each kind of Town House cracker.

Strategizing

Chef Zakarian, having already secured his spot in the finale, got to watch the battle unfold. Chef Chiarello explained his game plan to his friend.

Chef Chiarello's Trio

Whipped Goat Cheese and Crème Fraiche With Asparagus Fritti and Cabernet Caviar on a Town House Original Cracker; Sardine Escabeche With a Cracker Panzanella on a Town House Sea Salt and Olive Oil Flatbread Crisp; Chicken Liver Mousse With Cabernet Mustard, Cracker Brittle and Cabernet and Grape Mosto Cotto on a Town House Flipsides Original Cracker

Still on Fire

Chef Falkner came ready to bring it: "My strategy is to really nail flavors. I need to wow the judges; it needs to be so much better than whatever Chef Chiarello prepares."

Chef Falkner's Trio

Shrimp and Grits on a Town House Original Cracker; Curry Lamb Meatball and Raita on a Town House Sea Salt and Olive Oil Flatbread Crisp; Chicken Liver Mousse With Crispy Fried Shallot and Sage on a Town House Flipsides Original Cracker

Chiarello Falls

Both chefs served "six beautiful bites today, all worthy of Kitchen Stadium," said Michael Symon. In the end, it all came down to flavor and integration of the secret ingredient, and Chef Falkner took the win.

Friends and Competitors

"I gave nothing but 300 percetn. I'm disappointed. I didn’t come here to lose," said Chef Chiarello. "I think everyone thought Chef Falkner was an outsider. I believe I'm going to win this and that I am the Next Iron Chef. Whatever the Chairman wants to throw at us, I am ready for it," said Chef Falkner. Chef Zakarian's response: "It's very simple. You will go down."

More from:

The Next Iron Chef