Redemption Journals: Chef Amanda Freitag

Chef Amanda Freitag was the ninth rival chef eliminated on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption . Flip through her personal scrapbook photo journal to relive the most-memorable moments from her time on the show.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chef Amanda Freitag

One of the final four contestants on The Next Iron Chef Season 2, Chef Amanda Freitag became the runner-up on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption after falling to Chef Alex Guarnaschelli in the Kitchen Stadium finale.

From Chef Freitag's Perspective

Each Redemption rival was given a journal to use during his or her time in the competition, and Chef Freitag filled hers with notes on the challenges, quick renderings of imagined finished plates, detailed to-do lists, inventories of must-have ingredients, plus go-to recipes.

A Next Iron Chef First

After a particularly brutal white-bread battle, Chef Freitag let off steam with fellow Showdown rivals Chefs Elizabeth Falkner and Duskie Estes in Next Iron Chef's very first food fight.

Simple Success

Cooking a culinary representation of Chef Falkner in the Chairman's Challenge of Simplicity, Chef Freitag prepared this one-bite bowl of pasta with an anchovy sauce that Iron Chef Zakarian called "simply brilliant." It was deemed the best dish of the day and earned Chef Freitag her first win of the competition.

Under Lock and Key

The beginning moments of the test of transformation were particularly tense for Chef Freitag as she struggled to open her can of corned beef, wasting precious moments by fiddling with a tricky key. Although she was ultimately able to unlock the preserved meat inside, this wasn't the last time she had to fight to simply begin working with an ingredient.

Imagined Plate

Winning a wheel of Parmesan cheese in the Chairman's ingredient auction, Chef Freitag set off to prepare a cheese plate complete with a Parmesan-focused ice cream, soufflé and shortbread. Before the challenge began, she took a few moments to conceive of her ideal finished dish and even penned the step-by-step process she would take to finish each of its components.

Cheese, Please

Before she could begin to execute her lofty goals for the challenge, however, Chef Freitag would have to crack open this whopping 100-pound wheel of cheese. Doing so successfully ultimately proved to be one of her largest challenges of the day.

Unlikely Friends

Although she wasn't pleased to be marrying savory squid with sweet marshmallows in the Chairman's test of fusion, Chef Freitag cooked up a dish of grilled squid with fried tentacles, horseradish-spiked marshmallow cream and a Hungarian paprika sauce. "I really thought a lot about how to disguise the marshmallow but not hide it," she said.

Sweet and Savory Success

Despite the seemingly odd pairing that is squid and marshmallows, Chef Freitag's dish was a winner in the judges' eyes. Simon said that it was an "incredibly successful" effort, and with that she claimed her second win of the competition.

Better With Bacon

To help her and her teammate, Chef Appleman, stay organized during their planning of the Chairman's test of transcendence, Chef Freitag jotted down the four different kinds of bacon offered on the altar: "sliced applewood smoked bacon, Canadian bacon sliced, boneless pork belly [and] whole slabs smoked bacon."

Winning Team

Despite minor issues with a salad dressing apparently absent from one of their plates, Chefs Freitag and Appleman bested Team Guarnaschelli-Vigneron, and they avoided a Secret Ingredient Showdown. "I'm so happy I picked Chef Appleman," Chef Freitag said. "He rocked this competition."

Ultimate Chicken Dinner

Pictured here is the detailed process that Chef Freitag followed to achieve a Kitchen Stadium-worthy chicken dinner. The judges were so awe-struck by her last-supper offering that she was unanimously voted a spot in the season finale. Simon told Chef Freitag, "Everything on this plate is cooked to perfection," and Alton added later, "It was a perfect dish of food."

Kitchen Stadium-Bound

After eight hard-fought weeks on the road to redemption, Chef Freitag earned a spot in Kitchen Stadium, where she would face off against fellow rival Chef Guarnaschelli. "This was my goal," Chef Freitag said. "To battle in the finale, to get to Kitchen Stadium. True redemption."

Finale Game Plan

In the finale episode, viewers saw Chef Freitag clutch her journal as she worked with her sous chefs to plan a three-course meal to honor the Chairman's long-standing Iron Chefs. She penned reminders like "Turn ice cream," "Grab from pantry" and "Panko!" as she and her team hustled to the finish.

Battle Respect

Cooking with not just one Secret Ingredient but at least six, Chef Freitag worked to incorporate two elements of each of the Chairman's three long-standing Iron Chefs into her three-course offering to the judges' panel. "I wanted to do a simple appetizer, entrée, dessert," Chef Freitag said of her approach to the battle.

The Moment of Truth

Although Chef Freitag ultimately did not claim the title of The Next Iron Chef, Iron Chef Zakarian called her a leader in "creativity" and she accepted her loss with her head held high. "I'm upset because I feel in my gut that I belong in Kitchen Stadium," Chef Freitag said. "I'm happy to have come this far. It was my own personal redemption, and I will think fondly on this experience. It's changed me, and I'm proud."

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