Super Chef Journals: Marcus Samuelsson

Get an inside look at the top-secret journal of the Next Iron Chef rival eliminated this week.
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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: 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.

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 Samuelsson Signs Off

Marcus Samuelsson, chef-owner of the Red Rooster in New York City, was the fifth Super Chef eliminated. He made it to the competition's halfway point, but was beaten out by Chef Falkner in the first NYC Secret Ingredient Showdown.

Notes to Remember

The Super Chefs were all given red journals to use for challenge-planning and reflection. On the first page of his, Chef Samuelsson jotted down the cooking temperatures for various proteins — always good information to keep in mind.

Day One

In the very first Chairman's Challenge, Chef Samuelsson was paired with Chef Spike to cook in the wilderness. Chef Spike had his pick of teammates and chose Chef Samuelsson because he wanted to keep his "toughest competition close."

Heat and Meat

The chefs arrived to find a suckling pig for each team. Chef Samuelsson wrote a few ideas for the dishes he and Chef Spike would ultimately prepare: ribs and a hay-smoked pork stew.

Skinny Ribs

Chef Samuelsson and Chef Spike were criticized for serving these ribs, which judge Judy Joo deemed "anorexic." Their team landed in the bottom and the two chefs had to face each other in the first Secret Ingredient Showdown.

Secret Ingredient Showdown

For their one shot at redemption, Chef Samuelsson and Chef Spike learned they'd be cooking with scallops. Chef Samuelsson decided to risk it with a duo.

In the Zone

"You never try to do a duo, because then they're going to be judging you against you," explained Chef Chiarello. Chef Samuelsson went for it despite these warnings and felt confident about his two dishes.

Saved by Scallops

Chef Samuelsson lived to cook another day thanks to these dishes: Seared Scallop With Honey Caramelized Potatoes and Scallop Corn Miso Soup With Poached Roe.

Ballpark Inspiration

The chefs found themselves at San Diego's Petco Park for the second challenge. In his journal, Chef Samuelsson began jotting down ideas for elevated ballpark fare.

Overachieving Once Again

The chefs were challenged to make two dishes at the ballpark; Chef Samuelsson presented four. "I think at some stage in the competition, this overdoing it is going to come back and bite you in the backside," said Simon Majumdar.

Dish Plan

Here, Chef Samuelsson wrote out the components of his four dishes and sketched how he would plate them. Fortunately for him, the judges enjoyed his food so much that they didn't put him in the bottom for overreaching.

Finished Product

Chef Samuelsson's four dishes, plated: Ceviche-Marinated Grilled Shrimp Tostados and Fish Taquitos; BBQ Pork Sandwich; Tortilla Chip Fries With Tomato Relish

Movie Snacks

With chocolate-covered caramels as his assigned movie concession snack in the next Chairman's Challenge, Chef Samuelsson wrote out two prep lists: "dessert" and "savory."

Chocolate-Covered Caramel Dishes

The judges had some mixed reviews for Chef Samuelsson's Chocolate Caramel Glazed Duck and Chocolate Caramel Cake, but he landed solidly in the middle of the pack.

Improvisation

The next challenge brought the chefs to a comedy club, where the audience determined what they'd cook with: octopus, kumquats, tortillas and marshmallows. Chef Samuelsson brainstormed in his journal to try to come up with a cohesive dish.

Finding Inspiration

"This is my chance to cook and tell a story about my life a little bit. Marshmallows actually come from Africa, and we do a lot of pickling in Sweden," said Chef Samuelsson. He decided to pickle the octopus with kumquats.

Detailed Prep

Chef Samuelsson's dish involved lots of components, which he outlined here in a detailed prep list.

Octopus-Kumquat-Tortilla-Marshmallow Dish

Chef Samuelsson's Kumquat Pickled Octopus With Tortilla Gazpacho and Marshmallow Yogurt Whip got mixed reviews. "It was a mess, but it was tasty," said Alton. "You survive to cook another day."

On Broadway

Next stop for the remaining six chefs: NYC. Each was assigned an iconic New York location to use as inspiration for a dish and corresponding story. Chef Samuelsson drew the card for Broadway and sketched out ideas in his journal.

Brainstorming

Chef Samuelsson was full of ideas for the Broadway theme: "Broadway evokes big vision, big dreams."

Story Ideas

In his journal, Chef Samuelsson wrote notes for the story he would tell about his own big dreams to present his dish.

Shopping

In Grand Central Terminal, Chef Samuelsson bought Wagyu beef and salmon for a duo dish. "I really want to show my dream, my heritage and also this beautiful, diverse NYC in one dish," he said.

Broadway on a Plate

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. He ended up in the dreaded bottom two.

Second Showdown

For his second Secret Ingredient Showdown of the competition, Chef Samuelsson faced Chef Falkner and a very New York secret ingredient: bagels.

Bagel Notes

Chef Samuelsson 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.

Last 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

Chef Samuelsson's Farewell

In the end, it was Chef Falkner who survived to cook another day. "It's so humbling and nerve-wracking at the same time," said a gracious Chef Samuelsson. "No regrets. I've enjoyed the camaraderie more than anything."

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