The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, Top Moments of the Finale

Get an inside look at the rival chefs' challenges and relive the most-memorable moments from the finale of Food Network's The Next Iron Chef: Redemption.
Episode: Passion/Respect

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

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

Kitchen Stadium-Bound

In the last Las Vegas challenge, Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Amanda Freitag outcook Chef Nate Appleman, proving themselves to be the top two rivals of the competition. They'll face off in one final showdown for Kitchen Stadium glory and the title of The Next Iron Chef.

Last Supper

For their final challenge in Las Vegas, Chefs Appleman, Freitag and Guarnaschelli have just 45 minutes to cook for Redemption survival with haddock, sea urchin or farm chicken, three ingredients that the judges would want to enjoy for their last suppers. Exercising her advantage, Chef Freitag chooses chicken first, then Chef Guarnaschelli selects sea urchin and Chef Appleman takes haddock.

Flare-Up

In this test of passion, Chef Freitag pairs her chicken with creamy ricotta cheese and fresh, zesty lemon to elevate it from an everyday protein to something over-the-top extraordinary. "This has to be the best chicken dish I've ever cooked in my entire life," she shares.

Detail Work

Chef Guarnaschelli's plan for this final Chairman's Challenge is to "gun it down Redemption Highway, into Kitchen Stadium at 90 miles per hour." She'll use the shell of her sea urchin to house corn flan, topped with Brussels sprouts and sunchokes. "My dish is very simple," she explains, "but it is actually quite complex to pull off."

Chowder On the Brain

For Chef Appleman, the idea of passion inspires him to cook clam chowder, a dish he commonly ate growing up. "It took me right back to childhood, and I got excited to be able to do it at a higher fashion." His next-level chowder will be served with smoked, poached and crispy haddock.

Winning Chicken Dinner

The judges are simply stunned by Chef Freitag's flawless execution of roast chicken, and they give her the automatic go-ahead to advance to the Kitchen Stadium finale. "This is like the crowning dish that you've cooked so far," Iron Chef Zakarian tells her, and Donatella simply adds, "Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow."

Mixed Feelings

After presenting to the judges, Chef Appleman reflects, "I'm not sure how it went. I'm a little worried." While Simon compliments Chef Appleman on the broth and deems the poached haddock "absolutely perfect," he find the clams to be a "mistake" and "a little bit chewy."

Emotional Reveal

Although the panel questions whether there is enough lemon juice in her foam, Chef Guarnaschelli is praised for having "taken an ingredient someplace it has never been before," and for that, she's granted the second and final pass to Kitchen Stadium. Ultimately, Chef Appleman is sent home, but he admits, "I'm extremely happy with everything that I did."

Ladies' Night

Inside the hallowed halls of Kitchen Stadium for the first time this season, both chefs are confident in their chances of taking home the ultimate prize. "I've made it to Kitchen Stadium, and this is going to be my new home," Chef Freitag predicts. Chef Guarnaschelli, too, has lofty beliefs of success. "I see myself in my Iron Chef's jacket," she says.

Battle Respect

Lifting the dome off of the altar, the Chairman reveals an array of Secret Ingredients, each a representation of his long-standing Iron Chefs: Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon. The rivals have one hour to prepare three dishes that showcase two of the ingredients from each Iron Chef's stock.

Three-Course Honors

Chef Guarnaschelli's plan for the battle is to devote one course to each of the Iron Chefs. Her appetizer, scallops with miso and mushrooms, is an homage to Iron Chef Morimoto, while her main dish of lamb chops with eggplant puree and chili-cherry tart dessert pay tribute to Iron Chefs Symon and Flay, respectively.

Cooking Simply

"I wanted to do a simple appetizer, entree, dessert," Chef Freitag explains of her approach to the battle. Her offerings will include a burrata-inspired feta cheese salad with tomatoes, charred lamb, yogurt-lamb puree and a dessert of corn cakes with brown sugar and miso ice cream.

Cheering Squad

All of the eight previously eliminated rival chefs have come together in Kitchen Stadium to support their fellow chefs, and they're quick to offer praises of the work they're doing.

For the Love of Lamb

Master of Meat Chef Tim Love praises Chef Guarnaschelli's decision to wrap her lamb loin in fat. "I thought that was pretty interesting and a good idea," he reflects. Chef Guarnaschelli knows that this lamb dish, which will honor Iron Chef Symon, ought to be one of the best she's ever prepared. "Lamb? For the King of Lamb? I better get this right," she says.

Lamb 2.0

Chef Freitag, too, is cooking a lamb loin to represent Iron Chef Michael Symon, and former rival Chef Eric Greenspan compliments her on this dish in progress. "Chef Freitag's lamb looked like it was delicate and clean and precise," he says.

Double the Judges

Along with the Chairman, guests of honor Iron Chefs Flay, Morimoto and Symon have joined the panel to judge the rivals. "I'm very excited that there are two female chefs in the finals," Iron Chef Symon explains. "I think it's a great thing for Iron Chef, and I'm very, very excited that it ended this way."

Miso Success

Pleased with Chef Guarnaschelli's appetizer of miso scallops inspired by Iron Chef Morimoto, Simon says, "What I was most concerned about was the miso, but it works beautifully with this." He adds, however, that one of his scallops is a tad overcooked, suggesting possible inconsistency.

Top Tart

The star of Chef Guarnaschelli's offerings is this chili-laced cherry tart with sour cream ice cream in honor of Iron Chef Flay. After tasting the dessert, the Iron Chef tells her, "I think this is brilliant. I mean I really do. I'm inspired by the ingredients that I like to use by the dish that you've made."

Creative Chops

Collectively, the panel praises Chef Freitag showing of ingenuity, especially with regard to her feta cheese in the classic style of burrata. "Chef Amanda took it with creativity without question," Iron Chef Zakarian notes, comparing the two rivals' offerings.

Eggplant Success

It is Chef Freitag's charred eggplant puree with yogurt that proves to be one of her most-liked preparations. "I think she used the ingredients in a more interesting way," Donatella explains, noting that if she could enjoy one of the rivals' entrée offerings for a second time, she would choose Chef Freitag's.

In This Together

Before they learn who will be awarded the title of The Next Iron Chef, the rivals come together in one final moment, and Alton tells them, "You are both redeemed."

Winning Moment

After eight hard-fought weeks of Chairman's Challenges, a sweet-savory Secret Ingredient Showdown and a coast-to-coast journey on the road to redemption, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is named The Next Iron Chef.

Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli

"I do not believe what just happened. I am The Next Iron Chef. I can't believe it," she says afterwards. "Nobody wake me up. I'm dreaming. This is incredible."

More from:

The Next Iron Chef