Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Redemption Exile

By: Sarah De Heer
Chef Elizabeth Falkner and Chef Nate Appleman


Rival Chefs Elizabeth Falkner and Nate Appleman waiting to enter "Anchovies" as seen on Food Network’s Season 5.

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

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

The fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with now only six familiar chefs battling it out again to prove they’ve got the skills to win the ultimate prize: the title of Iron Chef.

Each chef will try to pull out all their tricks to stay in the competition but, ultimately, one chef must go home each week. Every Sunday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest chef to go home.

The second victim of the ingredient auction, Chef Elizabeth Falkner, failed to impress the judges with an over-seasoned pasta dish and caused the most-emotional elimination moment of the season to date with fellow rival chefs and even the judges.

You had the advantage this episode and part of that was judging your own peers. What was that like?

EF: This advantage was a disturbing setup because it was déjà vu — Anne Burrell went through the exact same scenario last season. It was all too familiar to me. I like judging and competing, but the combination is difficult, especially when it’s solely based on just one dish to put someone on the bottom, and you just know that you’re probably going to be pitted against them.

In episode 3, Chef Freitag used anchovies in her dish to describe you and ultimately anchovies brought you down. Are anchovies foes or friends of yours now?

EF: I love anchovies and use them all over my menu at my new restaurant, Krescendo. In fact, one of my signature dishes is the Fregola Con Le Sarde, which has anchovies and sardines along with fennel and saffron in a typical Sicilian pasta dish. I don't think the anchovies brought me down. I think the fact that I made what I did in 30 minutes is an accomplishment and I disagree with letting me go from that Showdown.

Do you think the auction challenge is cursed? You mentioned déjà vu earlier.

EF: Not cursed, but the setup makes for good TV.

Your final reaction was saddening for everyone to watch — it even brought tears to Simon’s eyes. What are your final thoughts about your elimination?

EF: I love seeing what the other chefs and I come up with for any of the random ingredients, especially given the time and environmental constraints thrown at us. I like portraying a superhero and I think I do a good job at it. I love to cook and think I try to push the Iron Chef concept for myself and the audience. I am being true to myself in these competitions.

If it were even possible, would you try for the title a third time?

EF: In a heartbeat! I would go for the gold again.

Relive the episode and take a look at an extended preview of next week’s episode below (click the play button):

Next Iron Chef Ep.5: Recap
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