Top Moments of Iron Chef Gauntlet, Episode 3

Join Alton Brown, the challengers and the judges on set to see what it takes to make a bid for the most-revered title in the culinary industry.

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Episode: Sweet and Savory

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Eddy Chen

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Fusing of Flavors

"In the culinary world, our yin and yang is the basis of today's challenge," Alton tells the remaining five challengers before revealing the Chairman's Challenge Secret Ingredient: a plethora of both savory and sweet items. The trick? Each rival gets to work with just one of those products, and with it they must create two dishes, one sweet and the other savory. 

Details Matter

After grabbing black beans, the last-remaining item on the altar, Chef Izard struggles to put a plan in place. "I still don’t know what's happening," she reveals as time ticks away in the challenge. Though she manages to plate two offerings, including an ice cream studded with black beans a la chocolate chips, Alton can't help but fault her for presentation. "This is the worst-possible plate you could have chosen," he explains, noting that the vessel can't contain her ice cream. 

Opposites Collide

"I really got to come to the table today and prove my worth in this competition," Chef Dady admits of his hopes to secure a first-place finish in this challenge. He opts for what he calls "the classic yin and yang" approach by showcasing not only savory and sweet flavors but also the colors of white and black with the help of both white and dark sesame seeds as well as contrasting plates. He doesn't earn the win this time, but Alton is mostly pleased with Chef Dady's menu, especially his black-sesame dipping sauce, served with soba noodles.

Salt Woes

With just seconds left in the Chairman's Challenge, Chef Nakajima realizes that his savory offering of clams, mussels and fish sauce is far too salty, and he attempts to salvage it with a sake reduction. However, his efforts aren't successful, and Alton too notices the saltiness, saying, "Perfect cook on the bivalves, but the beauty of the simplicity got away because of the salt."

On a Roll

For the second week in a row, Chef Grueneberg wows Alton with her Chairman's Challenge dish, this time a pairing of beet presentations, including one in the style of schnitzel. "Where the hell have I been? That's awesome," Alton tells her. "Overall, daring and Iron Chef-y." She earns the win in the first-round battle.

Unexpected Results

Alton sends Chef Gulotta to the Secret Ingredient Showdown after tasting the challenger's too-greasy beet-crab salad, laced with his altar ingredient of blue cheese. "I was feeling really good about these dishes. I thought I was near the head of the pack, so it caught me way off-guard," the rival reveals. 

Battle Octopus

Once again, Chef Nakajima find himself facing potential elimination after Chef Grueneberg opts to send him to the Secret Ingredient Showdown in a face-off against Chef Gulotta. Their mission this week? Battle Octopus. Both chefs are familiar with preparing this ingredient, though Chef Nakajima says that his experience with last week's Showdown has made him "a little bit more confident."

A Sucker of a Showcase

"In a hundred years, I would have never thought to take the suckers off and fry them," Chef Dady says as he watches Chef Nakajima's approach for one of his octopus dishes. This revolutionary preparation impresses the judges too, as Iron Chef Marc Forgione tells Chef Nakajima, "When you're doing these types of competitions, you really do need to go outside the box, and you really jumped out of the box on that one."

Mixed Reviews

After tasting Chef Gulotta's dishes, judge Giada De Laurentiis proclaims that "all three of them had a wow-factor," but ultimately both she and Iron Chef Forgione find that two of offerings are lacking in octopus. His paella negra, which he presents as his third and final plate, features several seafood items, and Iron Chef Forgione notes there was opportunity for the challenger to feature octopus alone there instead.

Safe, Yet Again

By a slim margin of just five points, Chef Nakajima wins his second Secret Ingredient Showdown and advances to next week's competition. And as for Chef Gulotta, Alton explains simply, "Today just wasn't your day."

Want More Iron Chef Gauntlet?

Head to Food Network's Iron Chef Gauntlet headquarters for more insider coverage of the competition, including behind-the-scenes photos, exclusive interviews with the challengers and old-school clips of Iron Chef America.

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