Top Moments of the Iron Chef Gauntlet Finale

Join Chef Stephanie Izard as she runs the gauntlet in three epic battles against Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Masaharu Morimoto for the chance to earn the title for herself.

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Photo By: Eddy Chen , Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen , Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen , Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen , Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen , Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen , Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen , Eddy Chen

Photo By: Eddy Chen , Eddy Chen

Photo By: Pat Wymore

Photo By: Pat Wymore

Photo By: Eddy Chen , Eddy Chen

Challenger's Choice

Chef Izard enters the Gauntlet kitchen as the last remaining competitor, ready to take on a trio of formidable opponents — the Iron Chefs, of course — for the chance to join their ranks. She must battle Iron Chefs Symon, Flay and Morimoto in three separate round with three different Secret Ingredients. When Alton reveals an altar of peppers in the first heat, she quickly picks Iron Chef Flay, who is the undisputed king of chile peppers and a Southwestern-leaning chef. "If I'm going to go up against Iron Chefs, I need to beat them at their own game," Chef Izard explains of her strategy.

A Difference in Approach

"I'm going to use as many peppers as I possibly can," Chef Izard says, and indeed she showcases multiple different peppers in many ways in her Asian-inspired savory-pancake-turned-taco. The judges appreciate the offering, but judge Anya Fernald notes that it features one note: "fiery heat." She adds, "It doesn't give as much of the broad range of what a pepper has of the sweetness."

Meat-Free and Flavorful

Iron Chef Flay, who's surely no stranger to peppers, opts for what a chile relleno, which he calls "the ultimate pepper dish." His twist? A Mediterranean-inspired filling with eggplant and goat cheese — no meat to be had. "A lot of technique here in the dish," judge Ludo Lefebvre tells Iron Chef Flay, and Chef Izard is forced to admit her likely defeat in this battle.

Meeting Again

In the second heat, Chef Izard continues her strategy of assigning Secret Ingredients as they relate to the Iron Chefs, as she chooses to do Battle Cheese with Iron Chef Symon. For Chef Izard, this match-up is personal, as she's battled Iron Chef Symon before — and lost. "It's time for redemption," Chef Izard declares simply.

Multiple Meltdowns

Both competitors suffer serious setbacks during the battle that cost them precious time. Chef Izard's blue cheese ice cream, the centerpiece of her dish, turns out too loose after the first pass, and Iron Chef Symon resorts to tossing his initial batch of tortellone after the dough gets too wet to work with. "I don't even know what to do," Chef Izard admits in frustration as she hurries to churn a second batch.

Honest Feedback

Following a second pass in the machine, Chef Izard's ice cream is topped with a chocolate-Parmesan shell, creating an offering that judge Ludo deems "genius." Unfortunately for Iron Chef Symon, though, his pasta dish isn't as well-loved. "It was safe, not that much creativity for me on this dish," Ludo tells him.

Focus On: Fish

"Whether you out-score the Iron Chefs and become one yourself depends a great deal upon what you do with what is under there," Alton explains to Chef Izard of the Secret Ingredient in the third and final heat against Iron Chef Morimoto. Much to her dismay, the altar contains two whole fish, which is a specialty of seafood master Iron Chef Morimoto. "How do you take down a chef like that?" she wonders.

A Very Izard Dish

"This dish is representative of me. It's casual in nature, it's reminiscent of street food, and it's in-your-face flavor," Chef Izard says of her approach to the tilefish. She's prepared a laksa soup, complete with homemade fish noodles and fish dumplings, as well as a side of ceviche. "I really love the broth. It's very complex and rich without being overpowering," Anya praises her.

When 1 Dish Becomes 5

Iron Chef Morimoto offers no fewer than five dishes as his "one" offering for this battle, and the array of items invites problems for him. "The Iron Chef confused me with this thing. I don't know how to judge it," Ludo says after experiencing Iron Chef Morimoto's presentation firsthand.

Welcome, Iron Chef Izard

For the first time since 2012, a new Iron Chef joins the esteemed ranks, as Chef Izard has successfully out-cooked the team of Iron Chefs by three points. "I am so proud and so honored," she says. She receives hearty congratulations from the Iron Chefs, including Bobby, who jokes, "Welcome to the club of Iron Chef. You just gave yourself some more work."

More from the New Iron Chef

Hear from Iron Chef Izard in an exclusive interview, go behind the scenes and learn how to make homemade ice cream inspired by the battle.

Iron Chef Gauntlet