Behind the Scenes of the Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, Episode 2

Get a closer look at the challenges faced by a lineup of Super Chefs on this season of The Next Iron Chef on Food Network.
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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: 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: Arturo Lorenzo/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Arturo Lorenzo/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. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Edward Chen / Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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: Arturo Lorenzo/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Elimination Impossible?

Robert Irvine was the second Super Chef eliminated. Minor flaws in his ballpark dish led him to the Secret Ingredient Showdown, where a not-quite-perfect peanut hummus did him in.

Knock It Out of the Park

At Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, Alton presented a challenge of Transformation: "Raise this already top-notch chow to an even higher level." The chefs made a 15-minute mad dash to collect ingredients.

Secret Weapon

"I went to one baseball game more than 20 years ago. I'm not a ballpark kind of gal," said Chef Guarnaschelli. She found inspiration at one of the snack bars: "Lemonade may be part of my strategy."

Chef Guarnaschelli's Dishes

The judges raved over Chef Guarnaschelli's creative spin on sausage and peppers and her palate-cleansing lemon sherbet served in a hollowed-out lemon.

Win for Guarnaschelli

For a girl who knows nothing about baseball, Chef Guarnaschelli hit a grand slam. "The judges don't have anything to say to you," Alton said. "It was perfect."

Finding East-West Inspiration

Chef Chiarello rifled through all the ingredients he collected and came up with two dishes representing opposite coasts.

Chef Chiarello's Miss

The runny egg on his Beer-Poached and Grilled Sausage dish from the East Coast was Chef Chiarello's downfall.

A New Invention: Hotburg

Chef Irvine was proud to invent a dish no one had ever seen before: a combination of hot dog and hamburger.

Chef Irvine's Dish

While the judges enjoyed the Hotburg, Chef Irvine's Deconstructed Fish Taco was less successful due to overpowering pickled radishes.

Warriors Face Off

"Chef Irvine and I are both warriors," said Chef Chiarello as he prepared for battle. "He may be a little bigger warrior than I am, but I'm ready to go out there and whoop on this battle."

Battle Peanut

And the secret ingredient is: peanuts. The chefs' reactions said it all. Chef Irvine: "O.M.G." Chef Chiarello: "Crap."

Chef Irvine's Peanut Dish

An otherwise fantastic dish of Peanut Crusted Halibut With Peanut Hummus was marred by its slightly too-thick hummus.

Chef Chiarello's Peanut Dish

Chef Chiarello put it all on the line and made his own pasta in 30 minutes. It paid off in his Fettuccini With Peanut and Blanched Basil Pesto.

Victory by a Smidge

In the end, Robert Irvine heard the dreaded words from Alton: "You will not be the Next Iron Chef." "I won by a smidge," said a relieved Chef Chiarello, "But I guess there's no smidge in a touchdown, so I'll take that."

Solidarity

The chefs are all in it to win it, but it hurts to see anyone go home. "Seeing a chef like Robert Irvine, at his level, getting eliminated — this is no joke," said Chef MacMillan.

Super Chef Highlights: The Overachiever

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.

Chef Samuelsson's Dishes

Ceviche-Marinated Grilled Shrimp Tostados and Fish Taquitos; BBQ Pork Sandwich; Tortilla Chip Fries With Tomato Relish

Play By the Rules

Chef Zakarian also irked the judges — his food was delicious, but the dishes had no connection to the ballpark theme. "You blew off the challenge, quite honestly," said Judy Joo.

Chef Zakarian's Dishes

Avocado One Eyed Susan; Crispy Vegetable Gazpacho

Playing It Safe?

Chef Burrell was quite honest about her strategy: "My strategy is to play it safe. If I go too nuts, I might crash and burn." The judges told her it was time to step it up.

Chef Burrell's Dishes

Beef Brisket Lettuce Wrap; Chicken and Kielbasa Sloppy Joes

No Pain, No Gain

Chef MacMillan twisted his ankle in the wilderness challenge, but he also won it with Chef Zakarian, so their five-minute advantage really helped him in the race for ingredients.

Chef MacMillan's Dishes

Deconstructed Cheesesteak; Deconstructed Shrimp and Corn Fritter

Happy Chef

"You look very happy when you're cooking, and that comes through in the food," Simon Majumdar told Chef Hughes.

Chef Hughes' Dishes

Pork Shrimp and Meatball Dog; Tilapia Corn Dog

Pastry Prowess

"I know how to play with savory and sweet in a way I haven't seen from these other chefs," said Chef Falkner. She used the ice cream machine to make blue cheese ice cream for her cheesesteak.

Chef Falkner's Dishes

Philly Cheesesteak; Corn Dog

Friends, Not Foes

Longtime rivals Chef Burrell and Chef Irvine hug it out. Chef Burrell was sad to see her close competitor sent home.

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