Shiny new Next Iron Chef: Redemption winner Alex Guarnaschelli entered Kitchen Stadium for the first time as an Iron Chef last night to face Iron Chef UK Judy Joo. Judy is the executive chef of The Playboy Club in London, and she was also the judge responsible for kicking Alex off on her first season of Next Iron Chef. Check out The Chairman’s preamble with the challengers below.
If Alex’s sous chef looked familiar, that’s because you know her as Ashley Merriman of Top Chef: Las Vegas fame. Alex hired Ashley at Butter for a spell after her time on Top Chef (you can read Guarnaschelli’s effusive praise for her here), and the newly minted Iron Chef brought her along to Kitchen Stadium for her inaugural showdown.
After being challenged with having to serve their first course to judges in the first 20 minutes of cook time, Alex and Judy dealt with the added twist of The Chairman’s Culinary Curveball (an ingredient or cooking instrument introduced partway through the competition, which must be used as a component in at least one dish). This showdown, The Chairman threw an abelskiver pan at the ladies (metaphorically, not physically).
Judy used it to sear scallops, while Alex used it for its intended purpose to make an abelskiver with Secret Ingredient Mortadella. Check out the finished dish presentations below.
Judy seemed less harried than Alex throughout the competition, but ultimately, Alex’s ballsiness paid off, and she dominated her first Iron Chef: America challenge.
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