Elizabeth Falkner is ready to do battle on Season 4 of the Food Network's… (Edward ChenCreel Films )
Bánh mi pasta with chicken liver and cilantro basil pesto, Vietnamese meatball pho with pork belly broth, corn-battered zucchini blossoms and yellowtail crudo tacos -- those are just a taste of the culinary genius that went down on Sunday night's "Next Iron Chef America."
The challenge: Be innovative with bánh mi, tacos and falafel. Highlights included Alex Guarnaschelli's take on a fish tacos with grapefruit sorbet, Eric Greenspan's bánh mi panzanella with cured pork ceviche (he froze the pork, sliced it super thin on a deli slicer and then cured it) and Nate Appleman's Vietnamese meatball bánh mi pho.
To find out who went home and who lived to cook another day, keep reading...
Jehangir Mehta edged out the competition for the win with his wrapped falafel, while Amanda Freitag, Duskie Estes and Elizabeth Falkner (serious shocker) ended up in the bottom three and faced white bread in the secret ingredient elimination challenge.
Best redemption performance ever goes to Falkner, who sharpened her spiked hair, went into a don't-ever-mess-with-me state and pulled out a chèvre Monte Cristo with grilled bacon filling, French toast ice cream and brown butter chicory croutons. Boom. Judge Simon Majumdar called it one of the top five dishes he'd ever tasted on "Iron Chef" and told Zakarian that if Falkner had made that dish during last season's finale, she would be sitting in his chair. I would have given anything for a little smellavison!
The judges said goodbye to Estes, who made a solid ravioli, but the white bread secret ingredient was almost nonexistent. Those pig tails and state-the-obvious commentary were seriously bugging. Good riddance!
After winning in her taco group, Alex flips out and jumps up and down like a crazed kid who's just found out she’s going to Disneyland. Those four seconds were priceless.
Majumdar royally dissing Spike Mendelsohn's avocado melon balls. "We are talking about becoming the next Iron Chef, not the next home dinner party cook." Ouch!
"The Next Iron Chef America" runs Sundays on the Food Network at 9 p.m. Eastern time.
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