Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Next Iron Chef: Not Traci Des Jardins – Episode 2 – October 14

Last Sunday was the first of a series of competitions in which eight chefs had to jump through and unfortunately Ms. Jardins of San Francisco was voted out of the kitchen. Apparently the judges deemed her cake too dry and her salad to roey.

Episode 2 Sunday, October 14 at 9pm ET/PT
Host Alton Brown gives the chefs their next two tests: Simplicity and Innovation. For the first challenge, the chefs must produce one flavor-packed bite that reveals everything about their culinary style and personality.

Then, the chefs take innovative food to a new level when special guest Wiley Dufresne arrives at the Culinary Institute of America to inspire the chefs to blend science, art, and food.

Using an array of powders, compounds and high-tech tools, the chefs must prepare three cutting-edge dishes for the judges. After deliberating, the judges eliminate another chef.

  1. Episode 2 was interesting because the chefs were given short lessons on the tools used in molecular gastronomy. They then had to create dishes using the tools Seeing that none of these chefs ever used these new”techiniques”, there were some interesting results.
    Michael Symon put into words how I feel about the molecular gastronomy trend – (okay so it does result in some amazing items), when he mentioned that he’s spent years trying to rid food of chemicals and now people are putting those exact chemicals back in the food!
    During the “quick fire” challenge, the young Latin chef – his name escapes me- was unable to plate all his dishes. Bad enough, but he didn’t understand why he couldn’t plate the food after time expired. It was a little annoying. Rules is rules, as they say.
    Alas, the other female chef was elimnated. No women left!

  2. Rita,
    Thanks so much for posting. Perhaps you can be one of our Iron Chef correspondents since none of us sassy souls have cable or direct tv.

    The young Latin chef is Aaron Sanchez. I believe it was 2005 or 2006 that he was invited to the Tucson Culinary Festival along with his mother. I think maybe that same year he was also in People magazine’s most beautiful people issue. Too bad as he is nice eye candy but that is so discriminating.

    I am at a loss. Can you explain what the molecular gastronomy trend is and why you feel about it the way you do?

    Thank you.

  3. Oh my! I’d be happy to keep you all updated.

    MG is the use of machines (such as a flash freezer iron, syphons and machinesI can’t even imagine how they work – and the addition of chemicals ie xanthium gum- to change the look, texture, compositon of food.
    If you watched last season’s Top Chef, contender Marcel was a big proponent. Foams are a big thing in MG.

    Other chefs who are in the vanguard are:
    Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago, named the top restaurant in the US by Gourmet magazine last year.
    Wylie Dufrense of WD-40 famei in NYC.
    Ferran Adria of El Bulli in Spain. He is considered the “god” of MG.

    I have never really tasted a whole MG meal – although I have had foams and some flash frozen stuff – but when you hear the additions are all those things that folks who are into natural foods worked very hard to have removed from the food we eat.

    I’ll do a little more research and with each week of Iron Chef will tell you all about it. I’ll find links to photos. You have to see some of the stuff to believe it.

    It’s a cool idea, but I think it is getting overdone.

  4. MG makes “caviar” out of non-fish ingredients by making food into a liquid/puree, then mixing it with sodium alganate and then giving it a bath in calcium chloride. The result? Little balls of food that really do look like fish eggs. The center stays liquid so there is a bit of a pop when you put them in your mouth.

  5. That’s so gross.

    No wonder the eating local food is so popular now. Just what we need…fake food and lots of chemicals. I’m glad the trend has not reached the Sonoran Desert yet.

    Thanks for the explanation.

  6. You might find some of the methods in Tucson: foams, the anti-griddle freezing. And I would bet that certain restaurants in that city to the north of Tucson – what is the name agani? – are using some of the methods as well.

  7. Now that you mention it I have seen “foam” on the menu and I don’t mean in a glass of beer.

    I remember seeing “foam” on the menu of either Janos or Acacia. It was a flavored foam like blood orange or something like that. I never thought anything about it. I just thought foam was some sort of whipped cream process.

    Interesting. I will have to read up on it.

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