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The Next Iron Chef: Final Four

And it's down to four. Falkner, Chiarello, Zakarian, Guarnaschelli. Which means my final four predictions are one for four. Feh.

Since we last talked, there have been two episodes. The stupid fucking storytelling challenge, which saw Samuellson finally put out of our collective misery, and the awesome fucking food auction challenge, which unfortunately sent Anne Burrell home.

The Next Iron Chef: Where We Stand

So, we're four eliminations in, and my predictions are doing... OK.

As you recall, my original call was:


Week One saw Spike leave. Week Two saw Irvine get the boot. Week Three, poor Chuck Hughes got cut, which makes me sad inside. And last week, McMillan left. Which means, in the first four weeks, three of my bottom four got cut, plus the guy I deliberately ranked higher because I liked him. That's not fucking bad at all.

The Next Iron Chef: Week One

Well. That does interesting things to my predictions.

First things first. This year's format is completely fucking awesome. The first 40 minutes is devoted to a challenge on a level with a Top Chef elimination challenge. Sure, the first week - wilderness, wood fire, whole pig - was about as unoriginal a "twist challenge" as you can get, but it was at least appropriate in terms of challenge and scale.

The Next Iron Chef IV: Handicapping

The first season of The Next Iron Chef was awesome. It seemed to fit within the faux-mythology of the show, the contestants were interesting, the winner (Michael Symon) has gone on to be a far better Iron Chef than Bobby Flay ever was, and adding someone to the ranks seemed like a big deal.

America's Next Great Vacant Food Court

Well, that didn't take long.

Two months ago, upon the airing of the season finale of America's Next Great Restaurant, three branches of fast-casual soul food joint Soul Daddy opened up. Six weeks later, two of them closed, leaving only the Mall of America joint standing.

Now Soul Daddy is Soul Deady.

I'm not going to say anything about the restaurant or the restauranteur/contestant. I didn't go, I didn't eat the food, because there's no way I'm taking a special trip to the Megamall just to eat at a place that won a TV show.

Blais Off

Official Science Channel promotional image!So apparently, the embarassingly-named but awesomely-concepted Blais Off produced two episodes as a sort of extended pilot. They've aired, and I've watched them, and I want them to make more.

Top Chef: All Stars

So, we're two episodes into Top CHef 8, which follows the dull and tedious Season 7 and the pointless and boring Top Chef: Just Desserts. The idea is a solid one - there are plenty of chefs from the earlier seasons who proved that they were entertaining to watch and cooked interesting food, so it's all down to the execution.

They got Anthony Bourdain. Good. They didn't get him for every episode. Less good, but tolerable.

There's no house they all live in together. Or at least there's no footage of it. THANK THE GODS. This cuts down on the drama.

Awful Name, Promising Premise

So, Richard Blais is getting a show.

You know, Richard Blais? Top Chef runner-up? Top Chef All-Star contestant? Cat Cora sous chef on ICA? Lover of liquid nitrogen, with a pretty solid grasp of the molecular gastronomy basics, even if it's very second-wave, using techinques other people thought up first, kind of stuff?

Yeah, he's getting a show. Premieres December 17. On, of all things, the Science Channel. And it's called "Blais Off".

I Got Your Outrage Right Here

I should just start right off the bat with this description of a sandwich, from the Daily Illini.

"...four cheeseburgers, a double cheesesteak, a pork roll, a chicken cheesesteak, sausage, gyro meat, and grilled chicken, and then move on to demolish mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, bacon, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese bites, fried mushrooms, jalapeno poppers, pizza bites, onion rings, hash browns, mini corn dogs, American cheese, ketchup and mayonnaise. All sandwiched between two rolls."

The Least Wonderful Time Of The Year

Man, I hate the two weeks before Thanksgiving.

It's bad around other holidays, but Thanksgiving is the worst time out of the entire frigging year to watch food television. Nobody needs to know fifteen completely different "perfect" ways to roast a turkey. In fact, if there WERE fifteen different perfect ways to roast a turkey, we'd all be stumbling on it by accident, rendering the very need for shows telling us all of them nonexistent.

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