Live Blogging Iron Chef America

I was invited to an Iron Chef America party to watch the show tonight, but had to pass because of a trip out of town, which of course got cancelled at the last minute. But now I have to go on Tuesday (so excuse me if I don't post that day). Since I was home, I decided to blog and watch the show at the same time. How fun! Here are my thoughts, written as I watched:

Okay, I thought it was Iron Chef versus Iron Chef with Rachael Ray and Giada Di Laurentiis as sous chefs, but it looks more like Rachael versus Giada with Bobby Flay and Mario Batali as their sous chefs. Interesting. Did you notice that Rachael is not wearing a chef's jacket? Probably an ode to the "I'm not a chef" thing, huh? And did Giada have a special Iron Chef jacket made? I think that's the smallest (and most nicely tailored) chef's jacket I have ever seen.

Are they just pretending that they didn't know the ingredient was cranberries? Usually they don't even take the time to pretend that they didn't know the ingredient beforehand. Nah, they knew. They've gone back to the regular deal - where the sous chefs know what they are doing without being told.

How appropriate is it that Giada's side is making venison and duck confit and Rachael is making turkey legs and a pasta? Rachael's hair is coming out of her ponytail now, as she is telling the sauce to "bubble for mommy."

So let's see if Rachael Ray has an advantage in the judges. Nice! None of them are chefs! Advantage definitely goes to Rachael on this one.

I'm impressed that Rachael is making a curd. Haven't seen her do that before. So far she and Mario have called each other honey and babe. Ooohhh - she's doing the Drunken Tuscan Pasta - where she boils pasta in a bottle of wine. I just can't dump an entire bottle of wine into a pot (a combo of wanting to drink it and being cheap), so I have never tried it. But if it's good enough for her to make it on Iron Chef, I might have to try it.

Alton Brown just said, "yum-o." Love it. He quickly retracted it though, after realizing that a guy shouldn't say it. Rachael agreed with him.

Rachael shouldn't have worn a black shirt - you can see food on it. So basically, Mario is doing dishes on his own and Rachael is doing her own dishes. So now Mario is making cocktails, which he gave to the judges. I wish Iron Chef was always this fun.

Bobby is being awfully quiet. Sullen, in fact.

Oooh, Rachael is making her sage shrimp wrapped in pancetta. I've made them and they are GOOD. Nice choice, Rach. Ya know, she could have tried to be someone different and make all new recipes. It's nice to see that she stuck with what she's good at and what she knows. Also good to see she's not trying to be someone she's not.

Mario started plating. That's a good sign. Darn, Bobby's plating, too. I dunno, Bobby's brioche thing looks pretty awesome. Just noticed that Rachael brought her signature oval pan (well, the old calphalon one, at least).

So they all finished on time. Rachael calls it excruciating and said she needs therapy. She also mentioned that she is not a chef for, I think, the third time.

Time for the judging. With TiVo, it's tempting to just fast-forward to the end, but I am resisting the urge. Now let's hear what people with only a little food knowledge have to say about gourmet dishes. They aren't loving the first two of Giada and Bobby's dishes. Looking good for Rachael so far. But they liked the last three, darn it!

Rachael and Mario's turn. The first dish is Mario's. Yeah, I don't understand a word of what he's saying. Get to Rachael's dish. She gave a great explanation of the shrimp/pancetta dish (which Mario made fun of). The NPR guy said she was a chef, that's nice of him. But they don't love it! What the h*ll? The dessert is a big hit.

Decision time! My husband thinks Giada won (traitor) and I think Rachael won. NICE!!! Rachael and Mario won and by seven points. Rachael looks shocked and Giada looks like Faith Hill during that CMA freak out.

Phew. That was a great show. Good job, Food Network. Good job Bobby, Giada, Mario and especially Rachael!


  1. I'm surprised at how quickly Giada and Bobby got off to a bad start. It was rather fast, not to mention, how stressed both of them looked. Mario was totally at ease, and poor Rachael, she was so nervous, she was shaking!

    In the end, when they announced the winners, I saw that little look from Giada and just snorted. I don't care too much for her and I can't stand Bobby.

  2. I was actually a little taken aback by how cool Giada was too. I mean we all know that Bobby Flay is quite the jerk, but she wasn't exactly turning on the charm either. This bothers me a bit since I love her show so much. But really, I'm sure I wouldn't feel like "hugs all around" if I'd just had to participate in a grueling 60 minute cook-off.

  3. I guessed all along Ray/Batali would win. Flay's an excellent chef but Batali is sublime. Plus I loved how playful Batali and Ray were in contrast to the stresssed seriousness of Flay and Giada. I have to admit, on presentation Flay and Giada's dishes looked yummy, but Batali is the master with complex flavor compositions and that gave them the advantage. Also as you mentioned, Ray stepped out of her comfort zone and did something new with great results, whereas Giada just made the same stuff she always makes.

  4. I enjoyed the show.I like them all and am a fan of all four.

  5. go rachael!!

    That is the EXACT same thing my husband said regarding Giada's faith hill reaction to the results! how funny. :)

    I'm really glad they won. That bald guy was sooo tough on Giada - it made me cackle in delight. hee.

  6. your comment on why rachael is not wearing a chef's jacket is interesting. i noticed she had an apron but i didn't really get that she was missing a jacket. i didn't realize they all wore one. you're right - giada's was TINY!

    i live blogged iron chef too. i was rooting for giada going in but rachel totally impressed me. i like her alot more after watching her on iron chef.

    i think bobby was bummed that giada was not pulling her weight in the kitchen!

  7. alicat, I was laughing too. And there's something about your picture (the cake) that makes me soooo hungry! :D

    I still can't believe how subdued Rachael was, but she was so nervous. Poor thing. She did a great job!

  8. Don't you think that Bobby maybe said three words the whole time? Maybe he didn't like others on his turf?

  9. Wow, i missed the end. I thought Giada was gonna win too honestly. I'm glad Ray/Batali won, as Bobby flay is a big stoopid head who wears too-tight shirt that display his man boobs. Plus, one or two chefs I know who work with him confirm, off camera, he's a jerk.

  10. You missed out, Garrett! Giada's look at the end was priceless.

  11. I saw Rachael in Atlantic City on Sunday. She told us that Giada's husband is one of the people at the top of Anthropologie, a fashion line. He designed her chef's outfit. Rachael was persuaded by her friend Mario to come on the show for fun- low-key, whatever that's why she showed up in a t-shirt, ripped jeans, and work boots. She commented that that expierence was probably the most stressful in her life, and she hated every minute of it. :]

  12. What a great recap! I wish I could have seen it. I loved your play by play.

  13. Thank you, Elise! That was my first attempt at a live blogging thingy.

  14. Karen - thanks so much for the details from her Atlantic City appearance. All of that sounds like things she would say!

  15. I am so happy I found your blog! Thanks so much for the play by play. I missed the end, and it was really bugging me that I didn't know who won. I just wish I hadn't missed the look on Giada's face when she lost!

  16. Naomi - they're doing another celebrity one. I think with Paula Deen and Robert Irvine (if I remember correctly), so I bet they will rerun this episode, too.


Thanks for leaving a comment! Reading comments and responding to them is one of my favorite parts of having a blog, so thanks for contributing.