Nicep6john_michael2_2

Two of the country’s most talented chefs, John Besh and Michael Symon, compete in kitchen stadium, Sunday Night on the Food Network.  FN so secretive about it, even I wasn’t able to procure an advance screening.   Damn (thanks Lisa!).  And I’m going to be at Book Passage in San Francisco, then en route to Seattle flogging the new book (and so far meeting excellent people, thank you St. Louis and Atlanta, and especially Viking kitchen staffs). Can I catch the finale in an airport?

Will it be the man in black?
Nicep6michael14

Or the man in white?
Nicep6john13

I heard from several Besh supporters here in Atlanta (and no Symon supporters), and Besh getting a lot of national press (deserved). Judging from comments here, Symon has popular appeal.  Both are great chefs and business owners, and most importantly here, superlative cooks.  Who will it be?  And where does Symon get his pants? And who does Besh’s hair? Can’t WAIT to hear comments on Monday!

Share

248 Wonderful responses to “Next Iron Chef Finale”

  • JoP in Omaha

    This waiting for the finale is killing me….I’m so damned nervous! I had read about Symon in “Soul.” But having seen both Besh and Symon in IC competions previously, before NIC started I fully expected that Besh would be my favorite. I was wrong. Symon has won me over fully and completely. My opinion is based on everything except the food, of course, so the judges and I may have different opinions. But Symon’s personality and passion appeals to me a lot, and I’ll be one unhappy viewer if he’s not the NIC (no disrespect to Besh intended–who probably has equal passion, but whose reserved personality keeps it under wraps). Symon, you’re the man– and the NIC, I hope!

  • Frances

    Besh is obviously talanted, and his sense of humor is not lost on me. He’s got the food thing going for him too. But…I think Symon has all that AND that dynamic, larger-than-life personality that defines an iron chef. He’s just a powerhouse of goodness.

  • Hunter

    I know a girl that worked for Besh at August, had nothing but great things to say about him. I like Symon too–Ruhlman’s right, his personality is infectious. I don’t have a personal fav. going in (I was rooting for Gavin), but I think that ICA wins no matter who wins the battle. Both guys deserve it and have legitimate shots.

  • thespian

    I would kill to have a meal prepared by either of these gentlemen (and I’ve wanted to eat at Jardinière and Incanto for ages). But I really want Symon to win; Besh is cute as get out, but Symon has…well, the Iron Chef pizzazz. He has the sort of larger than life finesse that Batali brings, and that Flay can have when he doesn’t trip on his own personality (Flay sometimes seems like, for all that he’s a celebrity chef, he’d really like to be hunkering down and reading, so his attempts to be a ‘personality’ are forced). Cora is intense, which makes up for her lack of flamboyancy. Besh seems to be the better technical chef, but it’s the flashes of genius that we see from Symon that are needed on ICA.

    But then, I was for Cosentino from the start, so either of these winners is ok, just not what I wanted. I wanted the punk chef from California!

  • Joe Jackson

    I worked for Besh. His signature dish’s sauce was powdered fish fumet from a can. Is this Iron Chef material???

  • Lester Hunt

    I’m not sure I can say why, but I’m leaning toward Symon. Besh does something that is more like the sort of cooking I have enjoyed doing over the years, but Symon is a more attractive and charming person. That laugh!

  • lux

    Honestly, I’d be happy with either Besh or Symon winning. Each seems like a good guy and a hell of a chef.

    It’s just too bad that one of them has to lose. It would be really cool if they could both become an Iron Chef.

  • MKKJD

    I’ve been a Symon fan since his Caxton Cafe days. He’s a very sound and creative chef. And I always root for the hometown boy. I do wish he’d bring some of the influence of his Greek background into his menus. Greek cuisine is so underrated. BTW, loved seeing you and Cleveland on No Reservations. Is that pate recipe in the new cookbook or in the book on charcuterie?

  • Erin

    Thanks for a great demo in Atlanta Michael–I had a great evening! NIC shows you as a kind of a food snob and a little bit snippy–but you are a truly nice guy and I loved watching you cook and hearing about your passion!As far as IC goes, I had predicted from the beginning who would be eliminated in what order. So far I’ve been right. I am a Besh supporter and truly hopes he wins–but, that being said, I would rather Michael Symon beat him than any other competitor. Who knew reality TV get me so nervous!?

  • FoodPuta

    I heard that in the final, they found a hair in one of the dishes, and it took the entire episode of deliberation to figure out if it was Ruhlmans and Knowltons, and they ran out of time before they chose the winner.

    I think I read that in the Washington post or something….

  • Tom H

    Not everyone in ATL supports the southerner Besh! He seems to be very disingenuous in what he says and does… like his consommé embellishment. I’m sure many of us ATL based Symon fans were at work and couldn’t make it through our infamous rush hour traffic to make it to your appearance on time. Like me. I was planning on taking the afternoon off to show up in my Browns throwback jacket so you could see there are Cleveland natives everywhere. But, a last minute engineering meeting ruined that idea.

    Thank you for another very good series… and your books… and this blog.

    – TH

  • Tom H

    Not everyone in ATL supports the southerner Besh! He seems to be very disingenuous in what he says and does… like his consommé embellishment. I’m sure many of us ATL based Symon fans were at work and couldn’t make it through our infamous rush hour traffic to make it to your appearance on time. Like me. I was planning on taking the afternoon off to show up in my Browns throwback jacket so you could see there are Cleveland natives everywhere. But, a last minute engineering meeting ruined that idea.

    Thank you for another very good series… and your books… and this blog.

    – TH

  • doodad

    Can’t wait to see the finale. I do hope, as another poster said, that the chefs eliminated get a grudge match.

  • Mer

    For once, I don’t have an opinion. No snarky comments. No backhanded compliments. I’d be very happy to see either of these guys win. Besh is polished, smooth, quiet confidence with sudden glimpses of humour.
    Symon is an on the edge maniac who nevertheless has the right stuff.
    True, Symon would put on a more interesting show, but both chefs would do us proud.

  • Tags

    The best of all possible outcomes

    After a razor thin victory they announce the winner

    Then they announce that both Besh and Symon will become Iron Chefs.

  • Lisa

    Doodad, glad you like the “grudge match” idea. I thought it was a pretty obvious one, but I hope someone from the FN is paying attention. It seems like many of us (myself included!) have been surprised at how much TNIC has captivated us. I’m completely on edge about the finale, have put all the eps on “protected” status on my DVR and will be very sorry when the show is over.

    I’ll also be sorry to see either Besh or Symon lose–they’d both make excellent Iron Chefs. (Dump Flay!) I think TNIC has won over a different breed of fan because the show has NOT given us much personal info about the chefs. As viewers, we have gotten to know them almost exclusively through their professional performance in the challenges, and the judges’ response to their food. That has left us wanting to see more of them–and especially to see them in the real IC arena, Kitchen Stadium.

    The greatest benefit for me? The show led me to this blog, and to your writing, Michael. I tore through the first 200+ pages of The Soul of a Chef in one night. Beautiful prose, although I shouldn’t have stayed up til 3am! So excited to have discovered a great writer, and a terrific online community supporting my reenergized excitement about cooking.

  • JoP in Omaha

    Off topic, but….I found Meyer lemons in the store today!!! I’ve looking for them ever since I noticed it’s often the lemon of choice among iron chefs…next and otherwise. And, for this neophyte cook, another milestone is reached: instead of deciding on a dish and then getting the ingredients, I’ve found an ingredient and will plan a dish around it. Oh, the JOY! I can’t stop smiling about my beautiful Meyer lemons.

    I wouldn’t be unhappy if both Symon and Besh could be named Iron Chefs. And, Lisa made a great point…..NIC has captivated us even more than IC because it’s shown us a bit of the chefs’ personalities, more so that IC does. And I, too, hope that FN is paying attention to blogs such as this that clearly show there’s an audience out here yearning for programming that is missing. ‘Til then, a DVD of NIC with lots and lots of extra footage would be welcome.

    Hey, Ruhlman, when this is all over, tell Symon to do a poster of him cooking….Yikes, how silly is that??!! I want to hang such a thing in my kitchen (along with one of Keller would be nice) for continued inspiration!

  • Francesca

    Well, I think that Besh will win. He just makes what he does look easy and isn’t that what IC is all about? Keeping their cool and presenting these dishes that were made without hesitation. I just think Besh will win this one. My pic from the start was Morou. His restaurant is in Alexandria, Va. Not too far from me. I phoned the other day to see what reservations were like and he is completely booked. I will try his place one day…I am determined.

    I was watching FN and saw the NIC commercial and just got the tail end of the advertisement and it said that there was going to be new episodes starting on the 18th. Is this for another NIC series or is new episodes for IC. Does anyone know?

    Well, I am anxiousely awaiting the results.

  • Annie

    I don’t think Bobby Flay would rather be hunkered down, reading. I think he’d rather be watching the Jets, with a beautiful blonde on his lap. That’s just the vibe I get.

  • ba

    @annie: flay is married to that chick from law and order, so yeah, he in fact does have a beautiful blonde on his lap.

    and while i think besh will probably win (as he seems to have more cache in the biz), i’m totally rooting for symon. way more personality, much more fun to watch for an hour during IC.

  • Chad Edward

    When “Iron Chef America” first aired it was like watching Sandra Lee recreate recipes from “Molto Mario”. It was over produced, the ingredients were safe and uninteresting, and the American Iron Chefs lacked the creativity and daring of the originals. Alton and Mario were the show’s saving graces; and, I thought Wolfgang Puck was surprisingly good in the original cook-offs.

    All of that is probably still true, though the show has found itself a bit. However, “The Next…” has saved the series for me. In fact, I wonder aloud if Besh or Symon is the next Iron Chef America or the FIRST Iron Chef America.

    Whoever wins enters kitchen stadium with kitchen cred and, I’m assuming, a greater appreciation for the title than any of the appointed Iron Chefs.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Cincinnati, Michael.

  • chris neill

    Michael,

    I hope it’s Symon. It *has* to be Symon. I can’t take any more defeat! Game 7 of the ALCS was just too brutal (although, in some twisted way I feel better knowing we fought the Redsox better than the Rockies did — geez, 4-0??).

    Alas, I will not be in my wonderful hometown of Cleveland for the finale; but I will be on the phone with la Cave du Vin the minute Symon wins tomorrow night for a tele-shot of Jameson’s. And of course, I already have my dinner plans for Lolita in the works for Thanksgiving break.

    BTW — hope to catch you at Shaker Heights Public Library. Travel safe, and go Cleveland!

  • Tags

    December’s Food & Wine has “The big, easy Christmas” with John Besh on p210.

  • Christie

    As I’ve stated before I’m a big fan of both Symon and Besh, but I’d prefer to see Symon win. Why?

    Because while Besh is enjoyable to watch, Symon makes me really excited about food. Besh is pleasant while Symon makes his food explode on the screen for me. Symon somehow makes me really interested in whatever dish he’s preparing. He takes more risks and usually succeeds in those endeavors.

    But my hunch is that Besh will win. I really think The Food Network wanted Besh all along.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  • Frances

    They really seem to be trying to paint Symon as the bad guy in the promos. They show all these demure glamour shots of Besh and show Symon making threats and standing there in his “smack-down” pose. Hang on a second while I roll my eyes. Oh shit. I think they are stuck that way now.

  • Steve2 in LA

    I’m thinking it’s gonna be Symon.

    Both he and Besh have remarkable cooking skills, personality and elan but Symon “pops”. Now it’s all gonna depend on the judges, how these guys cooked on “the night” and (I suppose ultimately) what the Food Network wants. Michael Symon has that unique combination of skill and persona that translates into his food and presentation.

    I’ll put money on it at this point.

  • bonnibella

    I absolutely love Symon, and I adore his restaurant Lola. If he wins, we’ll probably never see him in Cleveland again…but oh well. He is definitely Iron Chef material in my book.

  • Kay

    I hope the Dinner Impossible guy wins by write-in. That way we can see him and Guy Fellati “rassle” on the floor in a very manly way more often than we already do.

  • Egaeus

    Kay, oh please no. I don’t want to see any more of Guy Fieri (heh, Fellati) than I already do. Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives would be a decent show if it didn’t have a guy pushing 40 acting half his age hosting it. Seriously, when a teenager says, “off the (restraining device)” it’s a teenager being a teenager. When a middle-aged guy says it (in all seriousness), it’s just sad.

    But back to real contestants. I’m personally rooting for Michael Symon. I think that they both have intense passion and cook great food, but I like Michael’s bio better. Local sourcing, organic farming and sustainability all need more attention. Not only is it better for the earth, it’s also better for the taste buds. I jumped on the bandwagon after my first ever trip to California this summer. Eating California produce in Florida is an exercise in desperation. In California, it’s sublime. Now, when I go to the local organic food store and see loads of organic vegetables from all over the world but none from the local area, I want to cry. Even local community supported agriculture is having a hard time not because of the lack of subscribers, but because of the lack of farmers.

  • Ava

    I’m hoping for Andrew Knowlton to take it in a surprise victory. He’s the best part of that show!

  • sailorgrrl07

    Who are the judges for this episode? The dude to the right of Donatella doesn’t have enough hair to be Knowlton. Are we bringing in Moe Rocca as a surprise judge?!

    So I met my friend for dinner tonight at Sea Salt in Berkeley, one of Haig and Cindy Kirkorian’s several fine establishments in the East Bay, and spent a couple glasses of wine catching up and venting over the Cosco Busan (I believe that is Korean for “my *other* left!”) oil spill clusterf*ck. Afterward I figured I’d stop by the Barnes and Nobel in Emeryville to have another go at finding Ruhlman’s new book.

    I scoured the shelves over and over again (how the bloody hell does Robert Irvine have a book out?!) and once again came up empty. I went downstairs to the cash wrap to ask the girl with two Monroe piercings (why did none of her friends stop her?) if they had the book. She screwed up her face at the screen for a bit, then told me yes, there was one copy. Somewhere. In cooking probably. I jutted my jaw and clenched my fists. “Then, it *will* be mine!” I sputtered, and stomped back up the escalator.

    After laboriously dissecting the shelves I finally spotted it. Here’s the thing: the book isn’t red like the photo. It’s orange. Oh: with a SILVER spine. So you can’t just scan the shelves and spot it. I vote the book jacket designer be sent to a Tufte information design seminar.

    Anyway, just thought I’d post it for the folks who still plan to browse for it in a brick and mortar.

    Cheers. Oh yeah: go Symon. I don’t know what I’m gonna do after this show is done, it’s worse than crack.

  • Susan

    I love them both. Besh is hot though. I’d tune in even if all he did was bite into an apple!

  • Thegels

    Both are fabulous and will make great Iron Chefs… can’t they both win it???

    Oh yeah — I had the honor of seeing Anthony Bourdain a few days ago at a book signing in DC. He’s the coolest.

  • Thegels

    Ideally:

    Symon and Besh will become Iron Chefs.

    Flay and Cora would be removed.

    Morimoto and Battali would stay.

    Now THAT is a happy ending…

  • JoP in Omaha

    Thanks to the poster who posted the URL to Symon’s forthcoming blog. That is indeed GREAT news.

    To the poster who said “…..don’t know what I’m gonna do after this show is over, it’s worse than crack.” LOL and very much agreed. For all its faults, FN did a pretty good job with NIC. We all have ideas of how it could have been even better, but on the whole, they captivated many of us with NIC.

    So. It’s Superbowl Sunday, and the NIC marathon this afternoon is the pre-game show. I’ll be there for every minute. FN is even running the time clock to air-time. OMG, I’m so damned nervous I’m about to jump out of my skin.

    Laying awake last night, I inventoried all the signs that point to a Besh win and the signs that point to a Symon win. In the end, the “evidence” is ambiguous, but one little fact makes me dread that a Besh win is the offing (no offense intended Besh. But the truth is I’m firmly in the Symon camp on ths one).

    I can’t stand this tension I’m feeling. I’m gonna go cook. And, either way, I’ll be sad tomorrow when this fun, fun show is over.

  • WhatisCanadianCuisine?

    I’m a little bummed that the show is ending tonight too, but at the same time excited to see new IC battles with the new IC. I’m happy for both Besh and Symon, and I’d be thrilled with whoever wins.

    I’m ALSO hoping there will be a NIC2 someday(or next year)….seeing how FN has pimped out this show quite a bit and milked it for all it’s worth, I doubt that FN will let such a huge hit of a show be a one time deal….

  • artnlit

    Well, it’s official – I have completely lost my mind with all this ‘Next Iron Chef’ stuff. How do I know? I just had a dream that I was at some related event and flirting with Breck Boy Knowlton! Dear God! I’d like to blame it on the late consumption of beer and a bagel before bed, but I dunno. (Actually I have to say that Knowlton seems a bit ok to me now, at least on his blog -much less attitude.) Never the less, the superbowl Sunday analogy noted above fits well. I do hope the episode lives up to the hype (and despite the editing fetish of the Food Network, I’m sure it will.) Besh and Symon competing will be a joy to watch; I wish they both could win. My gut says that it will be Besh though.

  • JoP in Omaha

    Why I like IC and its offspring: I learn stuff. Like in the Paris episode, when the chefs were shopping. I heard ingredients named that were unknown to me, but it went by so fast, I couldn’t tell what they were saying. Last night (watching Paris for FOURTH time!) I finally caught the name of one. Cosentino was looking for “burrata.” I looked it up….cheese made from mozzarella and cream. Ahh….for his cheesesteak. Cool.

  • sheila

    It’s true,NIC IS addictive. I’ll be having withdrawal symptoms tomorrow, but look forward to ICA returning Nov. 18th. To the viewer who finally found Meyer lemons, I know EXACTLY how you feel…….last weekend in my local supermarket (Stop & Shop) here in N.Y. I found Key Limes! I was stunned and absolutely over the moon! You’d swear I found gold. I quickly snatched up 6 bags of them and have been making Key Lime Pies since. What else? Never having made one in my life, I was thrilled to find them delicious. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

  • Happy Consumptive

    Coming to this conversation late, but I can’t be the only one that thought the very likable Symon got his backside handed to him by Morimoto. Morimoto hamming it up and laughing that Symon didn’t deserve to make sushi rice in a kitchen with him was it? Besh and Batali seemed close, even though the ingredient was right in Besh’s wheel house.

    Symon’s mutant ability –everyone has one after all– seems to be making good reads on situations. Cooking rather than warming his salmon with airplane oven, serving a drink with his plate of grilled birds. That knack will serve him less well in a show where the format doesn’t change.

    Based on the recent coverage, I’d say Besh’s mutant ability is entrepreneurial. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s certainly something he has in common with Bobby Flay and Mario Batali.

  • gfweb

    More Besh in the Media. WSJ has a little Besh piece (uhh or was it USA Today?) well one of them. Just read them on a plane.

  • Paul Ritzcovan

    While I respect John Besh immensely after watching this show, I am a huge Symon fan as he has the talent and personality I would like to see in Kitchen Stadium. Somone who can take some fire away from Bobby Flay!

    BOOM!

  • The Professor

    I am going to miss my Sunday night “fix”…I am a Symon fan all the way,also looking forward to all the after-show comments. This is a very nice community here at Ruhlman Cyber City.May the best Chef win !!!!!

  • Shelley

    Two questions: Who has one most of the challenges in NIC so far? (I lost count, but I thought it was Symon.) Also, are they judging “personality” tonight in the finale? I’m assuming they will score them on the usual merits of taste, originality and plating. Highest score wins.

  • CalloohCallay

    CRAAAAP! I just saw a MASSIVE spoiler on the show’s Wiki page!!! (Of course, I am going to watch anyway…heh.)

    Good wishes for safe and fun traveling, Mr. Ruhlman.

  • Shelley

    Let me rephrase question one. Who has WON the most challenges so far?

    (I just hate it when I have a typo.)

  • Michael Burgess

    Being from Cleveland (yet another Michael), I am definitely cheering for Chef Symon, and deep down, I know that you Mr. Ruhlman are as well, fellow Northeastern Ohioan.

  • JB

    I don’t know if this means anything, but a local new orleans magazine that just came out has an ad for one of Besh’s restaurants and it reads “Iron Chef Besh.”

  • Lisa

    Oh no! The dreaded bad omen Kia ad just ran, featuring John Besh. “I got a b-a-d feelin’…”

  • CalloohCallay

    Dlayphoto: I am SO not reading that until after 10. 😉 But I just saw the Besh on a Kia commercial…Hmm…

    Everything looks delicious!

  • Shelley

    Distinct treatments of swordfish — this ain’t gonna be easy! Fingers crossed for Symon…

  • Shelley

    “Five minutes to go.” Already? Damn, I wanted them to show MORE cooking.

  • Shelley

    Okay, now that we know Ruhlman isn’t judging… did he get to TASTE the food in this competition? Will we get his inside take or not?

  • Ian C.

    I think I respect that swordfish more after looking into its eye as it was getting filleted.

    (Non-Iron Chef note: Just saw the ‘Dinner: Impossible’ ad. What the hell did Priscilla Presley do to her face? She looks more like Cruella de Vil.)

  • Lisa

    Speaking of commercials, seeing Rachel Ray with her deviled ham and processed crackers makes me want to hurl. After witnessing Symon and Besh churn out 13 masterpiece dishes in an hour–talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous! Can’t the FN spot the irony?

  • Joe Corey

    How come no warning about worms with swordfish? That’s all my grandmother ever warned me about when I was tempted to order it.

  • Buckethead

    Hey, GJ Symon! How close was the vote? If the difference was one vote, I call bullshit. Thanks.

  • Conor

    No surprise there! But I was wondering if you had any insight, Michael, into how the judges voted vs. how the Iron Chefs voted.

    Also, is this “confirmation” that Symon will be taking Batali’s place?

  • Jim Glover

    Oh crap Paula Dean and Cat Cora versus Tyler Florence and Robert Irvine on a holiday Iron Chef America.

  • Lisa

    Can’t wait for Michael’s debrief on the big finale. Wish the FN had extended this ep to 90 minutes or 2 hours; we saw way too little cooking.

    Symon’s victory was hard earned and well deserved, although I find myself feeling sad for Besh. There’s something quite charming about him, and even a little sweet, despite the cockiness.

    @dlayphoto: As to Rachel Ray’s lack of training–anyone eating, or shilling for, that level of processed food, has the palate of a 4-year-old. She has plenty of money to go to culinary school now–it’s never too late! And some of this world’s top chefs have no formal training at all, so that really shouldn’t be her excuse.

  • Nick

    Symon all the way, baby. He came back from the brink and rose to the challenge brilliantly. And like the judges said, Besh was solid, but never quite rose to the real hieght needed. I’ll take a risktaker as Iron Chef over that any day. Great stuff.

  • JoP in Omaha

    2 or so minutes until THE END.

    What a day. Out of nervousness, I spent it in the kitchen, making a soup. I kept tweaking it, adding this, adding that, taste, taste, taste. Season.

    I have never been this invested in a TV show. NIC started, my heart pounding….which it did throughout. Symon finished presenting, I thought I was gonna faint.

    And now… YEESSSSS!!!!!!! HE DID IT!!!! OMG. AWESOME. TO THE MAX!!!

    What a relief. I can breathe again. This is so great. So many fun and instructinve lessons ahead of us with Symon on ICA. I couldn’t be happier.

    Nice touch having 3 more judges in addition to the 3 we’ve had all along.

    I’ll probably have more to say tomorrow. Now, I gotta go get a drink and try to get my heartbeat back to normal. Awesome. I’ll sleep like a baby tonight–where have I heard that before??!!

  • DannyM

    So, no breakdown of the votes like in every other episode of Iron Chef, and again no mention that Ruhlman is not a partial judge. Symon’s a great guy and a great chef, but when the other Iron Chefs only really enjoyed two/three of Symon’s five dishes and Besh comes out with seven I smell a rat. Particularly when the judges didn’t appear to like Symon’s ravioli nearly as much as Besh’s. Editing, I know, but no score breakdown and partial judging makes me wonder. I’ll still watch iron Chef, but not Symon’s episodes. I call BS.

  • Joy Y

    This show had been hyped as a “winner take all” kitchen stadium showdown. However, the iron chefs seemed to definitely lean towards Besh, which seems to contradict a Symon win tonight. The deliberations brought up all the past challenges which must have counted after all. I’m disappointed that the advertising was misleadng.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Ruhlman….would you do it again if you could? Was the whole experience worth it?

  • Linecook

    Remembering the feelings TPTB have about French cuisine, it’s no surprise that Besh didn’t win. If that didn’t seal it for me, the editing of Symon as the “Aw shucks” guy vs Besh the “arrogant” guy did. I just can’t imagine where the execs got the idea that it’s viewers were idiots. Btw, Mark Ecco? Really?!? Add to that NICA finale getting only 1 hour, after we’d been begging for at least an hour and a half, while the subsequent Rayray vs Giada smackdown gets 1&1/2 hours…

    That said, I can’t be upset with a Symon victory. He’s a very talented, and deserving chef. Enjoy it while it lasts. Listening to Cat Cora lecture him on how to cook should be ample preparation to have his food judged by Mo fucking Rocca, or job for Rayray or Paula.

  • Anonymous

    Is it just me or did Ruhlman vote for Besh? I’m pretty sure I saw him write a capital E on his ballot.

  • Beanie

    Two Iron Chefs that specialize in Greek cuisine? Huh. I guess that they wanted to maintain Batali’s Mediterranean quality. I love Besh and wanted him to win, but Symon is more dynamic and appropriate for the show. Besh’s classic French with a Cajun and American twist would have been a nice addition to the other chefs’ styles, like Sakai of the original show. Now, it’s just more “garlic and olive oil” to quote Besh. Should be fun at least.

  • CalloohCallay

    Dlayphoto: The Wiki information is back already…sheesh.

    Even though I was spoiled, I must admit I still squealed when the portrait was uncovered. Hehehe! Can’t wait until the 18th.

  • JCS

    Ohio State goes down, Browns lose a heart breaker; I have to say that when I wake up tomorrow morning it’ll be with a smile on my face thanks to Mr. Simon… Thanks to MR for a great series and to MS for bringing a championship back to a deserving, devoted and hungry city.

  • Anthony

    i call bullshit…..Besh’s dishes where well prepared and plated…and they looked very tasty….I like both besh and symon, but i feel that besh deserved it more than symon did…

    maybe FN’s thinking is a lil different than my own…because besh has done so much for new orleans..being that i am a louisiana native…but mad congrats to symon for the win..but i’m like everyone else..i’m curious to know the scoring between the iron chefs and the judges….who was biggest favor between the 2 groups…BUT..since besh got screwed, i think Food Network needs to give John Besh his own TV show on FN…

  • dlayphoto

    I’d like to see Symon vs Rayray…Symon would soundly defeat her…then laugh, as today’s PD described it, like a bull goose being molested on a roller coaster.

  • Tom H

    As big a fan of Cleveland as I am, and pleased that Chef Symon won NIC, I just want to congratulate our host here, Michael Ruhlman, for what I consider as an exceptional production and great performance as a judge for a cooking-based series. Thank you and your colleagues very much for helping to improve the quality of food-themed television, which to me had been going downhill.

    I salute you for your work, especially your writing, and the attention you’ve brought to culinary excellence on the North coast.

    Sorry I couldn’t thank you in person during your visit to Atlanta Friday. No way to get to your book signing from my office by 6, given the traffic here.

    Thank you.

    BuzzDraft/Tom H.

  • LauraTheRed

    Let’s hear it for Team Symon! Woooo!

    I’m glad to see someone from my home turf putting his stamp on the Iron Chef beast. I haven’t managed to get to Lola’s or Lolita’s since he entered the battle, but I can bet any kind of money that it’s a 3 hour wait for a table now :-)

  • LFL

    Gotta agree with JoP. I’d read that Symon won weeks ago so I assumed I wouldn’t be surprised at the outcome. However, it seemed pretty ridiculous given the comments tonight on Symon’s food from the other chefs. Sorry, but the manipulation was palpable and I think this cinches my evolving disinterest in the show.

  • dagwood

    Maybe my thinking is a little off because I *so* wanted Symon to win, but I was pretty clear that the judges (i.e. the Iron Chefs) were harder on Besh than on Symon. I went into tonight thinking Besh would win, and only got my hopes up after the tastings.

    Although, I could have done without Cora’s constant “an iron chef does this” and “an iron chef does that.” I love her and all, but seriously? she hardly ever competes and is lucky she’s there at all. As a female culinarian I tend to root for her, but I think there are much more talented women out there that could take her place (although I hate even saying that because it plays into the “token female” thing)

  • Sara

    Why is there only one Iron Chef in the Thanksgiving Iron Chef this year? I didn’t even realize until now that Robert Irving isn’t an IC (I don’t know why, maybe because I was distracted by suprised joy at the end of the episode) — so only Paula gets one? Is that their way of saying Paula’s a slow cook who needs extra help? I mean, really… it’s going to be hilarious and you all know it.

    A hearty WHOOHOO! to Symon. I think I was pretty convinced Besh was going to take it, but I was very happily surprised to see Symon’s face. Clearly they are both incredible chefs, and in some ways Besh is better than Symon is. I just can’t help but think that it’s Symon who I really want to see on TV every week — he’s funny, engaging, and he seems to have very little ego. It’s refreshing, I like him a lot. And now I get to see him cook all the time! Hooray!

  • Thegels

    Congrats Chef Symon! He’s great. And Besh is great too, but only one could win. Chef Symon will make an awesome IC.

    Why is Cat Cora an Iron Chef anyway? I have NEVER been impressed by her work.

    Also — would love to see some episodes of the original Iron Chef again…

  • artnlit

    Congrats to Symon! Up until this episode, I was pretty convinced that Besh would win. However, upon hearing the judges (and I mean ALL of them) explain the multiple rationale of their ultimate decisions, as well as watching the actual creation and presentation of dishes, I could see and feel the shift to Symon. It was close, but he did show the most improvement, has a bit more enthusiasm and personality than Besh, and expressed his confidence without coming across as seemingly arrogant (which Besh did, inadvertently, by rushing the final dessert out.) And so my friends, we welcome Iron Chef Symon to the ranks! It’s been a fun ride…
    A few other points: I did miss the exchange between our regular three judges. Perhaps Donatella and Breck Boy could pop in here every once in a while to verbally spank each other with referee Ruhlman?? Also, the Rachel Ray ads that played during the show – oh, the humanity! Bleech! Did anyone stick around for the Iron Chef rerun special afterwards that her pared up with Batali? What is this, RR night?? I need to go watch some Bourdain and read some Ruhlman…cheers, all!