Unlike reviewer skaizun I knew who the winner was soon after the second episode aired when Zakarian who failed to even DO the challenge correctly was allowed to continue. Time after time he either failed to do a challenge or had bad food and should have been eliminated LONG before this ep.
But I have known since then that he either cheated, paid people off, called in favors or all of the above. NO WAY he won based on skill alone! Nice thing he's teaching his children 'Kids if you can't win based on skill then do like your old man here did. Cheat, call in favors and pay people off. It's the best way to get ahead!'
Another reason you know he cheated his way to the win is how convenient that the next season was a REDEMPTION! Anyone previously eliminated and wanted to can get a second chance! So it was like 'Yeah so I cheated these people out of the win by cheating so let's give them a second chance and do a redemption show next
So yeah I will never believe he won based on skill and cringe when they call this cheater an IRON CHEF! True Iron chef's don't need to cheat to win!
Both Chef Zakarian and Chef Falkner have proven themselves worthy of the Super Chef title by making it to the final round. This year both chefs compete in Kitchen Stadium with a Holiday Battle consisting of many festive ingredients. While things heated up in the kitchen, the eliminated chefs from earlier in the season were on hand to critique and root on their colleagues. The chairman kept things interesting throughout the battle by adding in new challenges and rewards throughout the battle. In the end a panel of Iron Chef judges and current Iron Chefs decide who will be the next Iron Chef!
I'll let people watch the show to see the winner, but in the end only one chef can reign supreme. Great finale and a fun season!
The Xmas-based challenge for this season's finale went along pretty much as expected, until the winner was announced.
Chefs Zakarian (regular judge on "Chopped") and Falkner (regular contestant) were the two finalists from the original ten, mostly artificially created (with no preservatives added) Food Network celebrities.
I haven't followed the series, but, in this final episode which I deigned to watch, according to the ongoing blather about the two during this episode, Zakarian "cheated" in some way, not once, but MANY times during it. They even showed a clip of him being admonished. Okay. Fine. So, basically, the very thing that got Jacques Torres kicked-off of "Chopped" was the very thing that kept Zakarian in??? (and, irony of ironies, Zakarian was a judge during Torres' appearance) Hmmm . . . something smells fishy, here . . . and it ain't comin' from the stew pots! Meanwhile, spike-haired Falkner was frequently lauded for her continuing to exceed her seeming limitations as a pastry chef. Based only on this paragraph, who do YOU think should have won? Never mind. Your opinion doesn't matter (sort of like "American Idol (get away from me-eee)").
No matter what they threw at the chefs (there were three rather non-surprising "surprises" awaiting them during the course (pun intended) of the show), they were more than up to the task in the one hour cook-off (compressed for time in a dutch oven).
During the judging, Falkner was praised for her culinary skills, presentation, and, of course, her food. She delivered unique presentations and very tasty foods, with nary a negative word being heard. Zakarian, however, presented what, to me, at least, was either dull-looking, unimaginative, and/or cutesy-wutesy (wrapping small, squared-off potatoes in seaweed, or something, to make them look like tiny "gifts"; I was genuinely stunned that the judges actually thought that was a great touch). He got "slammed" (if you can call it that) three times about the taste of his food, particularly the entree (all three negative comments were accompanied by a relevant musical chord of dismay, so the viewer would know when the bad stuff hit the pan). Still think you know who won?
Well, I won't keep you in suspension (!) any longer!
Zakarian won, of course!
WHAT?!?! You actually think the BETTER chef should have won??? Obviously, you don't know ANYthing about cooking! And, apparently, neither do I.
Never mind that I can't stand Alton Brown in this role (I barely tolerated him in his "Good Eats" show).
Never mind that, during the regular shows, the Iron Chef seldom loses (I'd like to see the judges brought in without knowing who made what, sort of like Bobby Flay's "Throwdown" show, in which he is frequently bested in the blind judging; not that I care for him, either, but, at least the show is honest).
But I do mind when the worse competitor is rewarded. What a great lesson for all the budding young chefs, out there.
Clearly, the artificially-flavored fix was in.
Needless to say, this was the last time I'll watch any "Iron Chef" show.
P.S. In case you think I'm being insanely logical about this and/or don't know anything about cooking, you're absolutely right! During high school, I worked a summer as a chef's aide at a posh catering place in Long Island, NY. This was a decade before cable TV and personal computers, much less microwave ovens, so, granted, my internship was extremely limited to cooking basic, simple, good food, rather than the ultra-sophisticated, umami- (whose mommy?) based, ultra-expensive utensil-laden, banquets of today. I have also worked in soup kitchens, food warehouses, and am a bachelor (which explains my low-grade cooking skills!). Wait . . . did I say you were as right as "The Next Iron Chef" judges? ;)