Alex Guarnaschelli wins 'The Next Iron Chef' season 5

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Having beaten out seven other high-end chefs for the honor, Alex Guarnaschelli was chosen as the winner of "The Next Iron Chef: Redemption." The chef managed to beat Amanda Freitag and Nate Appleman to take the title in the season 5 finals.

So how did she win?

Chairman's Challenge

The chefs had to create a "Last Supper" menu incorporating one of the following ingredients:

  • Farm Chicken (Chef Freitag)
  • Haddock (Chef Appleman)
  • Sea Urchin (Chef Guarnaschelli)

Nate Appleman presented poached haddock and clam chowder. The judges called parts of his dish "absolutely perfect" and said that his haddock changed their mind about it being boring.

Amanda Freitag gave the judges a lusty lemon-roasted chicken. "Wow wow wow wow wow..." was only part of the praise she got for the dish. It was called "one of the best dishes of the competition."

Alex Guarnaschelli presented sea urchin custard with corn, brussel sprouts and sun-chokes. There was foam on it.

Chef Freitag was the first told she was making the finale. Despite some criticism about acidity, Chef Guarnaschelli followed to Kitchen Stadium. Chef Appleman was sent home.


Kitchen Stadium

The final challenge's ingredients for "Respect" include Southwestern ingredients, Mediterranean ingredients and the ingredients in standard Japanese cooking. Two ingredients from each area were needed for the three dishes.

  • Alex Guarnaschelli started with scallops with hen-of-the-wood mushrooms.
  • She followed with lamb loin with fennel, olives and eggplant.
  • The final dish was a cherry tart with pasilla and lime.

  • Amanda Freitag's first dish was feta burratta caprese.
  • Her second dish was lamb loin with charred eggplant yogurt and chermoula.
  • For the third dish, Freitag served a brown sugar corncake with miso honey ice cream, blueberry ginger compote.

Best quote in response to food: "If baba ganoush wore Chanel, this is what it would be like."

Thanks in large part to timid seasoning in her first dish, Amanda Freitag fell short and Alex Guarnaschelli was declared the winner of the competition. It seemed to be a close match when the judges discussed the merits. Chef Guarnaschelli just came out slightly ahead in the end.

And Alex Guarnaschelli is the chef who got full redemption and won "The Next Iron Chef" season 5.

Do you think she the right choice? Who should have won?

Photo/Video credit: Food Network