aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Finally backed a winner

My track record of rooting for Next Iron Chef contestants hasn't been very good. In the first such contest, I backed John Besh over Mike Symon. I have since found Symon to be probably my favorite Iron Chef to watch, but at the time I thought Besh cooked more interesting food and was a nicer guy. Which sets up the whole question about food vs. personality that I find intrudes itself in these foodie reality shows. Do you back the food or back the cook?

Anyway, last year I was rooting for Jehangir Mehta. I thought he was the most versatile in his cooking, the most engaging in his personality, the one who brought something really different to Kitchen Stadium. I did not like -- and still do not like -- Jose Garces. In the last couple of Next Iron Chef episodes, Garces ran down Mehta time and again, and I got tired of it. If you can't talk up your own food, at least don't talk down somebody else's. I don't enjoy watching Garces even now.

A few weeks ago, I was already tired of Marco Canora. He whined and weaseled and tried to game the contests too much. He was obviously the most consistent chef in what he cooked, but also the most predictably off-putting as an on-air personality. So I was rooting for Marc Forgione tonight. He would have to put together an error-free meal and Canora would have to stumble a bit in order to win, I thought.

And both chefs did just that. I look forward to seeing Forgione finding his sea legs on the good ship Iron Chef America.

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