Elizabeth Falkner, Geoffrey Zakarian
It's an East Coast-West Coast battle when Chefs Elizabeth Falkner and Geoffrey Zakarian go head to head to determine who wins the fourth season of The Next Iron Chef on Sunday (9/8c, Food Network).
But it's not just a new post in Kitchen Stadium that's at stake. This season's competition was all about the Super Chefs, and the new Iron Chef will get those bragging rights as well. (Perhaps even a cape?) The competition began with 10 such culinary giants, and now that it's down to the final two, let's see how they stack up:
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Elizabeth Falkner - Coming into the competition, this San Francisco chef was an underdog because of her pastry background. One mustn't forget that besides working as the executive pastry chef of Citizen Cake, she's also the executive chef at Orson... so this lady knows her sweet and her savory. It doesn't hurt that her cake designs have nurtured her creativity. In the competition, she won two challenges: the Movie Theater Food challenge using malt balls (Ingenuity) and the Food Auction challenge using tuna jerky (Risk). She did falter twice, however, sending her to the Secret Ingredient Showdown, but she triumphed each time: first with bagels and then with town house crackers and Entwine wine.
Geoffrey Zakarian - This New Yorker knew what he was getting into having battled on Iron Chef: America previously and serving as a judge regularly on Chopped. Throughout the competition he's been almost mulishly stubborn about his culinary point of view to the point of ignoring the judges' preferences and advice, but his integrity got him to the finals. He won two challenges: the Heat and Meat challenge (Resourcefulness) and the Hamptons Beach Cookout (Passion). He's also won two Showdowns. We're not sure, but those pink Hello Kitty bandages he wears for good luck might also give him an edge.