Even Plastic Wrap Can't Tangle Symon's Quest to be the Next Iron Chef

It was SRO last night at Lolita, as scores of fans and foodies gathered to watch Michael Symon beat the lederhosen off the competition, in episode number four (of six) of the Next Iron Chef. Filmed inside hanger #4 at the Munich Airport, the episode was nail-biter, as Symon and his three remaining challengers did their best to “conceive and implement the ultimate first-class meal” for passengers who will be flying onboard Lufthansa’s new Aerobus a380. While Symon’s three-course creation (tuna crudo in lemon vinaigrette; curry-crusted venison on parsnip puree; and slow-roasted salmon on creamed leeks and chanterelles) was the unanimous winner, the truest contest was arguably Symon’s fierce battle with a roll of plastic wrap – a death match that not only resonates in the soul of any home cook, but also resulted in him getting bleeped a record three times before wrestling that sucka into submission. But when the panel of judges declared our boy the winner, the cheers and clapping could have been heard all the way to Public Square. Now, only three chefs remain: Symon, SF chef Chris Consentino, and New Orleans’ hotshot (and, most likely, Symon’s final competitor) John Besh. The winner will be revealed during the series’ finale on Sunday Nov. 11, at 9 p.m. Among the panel of three judges, preppy Clevelander Michael Ruhlman (chef, food authority, and author of a dozen books, including The French Laundry Cookbook and Soul of a Chef) is almost as much fun to watch as Symon, even if he never gets bleeped. For Ruhlman’s always engaging perspective on the proceedings (often augmented by input from his buddy, Tony Bourdain), check out his blog. Meantime, fans who want to watch the final two episodes of the show with Symon and his crew at Lolita would be wise to snag reservations ASAP. --- Elaine T. Cicora
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