Chefs shouldn’t be afraid of ICAG anymore

Over the years, Alex Guarnaschelli has become one of the most respected and admired chefs to ever turn on an induction hob. She has been considered one of the best chefs of her generation thanks to her creations at the restaurant Butter in New York before she appeared on Iron Chef America in 2007 and the rest of the world fell in love with her.

After appearing on many shows online, she finally became the Iron Chef, a title many say she was destined for, on her second try. The Next Iron Chef Season 5. After that victory, her reputation as one of the most feared chefs in culinary competitions in the world began to take shape.

Later it was Guy Fieri gave her the nickname ICAG and helped build the reputation that has shaped Guarnaschelli on the Food Network. It’s a food assassin that doesn’t take prisoners and can defeat all who come without breaking a sweat.

However, that dreaded notoriety has had some recent hits. So much so that chefs have found that ICAG is pretty easy to beat. In fact, in retrospect, it’s safe to say that the entire ICAG image could have been more of a flashy style than it really is.

Alex Guarnaschelli doesn’t win as many as people think.

First of all, it took Guarnaschelli twice to win the Iron Chef title, being eliminated in the penultimate episode of the series. The Next Iron Chef Season 4. Then there’s the fact that she won the title, which is a bit different than winning it like Cat Cora or Bobby Flay.

Then when you look at Guarnaschelli’s record on Iron Chef America, she is 7-4 in 11 battles at Kitchen Stadium. That translates to a win percentage of 63.3%, and when compared to the other Iron Chefs’ records, it puts her at the bottom of the rankings.

And of course what happened in the first season of Tournament of Champions. Guarnaschelli featured in this series as the 1st seed and was the favorite to win the entire tournament. Instead, she was sent home in the first round by Darnell Ferguson to the shock and disappointment of many of her fans.

Guarnaschelli has opted out Tournament of Champions II and some (myself included) think maybe it has something to do with ego. Due to the show’s truly blind tasting judge format, her reputation doesn’t play a big part in whether she wins or loses. To be honest, a lot of her fans won because she is ICAG, not because she cooks a better dish.

Now it has been revealed that Guarnaschelli will not compete on the Tournament of Champions III instead be part of a rotating jury. Am I the only one who thinks that’s a bit odd? Would someone as competitive as Alex Guarnaschelli, the fearsome ICAG, want to prove once and for all that what happened in Season 1 was a fluke?

It’s even weirder when you consider that she’s working on the series Alex vs America and is still cooking competitively. Of course, there she has more control than there Tournament of Champions, which seems to make all the difference when it comes to agreeing to compete.

When you put it all together, it’s hard not to conclude that the scariest and scariest chef on culinary television might not be Alex Guarnaschelli anymore. Is she still one of the best chefs to ever chop garlic? No doubt. But will the other chefs tremble when she steps into the kitchen? Those days may be over.

What do you think about Guilty Eaters? Do you still think Alex Guarnaschelli deserves her fearsome reputation? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the chat above Twitter and Facebook pages. Chefs shouldn’t be afraid of ICAG anymore

Charles Jones

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