In the season finale of the Next Iron Chef, Marc Forgione defeated Marco Canora in the "Ultimate Thanksgiving Feast." The challenge — a normal Iron Chef-style battle in Kitchen Stadium — was to honor the "classic American culinary tradition." The secret ingredients: White Peking duck (that needed to be plucked), heritage turkeys, Maine lobster, and venison.
Canora took the challenge literally, which meant turkey and cranberry sauce: "clean, simple, pure," he said. Forgione made the bold step of going non-traditional and ignoring the turkey, citing history and rationalizing that "at the first Thanksgiving, there was no turkey served to the Native Americans or to the settlers."
Said Canora, "I think not serving turkey would be a slap in the face of honor and tradition." You know what else they didn't have in the 1600s? Blowtorches to burn wood chips. Or ice cream machines powered by electricity. Which Forgione gladly used. No matter, this is all minor historical nitpicking! The judges clearly preferred Forgione's Thanksgiving feast.
Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Masaharu Morimoto joined the regular judges Simon Majumdar, Michael Symon, and Donatella Arpaia at the judges table. No final score was given, but Marc Forgione was declared the winner and the next Iron Chef.
"I came and I conquered... It's insane this club I just got accepted into. My father, Larry Forgione, is very proud of me today," said Forgione. Next week he battles Washington, DC chef R.J. Cooper.
Forgione is the chef/owner of the eponymous Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York City. The restaurant recently received a two-star New York Times review. Last month, he was awarded a Michelin star, and, according to his website, he's "the youngest American-born chef/owner to receive the honor."
Video: Marco Canora's Dishes
Video: Marc Forgione's Dishes
Video: The Judges
Video: The Decision
· Forgione and Canora on the Finale, Talking Trash, and Comedy B-Roll [-E-]
· All Marc Forgione Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Marco Canora Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Next Iron Chef Coverage on Eater [-E-]