On Sunday, November 22, the Kitchen Stadium was filled with smoke and tension as two chefs, one with great technique and the other with huge creativity, battled it out for the title.
The Chairman declared that "The Next Iron Chef" of season 2 is Jose Garces. The executive chef from Philadelphia entered the final battle against chef Jehangir Mehta and came out victorious. His technique in cooking played a huge role in his victory because it triumphed over Mehta's praised creativity.
The secret ingredients of the finale were racks and ribs such as pork baby back, spare, beef short and country. The finalists had to make five dishes that best represent America's melting pot while still being creative. Garces created buffalo rib steak au poivre; Mexican-style braised carnitas taco; Pork loin with herbs; Spanish pizza with beef short ribs; and Baby back ribs with spicy BBQ sauce.
Overall, the judges graded Garces' dish as "safe" and "monotonous" but Mehta's presentation was not exactly a delight either. Mehta's burger and French fries unfortunately were still raw and immediately turned off the judges. Chef Michael Symon who is the winner of the first season uttered, "If you're creative and you fail, are you creative? Or are you a failure?"
After considering that Mehta should have concentrated on a dish instead of trying to do everything at the same time and Garces should have come out of the box, the judging panel decided that it was a win for Garces.
"It's a huge risk to go on the show and possibly be eliminated early ...or be displayed in a negative light," Garces told the Los Angeles Times. "But [if you win] it brings a lot of prestige, it's an honor and a privilege to be an 'Iron Chef.' ...It's very good for business as well, let's be honest. I have six restaurants, so having that title would be great."
Jose Garces told reporters that he was considering to open a new restaurant in New York City. "If I do anything, it will be an Amada," he revealed the name of his potential restaurant.