Duskie Estes, chef/owner of the Zazu restaurant + farm in Santa Rosa, has thrown down the gauntlet once again in her quest to become the Food Network’s “Next Iron Chef.”

     Estes is vying to be a competitor on “Next Iron Chef: Redemption,” which premieres  at 9 p.m. Nov. 4 on the Food Network .  The fifth installment of the series  is hosted by Alton Brown and showcases a raft of acclaimed chefs who are returning  for a second chance to become a member of the Iron Chef culinary society.

    Estes must go mano-a-mano with  other chefs to win the final slot for Season 5. The last time she competed was in Season 3 of “The Next Iron Chef,” when she was eliminated during a State Fair food challenge.

     You can watch Estes’ efforts on your computer during a web-exclusive “Road to Redemption”  episode this Friday night, Oct. 19,  when she goes up against  Robert Trevino of Budatai in Puerto Rico. The winner of that episode will face off against Iron Chef America challenger Lee Anne Wong on Oct. 26, to win the final slot.

   “I am ready to rumble,” she said. ” Our girls played  ‘The Next Iron Chef’  game with me to get me prepared. They made me wear roller blades and then traverse our porch and backyard to cook. They played Donatella judging me and Alton Brown annoying me. It is time for someone from the West Coast and for a woman to be an Iron Chef.”

    Competitors already confirmed on the show include chefs Nate Appleman  and Amanda Freitag of “Chopped,” Eric Greenspan of  The Roof on Wilshire in Los Angeles, Jehangir Mehta of Griffiti in New York, Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake and Orson in San Francisco,  Alex Guarnaschelli of “Chopped,” Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, D.C., Tim Love of The Lonesome Dove in Fort Worth and Marcel Vigneron of The Coop in Los Angeles.

    The “Road to Redemption” web-episodes can be watched at foodnetwork.com.  Meanwhile, local fans can  high-five  Estes for her competitive spirit during one of the  Monday night Farm Suppers at Zazu this month, featuring three courses for $39. For more information, go to zazurestaurant.com. 3535 Guerneville Rd. 523-4814.


Duskie Estes, left, with husband John Stewart

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