What an awful show last night’s new episode of Iron Chef America was. I’ll admit, I was distracted watching ‘Mad Men’, too, at the same time. That was a pretty good episode! But Iron Chef was a real stinker. Chef Naomi Pomperoy challenged the newest Iron Chef, Jose Garces. Yawn! The secret ingredient was truffle. The judges for the evening were Chef Jose Andres, Karine Bakhoum and Jeffrey Chodorow.

circa 1800:  An illustration of edible fungi, including, clockwise, the chantrelle, the milk agaric, the truffle, the mushroom, the spinebearing  mushroom, the edible bolete, the scaly mushroom, the morel, the yellow clavaria and the honey mushroom.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

With a line up of judges like that, and with such an expensive ingredient, one would have thought we would see a more interesting battle in Kitchen Stadium. But we didn’t. I’m not a fan of Jose Garces. I watched his ascent during the competition “Next Iron Chef America”. He did not impress me very much. Two others probably should have won.

Perhaps the real issue is whether the Food Network is going to realize that too many Iron Chefs spoil the soup? We can understand how Bobby Flay and Masaharu Moimoto made it to their positions. Mario Batali, who’s no longer there, is another chef who made a real mark in the culinary arts. Cat Cora’s good, but is she really in the same class as the others? Don’t even get me started about Michael Symon. He’s another who has no business being an Iron Chef.

I’m not even going to go into the individual dishes both chefs conjured up last night. Why bother? The judges did not seem too thrilled about them. Karine Bakhoum really blasted both chefs during the tasting of their dishes.

Let’s face facts, truffles are a fungus, like mushrooms and Lady Gaga. They are really kind of pointless except for the mild texture and earthiness they ‘MIGHT’ add, if added well to a dish. More often than not, high-cuisine types think by adding some truffle shavings to any dish makes it gourmet. BUZZ! WRONG!

Jose Garces won last night. The judges gave him 40 out of a possible 60 points. That’s 2/3rds, the equivalent of a C- or a D+ in school. Chef Naomi Pomperoy scored only 37 points, earning 22/7/8 for flavor, plating and originality to Garces’ 19/10/11. Not really good numbers at all. Thousands of dollars worth of truffles were essentially wasted last night.