SoCo’s Pork Princess on the Next Iron Chef

Estes gets intense in the first round of the Food Network chef competition

Duskie, is that you?

UPDATE: Duskie made it through to next week. Stay tuned.
Despite the mega-watt grin, makeup and pigtails, Duskie Estes isn’t a chef to be messed with. Which is exactly what Alton Brown and her fellow contestants find out on the premiere of The Next Iron Chef (Food Network, Sunday @ 8pm). Oh, boy do they find out.
After screening the premiere (minus the elimination), let’s just say Duskie made a serious impression. There are some roller-coaster highs and lows for the SoCo chef, but I’m putting my money on Duskie making it through to the next round.
Her pigs will never forgive her if she doesn’t.
We can’t tell you everything, but we can say that a whole suckling pig, a large cleaver, homemade sausage and lots of sand were involved. There were also some tense moments with Mr. Brown and her fellow chefs.
“I’m very competitive” she said while cooking up a harvest luncheon yesterday at Michel-Schlumberger. Duskie’s keeping mum on the details (spilling anything has major legal ramifications) and Estes said that even her husband doesn’t know the outcome. The usually mellow Estes said she worried a bit about how she’d come off after having a pointed exchange with host Alton Brown, but hey, the camera adds few extra pounds of, uh, intensity to us all, right?
The real sourpuss of the show, however, is lemon-faced judge Donatella Arpaia. You just want to hate her for tirelessly kvetching about her “palate”, making all sorts of dramatic coughing and gagging, being “bored” with the food and generally having anything to do with the show. Can we vote her off?
Estes will be screening the show on Sunday at Zazu as a benefit for the Ceres project and no doubt telling a few pre-approved anecdotes about her time on-set for the show. Just don’t ask her about the pineapple.

Zazu restaurant + farm hosts dinner and a showing of the premiere of The Next Iron chef (featuring Duskie, natch) this Sunday at 5:30pm. All proceeds go to the Ceres Project. $97 for dinner, wine & viewing, $39 for wine, viewing and popcorn at 8pm. 3535 Guerneville Rd, Santa Rosa, 523-4814.


5 thoughts on “SoCo’s Pork Princess on the Next Iron Chef

  1. I thought she did the right thing. You are always supposed to vote for yourself especially if you thought yours was the best. Several of the others agreed with her and said hers was the best …
    this is about winning regardless of the ridiculous speech about character being an issue.
    This is a semi-rigged reality show. She got worked over in the mac/cheese challenge so she probably knew what to expect from these bozos
    I say – she is there to win and bring it on!

  2. hubris can come off self serving — she shouldn’t have voted for herself — all she did is make herself look insecure and obnoxious.

    1. I would agree if I didn’t know Duskie. It came off like the producers wanted it to come off. I think they are definitely positioning her to be a lighting rod kind of character. She’s a very strong, competitive, honest person which, IRL is tempered by her humor and warmth.
      I will say that I watched the season preview loop really closely and saw her running in the “Fair Food” competition, so I assume she makes it that far — but what episode that is, I don’t know.

      1. Heather, the problem is I know her and I didn’t like the way she came off — turns out a lot of people didn’t like the way she acted on the show — wait–maybe that’s it — all an act!

  3. I have found that a great many locals are thrilled to have Duskie competing to be the next IC. The first episode was certainly a thrilling up and down ride for her. We are proud of her and wish her the best of luck–we will be watching intently.
    John M
    PS: What WAS up with that pork-and-pineapple on a stick?

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