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"Our ultimate competition is with ourselves. That is what my uncle told me when I would visit him as a young boy... My uncle, the man the world knows as Kaga the Chairman, has decided that although America is a young country, we now possess the proper palate to host our own Iron Chef competition, an American celebration of the world's high art of cuisine."

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN


Host ("The Chairman"):
Mark Dacascos
Culinary Commentator: Alton Brown
Iron Chefs: Mario Batali, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto
Kitchen Reporter: Kevin Brauch
Creator: Keiichi Tanaka (based upon "Ryori no Tetsujin/Iron Chef")
EP: Steve Kroopnick
Origin: Food Network Studios, New York City
Packager: Triage Entertainment and Fuji TV for Food Network
Airs: Sundays at 9p ET on Food Network

Copyright Statement

No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. No challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

"Perry-Lang vs. Flay: Battle Chicken" - July 24

Editor's Note: What follows is a televised-move-by-televised-move recap. Because a sixty-minute battle, intro, and judgment has to be edited into 45 minutes of airtime, not every move will be shown.

The Challenger: Adam Perry-Lang, who started as a student at the Culinary Institute of America, only to end up as a barbecue pit boss in New Mexico. He draws the resident master of all things BBQ, the head chef of Manhattan's Mesa Grill and the de facto leader of the Iron Chefs, Bobby Flay. Gentlemen... prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Brian Ray & Dan Mihalko, sous-chefs
Paul Eschbach & Joshua ?, sous-chefs
22 years EXPERIENCE 16 years
Southwestern COOKING STYLE Barbeque
5-2 BATTLE RECORD Challenger

The Theme Ingredient: a hell of a lot of chicken fryers.

The Rules: Each chef must create a five-course meal, with each course utilizing the theme ingredient, within 60 minutes. The judges will score the dishes on a 20-point scale: 10 points taste, 5 points plating and presentation, 5 points creativity and use of ingredient. The chef who best articulates the theme ingredient through his dishes wins.

And now, with an full heart and an empty stomach, the words of the Chairman's dear uncle.... "Allez cuisine!"

The Battle: Chicken is pretty much a blank culinary slate, so it will come down to the skill of the two chefs. Both chefs begin by disassembling chickens, but Iron Chef Flay starts by lighting the place on fire. Yeah, Kaga's gonna really rip into him for that. Souschef Brian mixes mangoes and habaneros. Souschef Paul is taking skin off.

Initial thoughts: Perry-Lang: "Sure I'm nervous, but I'm focused on doing the best that I can." Flay: "We have some of the same sensibilities about food. Big flavors, barbeque flavors, smoky flavors. I think it should be a really interesting battle." So both know that the other guy knows that chicken counts. Flay is searing thighs, while Perry-Lang has a cordless drill, a cordless knife, and a giant ravioli mode. With the drill, Perry-Lang fastens some pork belly. For what, probably roasting? His board is split because of lack of a pilot board. And if you know what I'm talking about, then you're a better chef than I am. Sous chef Dan is working on serrano ham and manchego cheese. Is it for ham & cheese? They're wrapped and ready to stuff into chicken breast. Cordon bleu?

Meanwhile, the pork belly goes into a pressure cooker on the challenger's side. Brian breaks out the secret weapon: the 16-spice sauce. Think of it as the American answer to Michiba's broth of vigor. the challenger is working some ravioli in his mold, while Iron Chef Flay is making his own BBQ sauce. Perry Lang is preparing to smoke some chicken. Flay is seasoning and poaching chicken in stock. "Fifteen minutes have elapsed." That means it's time to meet the judges as Joshua sautees collard greens. Yum if you're from the South. Like Alton. The legs & thighs on Flay's side are now in the oven. Now to the judges...

Tonight's Judges:
Writer/Oprah Winfrey's personal chef Art Smith ("Back to the Table")
Author Victoria Abbott Riccardi ("Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto")
Media gadfly Mo Rocca ("Today"/"Best Week Ever")

Back to Battle: the organs of the chickens are being pureed on the challenger's side, as the IC breaks out uni. The IC can't open a can of coconut milk. He goes to a knife to liberate the precious juice. Doesn't happen, going to smaller cans. Meanwhile the challenger is working on drummettes. The challenger is adding truffles, chicken and collard greens into a cryovac. What's a cryovac? Well, it's a sous vide, which means "under vacuum".

Let's go the judges. Victoria thinks that it's interesting. Art loves Flay's bold flavors. And Mo? "This is taking a while, can we get some bread while we're waiting?" There's your bread... crumbs. The drummettes are going to be deep-fried. Brian, meanwhile, is making a saffron vinaigrette, while Perry-Lang is continuing with his ravioli with chicken livers. And whole egg yolks.

Chicken breasts, smoked and seared, are out all over the place. Flay is using New Jersey basil, which will make Iron Editor Gordon happy. More serrano ham and basil are being deep-fried. Paul is making a sauce out of pineapple. The breasts on Flay's side are getting the 16-spice treatment, while the raviolis are begin assembled. And here's the voice again... "Thirty minutes have elapsed."

Fresh corn is cut on Flay's side, while Perry Lang has blanched ravioli. Both fryers are going on both sides. Perry-Lang, meanwhile has foamed milk on. What role will that play? The IC's biscuits are out. After all, what is a fried chicken dish without biscuits? The challenger has seared breasts while Joshua is working on blood oranges. They're going with the sous-vide.

IC Flay is roasting lemons. Challenger is whisking eggs, flour, honey, and creamed corn for a batter. "Twenty minutes to go." The BBQ chicken is out on Flay's side, while pecans and molasses are coating Perry-Lang's breasts, while he makes his OWN barbeque sauce. The smoked chicken go into the oven now.

The challenger is using pastry rings for fritters of some sort. And IC Flay is cracking coconuts with his head. "Fifteen minutes to go." The sous-vide is now done. The ravioli is being fried. The IC's coconuts are going to be used as presentation. Looks like they're going with a red curry sauce. The butter lettuce as a serving device. Meanwhile, the screwed pork belly has survived the pressure cooker, the salamander, the deep fryer, and the oven, not in that order. And the challenger has a syringe on the floor for flavor injection, not phlebotomy. They're going into a chicken on a skewer. Just over five left. Flay is plating. Perry-Lang is plating. The IC looks like he's deconstructing a salad, something he did in the Millennium Battle in Japan. The challenger is getting frantic. The Iron Chef is plating bit by bit, no stress there. The pork belly is getting ready to be dismounted with... "One minute to go." Looks like the challenger is in a bit of trouble, but the Iron Chef is cruising to the finish. It looks like all of his dishes are done. "Thirty seconds to go." Meanwhile, the challenger's side is really hustling, will his dishes be ready on time? Yes!

"Five second... three... two.. one... Time's up!" The cooking's done, Battle Chicken is over! Time to judge.

Judgment (Perry-Lang): "I wanted to come at it from a lot of different angles. I wanted to start subtle, then work toward more aggressive flavors." Dishes: Sous-vide Cooked Chicken, Chicken Liver Raviolo, Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast with Pork Belly, Chiang Mai Chicken Wing & Thigh, Honey Chimayo Glazed Chicken.

Judgment (Flay): "I find chicken actually a very tough secret ingredient, but it's actually a canvas for a variety of flavors." Dishes: Pulled BBQ Chicken, 16-Spice Grilled Chicken in Mango Sauce, Stuffed Chicken Breast, Blue Corn Fried Chicken, Pan Roasted Chicken with Red Curry.

Two different approaches, two different levels of originality. Same barbeque. This was a dead even match to call. Whose cuisine reigns supreme? The verdict...

Taste 23 23
Plating 11 13
Originality 14 13

...Iron Chef Bobby Flay. Final score: 49-48. Taste and originality were dead heats. The presentation is where the Iron Chef achieves his margin of victory. Will Adam Perry Lang be ready for a rematch? Only time will tell. Until next time, I bid you good eating.

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