"Flay vs. MacMillan:
Battle American Kobe Beef" - March 5
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
starting at age 15 as a cook, our challenger has cooked
in kitchens from Boca Raton to Santa Monica. He
currently heads the kitchen at Elements at Sanctuary on
Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, AZ. Today's
challenger: Chef Beau MacMillan.
He draws the de facto leader
of the ICs, Iron Chef Bobby Flay.
The Crib Sheet:
Brian Ray & Neil Manacle, sous-chefs
Tony Hehman & Katie Lorenzen, sous-chefs
7-3-1, won last battle
against David Burke
The Theme Ingredient:
domestically raised Kobe beef, the most expensive
ingredient brought into KSA..
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
with an full heart and an empty stomach, the words of
the Chairman's dear uncle.... "Allez cuisine!"
The Battle: this is a
different critter than Japanese Kobe beef, because it's
illegal to bring in said animal since 2002. Before then,
some of these cows were crossbred with American Angus to
bring us this special meat. Both chefs start breaking
down their critters, while the challenger starts
preparing for ravioli and tartare. The Iron Chef,
meanwhile, will be using the strip.
MacMillan on the IC: "I do
admire Bobby Flay, his achievements that he's earned in
the business. I'm interested in what he's going to do.
He's going to be on his game plan, and I'm going to be
Meanwhile, the IC is working
on mushroom for the first time in a while, while sous-chef
KAtie is making a rub for the beef while Flay is working
on frying jalapenos and breaking down shallots.
MacMillian is grilling some ribeyes. Flay is breaking
out the milk, while Neil is grating cheese, all while
the shallots and mushrooms are roasting. Brian is making
a red chile oil, while Flay is making a roux with
Meanwhile Katie is sauteeing
something... maybe the tenderloin. A third-dish is out
on the challenge: rosemary crusted tenderloin. MacMillan
is making some paillards, while souschefs are making
cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes with brown sugar.
More cheese on the IC side
with jack and goat cheese. "Fifteen minutes have
elapsed." Flay is toasting rounds and halves of white
bread, while MacMillan is peeling some lotus root. Time
Food critic/author Ted Allen ("Queer Eye for the
Editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild (Bon Appetit Magazine)
Wine connoisseur Andrew Firestone ("The Bachelor")
Back to Battle: The
challenger's grilled Kobe is awaiting roasting, while
abalone mushrooms and Napa cabbage are out. Flay is
working a rioja reduction. Flay has got quail eggs,
while he's also stuffing his fried jalapenos with the
jack-goat cheese mix. They'll be fried again. Meanwhile,
MacMillan is slicing up some daikon, while Flay is
parblanching some french fries.
Raspcherries are being
reduced for something on the challenger's side. The
shallots on the IC side are being reduced in wine for a
béarnaise. Now comes a spice rub for the IC's beef. And
the challenger has salsify out, while he's making
carpaccio with a chili-soy marinade.
MacMillan is breaking down
microgreens, while Katie's sweet potatoes are into the
food processor... "Thirty minutes have
elapsed." ... while enoki mushrooms are being
roasted on the IC's side. The raviolis are being made
with wonton skin on the challenger's side.
The IC has made some thin
tenderloins, while the ribeyes on MacMillan are coated
with chili mustard.
coming: the flavor and tenderness of American Kobe beef
comes from lots of pockets of intramuscular fat, which
comes from raising the cow very very slowly, about four
times as long as it would take you to raise American
steer. Fattening? Only to the cow, which genetically
grows more monounsaturated fat than any other of its
kind. Good, and good for you.
Back to battle, as the
challenger has deep-fried some cassava root. Flay is
grilling the steaks spice-side down, and we have lobster
tails coming out. A little surf and turf? Maybe.
The sweet-potato slices on
the challenger's side are going to be fried, while the
IC is making a constructing station of some sort.
Perhaps a sandwich is in the offing, while the ravioli
on the challenger's side.
Flay is frying a quail egg.
And the ravioli is done. And on the IC side... little
mini-rellenos. Steak tartare is getting ready for
MacMillan's first plate. Oh, sorry, it's the carpaccio.
"Fifteen minutes to go."
The crawfish tails are done
and are ready to be plated, as is the challenger's
cranberry relish. First plate for the Iron Chef is a
breakfast stack. Looks like American Kobe steak and
eggs. The Chinese mustard is being browned on the
challenger's tartare. He's also plating his salsify
fondue with raspcherry sauce. And on it... the
On the IC's side, we have
cabrales with rioja, while the twice-fried French fries.
With... "Five minutes to go."
The ravioli is down on the
challenger's plate. Flay is making a cheesesteak
sandwich. And here comes the mushrooms, while the
béarnaise sauce is getting ready. The challenger is
leading in dishes so far, four to three. Flay ties it
with a surf and turf,
"One minute to go." All five
are down on the challenger's... "Thirty seconds to go."
Flay is plating his strip steak, that's going to be it
for the challenger and the Iron Chef with 10 left on the
clock. The jalapenos are down, and now we're checking... "Five seconds... three...
two... one... Time's up."
Put it down and walk away, and Battle
American Kobe Beef is
Judgment (MacMillan): "Getting that Kobe beef
is so versatile, I wanted to showcase that and change it
up a little, do some different things with it." Dishes:
Kobe Steak Tartare, Kobe Beef Ravioli, Carpaccio Style
Kobe Beef Salad, Rosemary Pepper Crusted Tenderloin,
Chile Rubbed Ribeye with Sweet Potato Puree.
Judgment (Flay): "Instead of trying to pair
ingredients that went with beef, I tried to transport
you to a different place." Dishes: Breakfast Stack
of Kobe Steak and Quail Egg, Surf & Turf Kobe Beef and
Crawfish Tails, Philly Cheesesteak, Spiced Rubbed Steak
in Red Chile Sauce, Spice Rubbed Spanish Style Steak
Both chefs accentuated the
versatility of Kobe beef, and while Flay went all over
with it, MacMillan just stuck to a basic game plan.
Whose cuisine reigns supreme? The verdict is...
... 49-46 in favor of
Challenger Beau MacMillan. He had a game plan, stuck
with it, and ended up in the win column for unique
Until next time, we bid you