"Morimoto vs. Donna: Rematch
Battle Squid" - May 7
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
Roberto Donna of Torino, Italy. He came to America with
a dream of becoming a restauranteur, and today, his
restaurant, Galileo in Washington, DC, is among the 20
greatest in the world by the President of Italy. The
last time he was in KSA, he was handed a bad loss to
Iron Chef Morimoto. Today, he seeks vindication from the
The Crib Sheet:
Ariki Omae & Makoto Okuwa, sous-chefs
Claudio Sandri & Amy Brandwein, sous-chefs
68-11-1, won last battle
against Mike Symon
The Theme Ingredient:
winter squid, different sizes.
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: Claudio
begins by cleaning out the squid, as does Morimoto.
Meanwhile, Omae is poaching eggs... or at least it looks
like it. The challenger has a torchio out to extrude
Donna: "Last time I came, I
was not prepared. Today, I'm hoping to give him a hard
time." He's putting together a stock for later usage.
Meanwhile, Morimoto is making some rice and breaking
down his own squid. The IC team blanch some greens while
Donna is working some pasta dough, while Amy is working
aromatics into a saucier. Makoto is making some bowl out
of an orange. Donna is cleaning his squid tubes.
Morimoto is marinating some squid pieces in soy sauce
for later. Donna is dicing calamari for later as well.
Makoto is grinding some wasabe, while Omae is chopping
lotus root. The challenger is making some polenta and...
"Fifteen minutes have elapsed."
Food critic/author Melissa Clark ("Chef Interrupted")
Oprah's personal chef/author Art Smith ("Back to the
Culinary journalist Akiko Katayama (Food Arts Magazine -
Back to Battle:
Morimoto is chopping up squid, while Omae is peeling
veggies, while Donna is peeling his potato. And we have
four blenders in Kitchen Stadium, two on each side.
Meanwhile, the corn syrup/egg/squid mix on the IC side
is going into a whipped cream dispenser.. Challenger is
cooking pancetta and sausage. We have an iced mold with
squid meringue. Lotus root is being pureed, while the
challenger is mixing what he calls a Morimoto recipe.
In the IC's orange bowls...
a miso-yuzu mixture. The meringue is going into the
blast chiller. Next, squid pasta and squid tempura on
the challenger's side. The orange bowls now get the
blanched greens. Makoto is making some XO sauce now with
squid and scallions. "Thirty minutes have elapsed."
Some squid has been taken
out of some soy sauce over the break, while the
challengers' bagna cauda sauce is done. Next up, squid
ink pasta on the IC side. A salad on the challenger's
side. Perhaps some tempura squid on the IC side, while
the challenger has plated his first dish with 24 left to
Omae is done kneading black
pasta, while the rice is also done with the black rice.
Black truffle and squid on the IC side is also being
prepped, while Makoto is stuffing squid with the black
rice. Morimoto is also making some sushi with squid,
while the challenger is stuffing some squid as well.
Morimoto is plating that roll of his. Both sides now
have a bagna cauda mix, the tempura going with it
on the IC side.
Meanwhile, the challenger is
piping squid-garlic soup onto a plate. Makoto is rolling
black rice into nori. Donna is mixing Israeli couscous
for risotto. Morimoto is chopping soba noodles, while
Amy is skewering some squid. Donna is making spaghetti
from his torchio.
"Fifteen minutes to go."
Morimoto is making squid
sashimi, it looks like, while Donna is deep-frying squid
patties, as is Morimoto. The IC side's sushi rolls are
getting some squid added with five to go. The squid mix
is going down on the polenta on the challenger's side.
Plating full on underway on both side. The IC is plating
his soba noodles as well. Challenger is loading up his
salad. The little squid meringues are plated as
dumplings, while the challenger is making six dishes.
Morimoto is making more tempura with... "One minute to
go." Morimoto is now struggling to get his dishes done.
Amy is running some more squid to have Donna finish. The
Iron Chef is done with his six with "Thirty seconds to
go!" It's all over but the ornamentation... "Five
seconds... Three... Two... One..."
Battle Squid is over!
Judgment (Morimoto): "I really wanted to use
the whole squid and all of the various parts in as many
ways as possible. I know each part has a different
texture and taste, so using each part was very important
to me." Dishes:
Warm Squid and Citrus with Squid Roll, Black and White
Squid Pasta, Squid Bagna Cauda, Squid Sushi, Fried
Pureed Squid, Squid Candy
Judgment (Flay): "I thought about Italy, and I
thought about every region, and I grabbed squid dishes
from every region." Dishes: Squid Stracciatella, Squid
Potato Salad, Squid Trio (Fried, Stuffed, and Stewed),
Israeli Couscous "Caviar" and Squid, Squid and Garlic
Soup, I Bigoli with Calamari..
The texture was the star
with both challenger and Iron Chef making their five and
then some. This match could go either way. Is it a
second helping of defeat or a heaping serving of victory
for the challenger? Whose cuisine reigns supreme? The
... 54-48 in favor of
Challenger Roberto Donna! Clearly revenge is a best
served cold. And Donna brought it proper, as the chefs
are now tied at one for the series. Could we see a third
match to decide it? Stay tuned...
Until next time, we bid you