"Morimoto vs. Eme:
Battle Lobster" - June 18
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
Christophe Eme, a French-style chef who heads the
kitchen of Ortolan in Los Angeles. His culinary journey
started in France, led himself through Europe, and ended
in LA, where he owns his restaurant alongside his
girlfriend, actress Jeri Ryan. He challenges the OG of
the ICs, Masaharu Morimoto.
The Crib Sheet:
Ariki Omae & Makoto Okuwa, sous-chefs
Jean-Claude Mons, sous-chef
68-12-1, lost last battle
against Roberto Donna
The Theme Ingredient:
fresh (and still alive) lobster.
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!"
Chef/restaurant consultant Barry Wine
Culinary journalist Karine Bakhoum (KB Network News)
Culinary critic/author Jeffrey Steingarten ("The Man Who
For the record, it looks
like both sides of the kitchen will have some sort of
ice cream concoction.
both sides chose different sexes of lobster. On the
ventral side of a lobster, if you have swimmerettes and
a pair of fins used for reproductive purposes, and the
fins are a little feathery, then you have a female
lobster. Males have larger, harder swimmerettes with no
fur on them whatsoever.
End of the battle, we go to
the chefs. Eme wasn't that confident that he would make
his dishes on time, while Morimoto, having fought with
lobster in the past, thought that a person who only
brings one sous-chef to battle "must be good."
Judgment (Morimoto): "I've done two lobster battles
before, so this was quite hard for me. I wanted some
small tail for this first dish, but I got some claw meat
instead to get the right texture and flavor. I did my
Poached Lobster with Potato Chips, Lobster Ball with
Lobster Sauce, Lobster with Chili Sauce and Lobster Hot
Dog, Sea Cucumber Marinated Grilled Lobster, Lobster
Soup with Lobster Rice, Vanilla Ice Cream with Lobster
Judgment (Eme): "Because we only had two people
in the kitchen, we just tried to make most simple dish I
could do, like everyone could do at home. We didn't
choose 20 lobster. We chose 5 and we made 5 different
Lobster Spring Roll, Lobster Ceviche with Olive Oil Ice
Cream, Lobster Sauce with Verbena Milk, Lobster
Fricassee, Lobster Gratin with Mango Risotto.
Morimoto drew raves for his
creativity and experience with the theme ingredient, as
the soup and rice combination won the judges over. Eme
also drew raves with flavor and presentation. Jeffrey
had a hard time separating his lobster from his shell,
but will that figure into the judging? Whose cuisine
reigns supreme? The verdict...
... 53-40 in favor of
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. It was a three-tiered
walloping from the Iron Chef. Obviously Eme could have
stood to benefit from a second sous-chef, but that's
another discussion for another day.
Until next time, we bid you