"Morimoto vs. Yeo:
Battle Tofu" - September 10
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
Patricia Yeo, a recipient of the Star Chefs Rising Star
Award. She authored two cookbooks, "Cooking from A to Z"
and "Everyday Asian". She blends French and Vietnamese
cooking at her Manhattan eatery Sapa. In past ICA
battles, she worked as sous-chef to Bobby Flay. Today,
she returns to challenge. And she'll challenge the king
of borderless Japanese, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.
The Crib Sheet:
Ariki Omae & Makoto Okuwa, sous-chefs
Phet Schwader & Gavin Portsmouth, sous-chefs
69-12-1, won last battle
against Christophe Eme
The Theme Ingredient:
Firm and extra firm
tofu, an edge to the Iron Chef, who has fought a
tofu battle in the past.
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
The Ruby Tuesday battle
clock is set at 60 minutes, which will start when the
Chairman, with full heart and empty stomach, utters the words of
his dear uncle.... "Allez cuisine!"
Broadway actress Cady Huffman ("The Producers")
Restaurant consultant Barry Wine
Oprah's personal chef/author Art Smith ("Back to the
Coagulated soybean curd, and how to use it. It can be
used as a sponge, soaking up the flavors around it, as a
custard, enhancing another dish, or just as is on its
To make it, all you have to
do is dry soybeans, grind them up, steep it in hot water
for a bit, add a coagulant, apply weight, and you have
tofu. Sounds like cheese making, doesn't it? Well... It
Lots of interesting
ingredients coming together, as the challenger works
several new applications, including a shanton broth.
Meanwhile, Morimoto is using new applications not seen
in his past tofu battle. Seems like both chefs are
having a ball with the ingredient. Let's see what the
judges have to say.
Judgment (Morimoto): "When I saw that tofu was the
secret ingredient, I wanted to demonstrate how various
cooking techniques could enhance the different types of
tofu we had available." Dishes: Tofu Trio (Midofu,
Shiraae, and Tofu Sashimi), Tofu Chawan Mushi, Tofu &
Blue Crab, "Hot Pot" of Fried Tofu, Fried Tofu Rice,
Tofu Cake and Ice Cream.
Judgment (Yeo): "Tofu's such a delicate
ingredient, and it really has a subtle nutty flavor. As
much as we could, we tried to accentuate it. And when we
couldn't, we tried to infuse as much flavor as we could." Dishes:
Savory Tofu Soufflé, Steamed Tofu and Halibut, Braised
Tofu, Stir-Fried Tofu with Black Bean Sauce, Tofu Maple
Nothing but good marks for
the Iron Chef. Nothing but good marks for the
challenger. Both really pushed each other to the end.
But whose cuisine reigns supreme? The verdict...
... 59-55 in favor of
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. This was the be-all and
end-all of Kitchen Stadium battles, as both chefs drew
perfect 10s from all three judges for taste, while
Morimoto is one point shy of originality.
Until next time, we bid you