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"Flay vs. DeChellis: Battle Chicken Egg" - September 17

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 Challengers: Josh DeChellis, a culinary chameleon who has cooked in the finest restaurants in America and Paris, but now dabbles in Japanese-inspired flavors at his restaurant Sumile in New York City. Today, he challenges another New Yorker, Iron Chef Bobby Flay.

The Crib Sheet:
Brian Ray & Neil Manacle, sous-chefs
Peter Serpico & Chris Schwaiger, sous-chefs
23 years EXPERIENCE 12 years
Southwestern COOKING STYLE Modern American
8-5-2, won last battle against Morou BATTLE RECORD Challenger

The Theme Ingredient: White and brown chicken eggs, as well as blue eggs from Araucana chickens.

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.

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!"

First impressions: to quote DeChellis on Flay, "That dude works!" "I sorta feel like that is an attribute of mine as well."

Meanwhile, Flay calls DeChellis "unpredictable." "He has a very creative mind when it comes to food. I'm going to stick to my guns and stay within the ingredients and the focus I usually stay with, and let him come up with all those big-time creative ideas."

Tonight's Judges:
Food & wine author Ted Allen ("Queer Eye for the Straight Guy")
Actress Julie White ("Six Feet Under")
Culinary critic/author Jeffrey Steingarten ("The Man Who Ate Everything")

Semi-educational moment: Chicken eggs, or as Alton calls them, calcide-encrusted Gallus domesticus ovums, are one of the most common and one of the most versatile ingredients ever created. And as Flay figures out early on, one of the most fragile.

Ever wonder how to tell the difference between a raw egg and a hard-boiled one? Give it a spin. If you stop it and it starts spinning again, still raw.

DeChellis is working on his sixth dish, while Flay is still plating his fifth and final with one minute left! Can he make it? Looks like he will, while the DeChellis camp is grating truffles like crazy. Flay has got to get that fifth dish down before time expires if it is to be judged.

And it looks like the challenger is also running, but for what? We won't find out right now as the timekeeper calls it. Put it down and back away, Battle Chicken Egg is history! DeChellis just wanted to cook with eggs the way he knows how. The Iron Chef had half-a-second left. They were cruising at 20, but then they heard the time. "That's what happens on 'Iron Chef'."

Judgment (DeChellis): "I chose to show off as much as we possibly could in an hour, what an egg can do." Dishes: Tempura Egg Yolk, Egg in a Hole with Pancetta, Halibut Sabayon, Soft Custard/Steamed Egg Chawanmushi, Noodles Dressed with Egg Yolk, Sabayon with Chamomile and Peach Tea Tapioca.

Judgment (Flay): "I love cooking eggs, I love the whole brunch service. I think basically I was inspired by brunch ideas." Dishes: Baked Eggs with Lobster & Potato Hash, Scrambled Eggs in Chilaquiles, Green Eggs & Ham, Poached Eggs in Red Wine, Baked Eggs in Cornbread.

Jeffrey pointed out an interesting side note. The Chairman never eats all of his food... but he ate all of the Egg in a Hole. Chairman's gonna have to go on a diet now. Meanwhile, the Iron Chef gets all Dr. Seuss on us to raves. Meanwhile Julie admits... Jeffrey's the judge. Julie's the eye candy. But who's day will be sweet? Whose cuisine reigns supreme? The verdict...
Taste 26 21
Plating 11 11
Originality 10 11

... 47-43 in favor of Iron Chef Bobby Flay. A close match is decided on taste, as the Iron Chef proves why he's the force to be reckoned with in Kitchen Stadium America.

Until next time, we bid you good eating.

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