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"Flay vs. Andres: Battle Goat" - April 1

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 Challenger: Jose Andres. Today's challenger was born in Spain, trained under Ferran Adria at El Bulli, and today, heads the kitchen at Jaleo, a Spanish eatery in Washington, DC. He's won the James Beard Award and a spot on Spanish television where he hosts a cooking show. Today, he challenges the Blue Tetsujin, Bobby Flay.

Prepare for battle...

The Crib Sheet:
Brian Ray & Neil Manacle, sous-chefs
Ruben Garcia & Katsuya "Kats" Fukushima, sous-chefs
24 years EXPERIENCE 22 years
Southwestern COOKING STYLE Modern Spanish
15-5-2, won last battle against Marc Murphy BATTLE RECORD Challenger

The Theme Ingredient: goat... actually, baby goats, or "kids".

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 that best articulates the theme ingredient through his dishes wins.

The Kia 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!" And Battle Goat is on!

About the ingredient: Goat kids are defined as goats that are under one year of age. Until the 17th century, it wasn't used as a paralogue for human children. Due to the influx of immigrant cuisines, goat is becoming rather popular as an edible critter. Still not something you can buy at Ralphs yet, though.

Flay is seasoning goat with garam marsala, while Brian is frying chiles. Andres is making goat yogurt with goat milk, cream, and sugar. The IC side is working on a chili oil and a roux. The challengers are reducing two bottles of red wine. Ice cream machine is on on Andres side. Flay has whole tomatoes in a casserole. Andres could have goat tartare in the future. Flay has couscous in a saffron base. The marsala goat and tomatoes are being fried awaiting their next application. Brian's cooking red onions in red wine vinegar. Neil meanwhile grinds the goat while the challengers' ice cream is getting into the chiller. Flay has pork, lamb, and goat ground. Brian spanks pomegranate, by the way. Flay adds harissa to his tagine. Over to the side, pickled red onions! The challenger has extracted loins and ribs.

In the IC's kitchen, we have milk added to flour for a béchamel and cranberries chopped and sliced, while the challenger has a goat loin covered in herbs and ready to be broiled. Flying goat ribs are sizzling, while capers and sesame seeds are being chopped together. Tartare? Probably.

Tonight's Judges:
Master chef Dr. Tim Ryan (president of the Culinary Institute of America)
Anchorwoman Rene Syler ("The Early Show")
Culinary author/man who needs no introduction Jeffrey Steingarten ("The Man Who Ate Everything")

Remember the lamb/pork/goat meatloaf? It's actually meatballs. Challengers has aromatics and "Mexican Coca-cola." Pressure cooker. Flay is moving the meatballs over to the tomato casserole. Brian's filling little pans with béchamel sauce and Jack cheese. He's added goat cheese and Cotija cheese.

Andres takes the top of some la cerena cheese, very spreadable. Meanwhile, Neil adds garlic, ginger, and red paste to the curry mixture. Ruben, meanwhile, adds goat tartare to avocado. To recap halfway into the battle, Andres is pressure-cooking goat ribs in cola, an herb-encrusted goat loin, and goat tartare looking like sushi. The Iron Chef has goat meatballs, goat curry, and more chopped goat for some other application.

Challengers are grinding corn nuts and boiling fingerling potatoes. Flay has added mint and chopped apricot to his couscous. Brian is working on arborio rice, chicken stock, onion, ginger, and coconut milk. Tagine... good. Brian, meanwhile, looks to be working on a beer-batter of some sort. The rice, though, needs more liquid. Andres is working on a caper air, a very light foam. Now he's peeling a black truffle. Wine reduction gets squirted by a syringe. Andres is mashing potatoes and asking for cream. Katsuya just got out a can of soy lecithin. He's looking for a pomegranate air. The IC side is hustling. They're working on green oil.

Looks like the challenger is "goating" the Iron Chef. Not only that, but maybe gelled balls of that wine reduction.

"Twenty minutes to go." Andres is plating his tartare with quail egg and caper air. Pressure-cooker goat, skillet goat, and oven-roasted goat still awaiting their final applications. How do they go with cauliflower, mashed potatoes, frozen yogurt, and corn puree? Flay has finished his meatballs, but we're still waiting on the goat tagine and the curry goat. How will those pair with Anaheim chilies, couscous, and cheese?

Flay grills tortilla rounds while convection-grilling skillets con queso. Andres has added fruit to his red-wine beads, has plated his cheesy mashed potatoes with pureed onions. Both sides have pomegranate awaiting some sort of application.

The couscous is down on the IC side, while Andres has plated his skillet goat with the potatoes. Cauliflower soon joins. Brian is beer-breading chiles rellenos. Ribs are coming out of the challengers' side. Slow-cooked loin is being plated as well. More air as well. Brian is grilling his spiced tenderloins. As for the risotto, they cooked it, smoothed it out, froze it, cut it into moulds, and fried it. Six minutes out, as Flay has plated his meatballs on goat cheese rounds.

Let's go to a rundown. Andres has his tartare, his red-wine beads, and corn puree with baby corn and goat ribs. Flay has chile relleno of goat, couscous, and goat meatball thrones. Lot of activity still going on. Andres plates the frozen goat yogurt onto the wine beads. Flay plates risotto cakes, And Andres just pulled out... what we would call on the street "paraphernalia," but rather than lighting up doobies, they're smoking ribs.. but with what? "Applewood." Ah.

"One minute to go." Flay has one more dish, the skillet, to plate! Andres looks like he's done with his five. The skillets are out and done on the IC side, plated with the onions, goat, and grilled tortilla. Build it yourself. Nice. Okay, let's check it out and... tagine is set with seconds to go.

Now to the count.  "Three... two... one...." Done. Put it down, walk away, Battle Goat is history. And Andres is sweating something fierce. But it's a happy sweat.

Judgment (Flay): "I borrowed from a lot of different countries today, some Spanish, some southwestern, some Mexican. There's even some Moroccan, sort of spanning the globe with goat." Dishes: Goat Meatball Salad, Chile Relleno with Picadillo of Goat, Red Curry Goat with Risotto Cake, BBQ Goat Taquito with Queso Fundido, Tagine of Goat with Couscous.

Judgment (Andres): "Meat for me is a difficult item, so we tried to make sure that the goat was going to shine dish by dish. And I think you're going to be happy with what you're going to taste today." Dishes: Goat Tartare, Goat Couscous, Goat Ribs and Corn on the Cob, Goat Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes, Goat Milk Sorbet with Red Wine.

Jeff is quick to point out that goat has little to no flavor, while Flay was going for big flavors, saying that his dishes could have been made with lamb or gerbil. And Rene... may have missed the point once or twice. Andres' dishes all hit home runs.

But whose cuisine reigns supreme? The verdict...

Taste 24 27
Plating 12 14
Originality 12 14

... 55-48 in favor of Challenger Jose Andres. A three-tiered win as Jose Andres adds another accolade to his long, esteemed career, a victory in Kitchen Stadium America against one of the best, Iron Chef Flay.

Until next time, we bid you good eating...

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