Morimoto vs. Symon: Tailgate Showdown - Battle Wild Boar
opening kickoff of the biggest football game of the
season, two of Kitchen Stadium's heavy hitters are
heading to the 808 to face off in a tailgate showdown
like no other, complete with its own band... the
University of Hawaii Marching Warriors. And it's all
done before a live audience. Who has the skills to pay
the bills this time?
Upon arrival, the Iron Chefs
are whisked away to Morimoto's restaurant on Waikiki. From there, they
head to a military base, because the big game will be watched by
thousands of our fighting forces overseas. More specifically, Marine
Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay. Awaiting them, a bevy of ingredients
AND their favorite sous-chef.
Naikan "Kang" Kuan, sous-chef
Derek Clayton, sous-chef
Each chef must create a five-course
tailgate buffet, 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
theme ingredient. The chef that best articulates the theme through
their dishes wins.
The 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 Sus scrofa is on at Marine
Corps Base Hawaii. Symon wants to use the entire animal in a bunch of
different ways. And Symon is going with bloody beer and steamed buns. In
the heat. In an hour. Morimoto is going to counter with fresh boar
bacon. Symon's tailgate menu: beer... pig... sausage. Morimoto has
tenderloin and grilled tomatoes. Symon has a mix of aromatics and board
leg pieces. And Morimoto has a boar head in a pressure cooker. Symon has
a Sicilian Hawaiian lau lau with that aromatic paste.
And Kang... "Corn dog." NICE! Symon has
the cheek of the boar for tortillas.
- "Food Network" star Sunny Anderson ("Cooking for Real")
- Food writer Simon Majumdar ("The Next Iron Chef")
- Miss Hawaii USA 2012 Brandie Cazimero
Halfway into the first tailgate
competition, Symon has boar ribs, creamed collard greens & kale, and
boar, bacon & jalapeno is being turned into sausage. Morimoto counters
with red miso boar, sliced potatoes, and the boar stock is going into a
pot with tomatoes. Morimoto is steaming oysters as we have 20 minutes
left... and he's making a wild boar carpaccio. Morimoto also has a Loco
Moco, which is a hamburger-like patty of rice, meat, and egg. Symon...
has ribs. Morimoto... pizza.
Overall, Morimoto has kinki fish, Loco
Moco, corn dogs, pizza, wild boar carpaccio, and tomato soup. Symon has
boar's head tacos, sausage, onion rings, steam buns, lau lau, and bloody
"Five seconds... Three... two... one... "
And that's the end of regulation. Now it's to the tailgate.
TASTING & JUDGMENT
not very familiar with tailgate food, so I try to base the meal on Japanese and
Asian street food, but tried to do it in an American way."
- Wild Boar Corn Dog
- Bahn-Mi Style Sandwich and Tomato Soup
- Wild Boar Wraps Two Ways
- Wild Board "Loco Moto" and Hibiscus Vodka Drink
"We tailgate from morning 'til night."
- Kegs and Eggs and Bloody Beer
- Boar Face Taco
- Wild Boar Belly Sandwich
- Wild Board Chop and Lau Lau
Morimoto's spread worked in typical
Morimoto style and within his own parameters. The star, his Loco Moco.
His misstep, the tomato soup. It was a little bit bland. Symon, being
from the perennial sports city (Cleveland), has the heart of the
tailgate down. The kegs & eggs split the panel. But with one more
surprise up the Chairman's sleeve, we are left with one more question...
Whose cuisine reigns supreme?
The verdict... as delivered by the USMC
... 52-48 in favor of
Iron Chef Michael Symon... and as the band plays us out,
Morimoto graciously cedes his position as the strongest
Iron Chef to the new king of the hill, Iron Chef Mike
Until next battle, we bid
you good eating.
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