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"Our ultimate competition is with ourselves. That is what my uncle told me when I would visit him as a young boy... My uncle, the man the world knows as Kaga the Chairman, has decided that, although America is a young country, we now possess the proper palate to host our own Iron Chef competition, an American celebration of the world's high art of cuisine."

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host ("The Chairman") Mark Dacascos
Iron Chefs Bobby Flay
Marc Forgione
Jose Garces
Masaharu Morimoto
Michael Symon
Geoffrey Zakarian
Culinary Commentator Alton Brown
Floor Reporter Kevin Brauch
Creator Keiichi Tanaka (based upon "Ryori no Tetsujin/Iron Chef")
EP Eytan Keller
Stephen Kroopnick
Stu Schreiberg
Packager Triage Entertainment & Fuji TV for Food Network
Origins Kitchen Stadium America, Food Network Studios New York
Web foodnetwork.com/ica
Airs 10p ET Sun, Food
@Iron Chef America

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Morimoto vs. Symon: Tailgate Showdown - Battle Wild Boar
January 28

Before the 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.

Prepare for battle.

Naikan "Kang" Kuan, sous-chef
Derek Clayton, sous-chef
Japanese COOKING STYLE Mediterranean

The Theme Ingredient: Wild boar

The Rules: 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.

Tonight's Judges...
- "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 beer...

"Five seconds... Three... two... one... " And that's the end of regulation. Now it's to the tailgate.


Morimoto: "I'm 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

Symon: "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 Pacific Band...

Taste 25 26
Plating 11 13
Originality 12 13

... 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 Symon.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

To see this episode in its entirety, go to www.foodnetwork.com/ica.