vs. Wong: Halloween Battle Candy
In this, the
first battle of Season 10 under the dome of Kitchen
Stadium, the Chairman has dispatched his newest
champion, Iron Chef Marc Forgione, to do battle
Chef Lee Anne Wong has
worked alongside numerous chef luminaries, and she has
earned a place among them thanks to her Cooking Channel
hit series "Unique Eats". It will be a French on French
battle with an All-Hallow's-Eve twist.
Prepare for battle.
Francis Derby & Bradley Stellings, sous-chefs
Christopher Zabita & Barry Frish, sous-chefs
an assortment of Halloween candy, from fun-sized candy bars to caramel
cubes to the classic candy corn.
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
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 Halloween Candy is on in
Kitchen Stadium. The candy is basically just sugar, so it's up to the
chefs to determine how they're going to manipulate them.
Forgione starts out with some miso paste
and celery in a saucepan. Wong counters with a duck liver pate to
balance the sweetness of the theme ingredients. Forgione will
incorporate a black bass into his spread. It gets hit with a miso-caramel
marinade. Both chefs are working duck now, while Wong is making a candy
corn concoction. Wong's side are working peanut butter toffees and
something with bourbon.
"Fifteen minutes have elapsed." Time to
- Comic/actress Kathy Griffin ("Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List")
- Restauranteur Donatella Arpaia Stewart (Donatella Pizzeria, Kefi)
- TV host Kelly Ripa ("Live! With Regis & Kelly)
Wong is harvesting more candy innards,
this time a mound... of coconut. Meanwhile Forgione is going Asian with
a goof on Michiba's Broth of Vigor (IC fans know what I'm talking
about). Forgione is also working on candy corn and corn cobs... in a
dish with squash. Wong is going to incorporate those peanut crisps into
the ayu pickle from earlier.
"Thirty minutes have elapsed." Let's
catch up. Forgione has an olive oil cake batter and pitted cherries
stuffed with goat cheese. Wong has a candy corn panna cotta, a lamb
loin, and a red-wine chocolate mint concoction. Corn nuts and sugar are
burning on one of her pans. She also burns her hand. Forgione is
countering with a yellowtail kingfish, a second cousin to Japanese
hamachi. Wong has coconut shrimp to counter Forgione's shrimp... Spanish
red shrimp from Spain.
"Fifteen minutes to go." And Wong is
ready to plate. She has a sweet corn cream sauce and couscous with fava
bean salad. Iron Chef Forgione has duck breast and olive oil cake
Let's look at the spreads for each side
with so much time left. Wong has a duck-liver-pop-rock pate on a
crostini with strawberries. Forgione has a caramel miso bass and a duck
with peanut butter curry sauce. Wong has her second dish, a duck with
gastrique of ring candy. Her third, an ayu pickle. She also has a candy
corn panna cotta and her shrimp.... and her noodles... and her lamb.
Forgione will counter with a dessert, a dashi with bass and bonito, the
duck, a rock-candy appetizer, and that sorbet cauldron with that cake...
"Five seconds... three... two... one... "
And Battle Halloween Candy is history. Put it down and walk away.
TASTING & JUDGMENT
Wong: "We took
a lot of the flavors that are the essence of these candies, and we turned into
- Duck Breast with Duck Liver Crostini
- Peanut Crunch Somen Noodles and Fried Ayu
- Coconut & Almond Prawns
- Sesame-Candy Glazed Lamb Loin
- Candy corn and Buttermilk Panna Cotta
"I think it was both a trick and a treat."
- Hiramasa with Goat Cheese-stuffed Cherry
- Candy Corn Soup with Spanish Red Shrimp
- "It's Alive!" - Caramel and Miso Black Sea Bass
- Duck Breast with Peanut Butter Cup Curry Sauce
- Sour Candy Sorbet and Olive Oil Cake
Chef Wong's meal introduced a lot of
plays on objects, and all of them were accessible and palatable. She
impresses the judges with her balance, technique, and variety of
flavors. On the other hand, Forgione has tremendous technique and as
always, the pressure to win. But this looks like it's going to be a
close one. Who takes it? Whose cuisine reigns supreme? The verdict...
... by one sweet
point.... 52-51 in favor of Challenger Lee Anne Wong!
Both chefs drew on originality, but in the end, it is
the sweet taste of her dishes that gives Lee Anne Wong a
sweet taste of victory.
Until next battle, we bid
you good eating.
To see this episode in its entirety, go to