Tinsley: Battle Fresh Bean
The challenger: Sabrina Tinsley, a
Seattle-based chef who met her culinary destiny (thanks to her mother) -
not to mention her husband - in Italy. She believes in ingredients
harvested fresh, and her creations are on display at Seattle's Osteria
La Spiga. She specializes in the dishes of the Emilia-Romagna region of
Italy. And today, she crosses cutting boards with the de facto leader of
the Iron Chefs... Bobby Flay.
Prepare for battle.
The Crib Sheet:
Christine Sanchez & James Curtis, sous chefs
Jonathan Langley & Jeff, sous chefs
The Theme Ingredient:
several varieties of freshly harvested pod and shell
beans, including haricots verts, fava beans, wax beans,
cranberry beans, edamame, and American green beans.
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 or her 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 Fresh Bean begins with mushrooms on the IC
side and various pork products on the challenger's side.
Tinsley is also working some soft-boiled eggs while Flay
is working hard to preserve the color of his vegetables
(or fruit, since heirloom tomatoes are involves).
Tinsley's eggs are still too soft, so she has to do it
again. She's also going to make some bacon, ham, and
"Fifteen minutes have
elapsed." Flay is breaking down fava beans, edamame is
being cooked with frozen peas, and several beans have
been blanched. Tinsley is taking a different approach by
concentrating on the other parts of her menu first like
pig parts, squid ink pasta, and a second round of
soft-boiled eggs. Flay also has cucumber on his side.
Tinsley also has wax beans, cranberry beans, and
shallots (not necessarily in that order).
Restaurateur Joe Bastianich
Journalist Jenna Wolfe ("Today")
Culinary author Jeffrey Steingarten ("The Man Who Ate
Tinsley's second round of
eggs... better than the first. Flay looks like he's
making a salad, while Christine is making a pea/edamame
mixture with the stick blender.
"Thirty minutes have
elapsed." The Iron Chef has a haricot verts pesto, a
cucumber-tomato-olive salad, and blended edamame and
peas. The challenger has a lot of blanched beans
awaiting their next application, be it for newly-formed
squid-ink pasta or a white wine-shallot reduction. Flay
also has grilled tomatoes, chipotle, and honey in a
blender. In the food pro, a puree of edamame, Greek
yogurt, and cucumbers. Tinsley counters with edamame,
pancetta, and a spice-rubbed tenderloin.
Christine is making
hummus with cranberry beans and tahini, while Flay is
making fava bean pesto. Tinsley is searing her
tenderloin and grilling haricots verts... Skinny little
things, in fact one of them falls through the grate.
James is slicing plantain. Flay is making his take on a
tuna tartare AND deep fried bean fries.
"Fifteen minutes to go."
Flay has a puree of yellow wax beans, arbol chili, and
cumin. He also blends a cranberry bean sauce and a fava
bean pesto. Tinsley has haricots verts and ham, steamed
clams, and sauteed tomatoes. Flay adds fresh wasabi to
his tuna tartare and bean sprouts to his blanched sea
beans. Tinsley adds fava beans to her sauteeing pancetta
and cranberry beans to her large skillet of diced
Flay is taking out
lobster tails, while Tinsley is making a cheese sauce.
Flay begins his plating with 10 to go. He starts with
Bean Fries with Anchovy-Piquillo Sauce and Fava Bean
Pesto. Tinsley starts with the haricots verts and ham
number. So one dish each so far.
Second dishes come into
play with tenderloin on Tinsley's side, Flay has smoked
lobster. Tinsley also has a crostini, while Flay
assembles a Greek sauce trio. Tinsley has an issue with
the food pro, so she's going to have to make lemonade
out of that lemon. She's making another croquette.
"One minute to go." Let's
look at the dishes. Flay has a salad, his dips, his
mushroom, his lobster, and his tartare. That's five.
That'll work. Tinsley has her coleslaw, a farro-edamame
polpette, crostini, tenderloin, and the pasta. Now it's
all down to...
"Five seconds... three... two... one..." Put it down,
walk away. Battle Fresh Bean is in the books.
Judgment (Tinsley): "I wanted to play off
the various textures and versatility of the fresh beans."
- Crostini with Fava Bean Puree
- Soft-Boiled Egg Croquette with Haricots Verts and
- Farro and Edamame Polpette
- Strozzapretti with Cranberry Beans and Clams
- Carne Salada: Beef Tenderloins with Bean Salad
Judgment (Flay): "The most difficult thing
is to get the starch out of the bean as possible. We
combined the beans with other things to kinda balance it
- Tuna Tartare with Plantain and Edamame Sauce
- Crispy Haricots Verts
- Trio of Greek-Style Dips with Bean Salad
- Portobello Mushrooms with Fava Bean Pesto
- Smoked Lobsters and Haricots Verts Salad
But whose cuisine reigns supreme? The verdict...
... 46-37 in favor of
Iron Chef Bobby Flay. Sabrina Tinsley got a
hearty-helping of defeat as Iron Chef Flay wallops her
in all three categories. Now it's time to clear the air,
because in a few moments all those beans are going to
Until next time... we bid you good eating.