Kinch: Battle Cabbage
The challenger: Chef David Kinch, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in
Rhode Island. From there, he went on to cook in kitchens in Spain, France,
Germany, Japan, and New York. Today, he uses the local fruits and vegetables in
his kitchen at Manresa in Los Gatos, CA. Today, he challenges the leader of the
Iron Chefs, Bobby Flay....
Gentlemen.... Prepare for battle.
The Crib Sheet:
Tara Keeler & Christine Sanchez, sous chefs
James Syhabout & John Paul Carmona, sous chefs
The Theme Ingredient:
Red, green, Savoy, Napa, bok choy and other varieties of
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 the battle of the
brassicas is on! Both chefs start with slow-cooking
items before going to the cabbage. Kinch is working on
sautéing some pears and onion. Challenger also have a
sea bream out, while Tara is splitting South Carolina
peaches. And Flay's lobster tails... cutting. Flay has
blanched Savoy cabbages, blended mushrooms with olive
oil, brought out salt cod, and made red and green oils.
Kinch is vacuum-sealing herbs, cabbage & pears, mixing
dashi with soy sauce, and frying chestnuts.
- Editor-in-chief of Saveur Magazine James Oseland
- Tony-award winning actress Cady Huffman
- Farmer Lee Jones (The Chef's Garden)
Flay is mincing his lobster for a tamale, while
Kinch is doing some wrapping and stuffing with the leaves of the Savoy. Kinch is
taking the core out of Brussels sprouts for a later application. Flay is making
a vinaigrette with vinegar, bacon fat, and almond oil.
"Thirty minutes to go." A lot of blanching done
on both sides. The Iron Chef is using Savoy cabbages to wrap the tamales. Both
sides are also working a whole lot of cabbages including red, green, bok choy,
and Brussels sprouts. The tamales are steaming while Flay is making a red
cabbage relish and a spicy soy vinaigrette. Kinch's sea bream is sliced and
marinated in olive oil. The blanched Savoy leaves are ready for their next
Flay is also mixing miso and "a national brand
cola product". Barbecue sauce? In another pot is a simmered bok choy. Kinch gets
a red cabbage puree in an ice bath. Flay is chopping beef tenderloin, while
Kinch is grinding his own mire poix and preparing his geoduck clam. The mince
goes down on the blanched Savoy leaves from earlier.
Kinch is using lecithin to make a foam of some
sort, while Flay adds broth to a roasted-cabbage number. With 15 left to go,
Flay has to pair brandade, beef tenderloin, and lobster roll with roasted
cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy. Kinch is finishing his farro, Savoy
stacks, sea bream, and that purple goozy looking ... thing. IC is countering
with sautéed mushrooms, soy-cola marinated beef tenderloin, and deep fried
sprouts. Challenger has cooked Geoduck clam, cabbage napoleons, and red cabbage
Flay has plated his tamale mixture, while Kinch
is making another quenelle for the red cabbage number. Flay is slicing corned
beef to sear, while Kinch is looking to score that 5 for presentation. Flay is
making an homage to kimchi, while Kinch has only about four minutes to plate
three more plates. Flay also has two meats on two cabbages and a third on
peaches. Kinch plates his napoleons and his farro. Flay is plating bok choy with
sautéed mushrooms, tamale, grilled peach with Brussels sprouts, corned beef and
cabbage, and brisket with kimchi.
"One minute to go."
Kinch has caught up in great fashion with geoduck
salad, two quenelles with the red cabbage puree, cabbage napoleon, cabbage with
farro, and a "dirt dish" with cabbage leaves, stems, and chicory. Now to the
finishing touches. Flay needs chives, and he needs them yesterday...
"Five seconds... three... two... one..."
And put it down, walk away. Battle Cabbage... Done.
Judgment (Flay): "Cabbage could be a challenging
ingredient, utilizing the pungency of the cabbage when we thought we should, and
also shutting down the pungency of the cabbage when we thought we should."
- Lobster Tamale
- Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Salad
- New Style Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Baby Bok Choy Provençal
- Quick Kimchi with Filet Mignon
Judgment (Kinch): "Cabbage has a connotation of a
very peasant ingredient, but I also think it can be very noble. It has great
earthy flavors and is also very versatile."
- Borscht with Pear Sauerkraut
- Cabbage Surf and Turf
- Stuffed Cabbage
- Cabbage Patch (Stems and leaves with country ham and hazelnut & chicory
- Cabbage and Farro Risotto
But whose cuisine reigns supreme? The verdict...
... 52-42 in favor of
Challenger David Kinch. Not only did he not crash Earth
in a smoldering pile of shame, but he swept it three
Until next time... we bid you good eating.
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