Grieveson: Battle Butter
The challenger: Chef Koren Grieveson has
lived around the world, and after completing a stint in the US Army, she entered
the Culinary Institute of America. Soon after, she served the tables of rock's
elite. These days, she heads the kitchen at avec in Chicago, where she was
recently honored as one of the 10 best chefs in America by Food & Wine Magazine.
Tonight, she challenges the grand dame of Kitchen Stadium, the blue Tetsujin Cat
Ladies.... Prepare for battle.
The Crib Sheet:
Michael Giletto & Lorilynn Bauer, sous chefs
Stephen Dunne & Justin Large, sous-chefs
The Theme Ingredient:
Irish, French, English, Goat, and American butter... and
lots of it.
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!"
Grieveson is starting to
break down her butter, also tomatoes and squash.
Meanwhile, the Iron Chef is boiling potatoes and
breaking down squash herself. Compound parsley butter
being wrapped and chilled. Grieveson is going to reduce
orange juice. Lorilynn is working heavy cream, and
Michael is mounting another cream off to the side.
Grieveson has vegetables stewing... and smoking. No
proteins out on her side. Cora is going to use milkfat
as she works a tenderloin. Lorilynn is making a brown
butter lemon verbena ice cream. Grieveson is also
"Fifteen minutes have elapsed."
Cora has butternut rubbed with
five-spice. She also has parsley butter chilling, sauce mounting, and an
ice cream on tap. Grieveson has a citrus zest cake batter, clarified
butter, and a tray of veggies smoking. Cora, meanwhile, has buttermilk
in a bowl, mini-marshmallows being dissolved in brown butter, and rounds
of puff pastry added to the butternut squash skillets. Grieveson is
putting her citrus cakes into the oven, while chopped leaks are being
sauteed with... that's right... butter.
- President of the Jean-Louis Paladin Foundation and expert on butter Clint
- Restauranteur and President of Blau & Associates Elizabeth Blau
- Fashion designer & TV host Isaac Mizrahi ("The Fashion Show")
Pork tenderloins with a butter heavy cream in the
vacuum machine. The Iron Chef is going to poach that in butter. And the ice
cream machine is on! Lorilynn also has a little twist on the crispy rice
marshmallow treat. Grieveson has sliced through a great deal of vegetables
including piquillos, but still, no proteins. "It's coming."
Iron Chef is turning popcorn into crumbs while
Lorilynn's caramel is cooling...
"Thirty minutes have elapsed." The Iron Chef has
frozen and smashed goat butter and parsley butter, a pork loin is being poached
in butter and aromatics, and both a butter ice cream and a brown butter caramel
brittle are in the works. Challenger has smoked paprika butter working, a mix of
leeks & corn are being sauteed in butter, and brown butter has been added to the
saute of smoked pattypan squash, tomato, onion and fennel. Cora has added
cornstarch and grapefruit juice to a reduction of shallots and white wine, more
butter has been added to a cocnut curry sauce, and brown butter lemon verbena
ice cream is now in the blast chiller. Grieveson is working on a vinaigrette of
brown butter, shallot, and the reduced orange juice. Butter pound cakes are out
of the oven, and she has started to work on diver scallops, dredging them in
ground popcorn flour that was mistakenly attributed to the Iron Chef earlier.
Cora is not happy with the vegetable salad that
Michael has prepped, while Grieveson has broken out black sea bass. Justin is
now working on a butter polenta. Cora is starting to plate her butternut squash
tart with buttermilk dressing. Lorilynn is blending her blackberries, Justin is
slicing a brioche, Michael is smashing potatoes for a gnocchi, both sides are
working on scallops, Cora is plating her butter smash and working on a crumble
"Fifteen minutes to go."
Grieveson is frying fish with her fingers. Cora
is poaching veggies in brown butter while plating has begun. Grieveson is
sauteeing scallops, and veal cutlets are pounded thin and standing by. Cora
counters with butter-poached scallops in a skillet and butter-poached and sous
vide pork loin in another skillet. Grieveson has boiled potato and cheese in a
skillet of smoked paprika butter, polenta butter is in the oven, and butter
caramel ice cream is churning. Veal is being dredged in tomatoes, bread
crumbs, and orange zest. Cora is finishing a coconut curry beurre blanc with a
salad on top.
Things are starting to come together quickly.
Grieveson has plated her first dish, the popcorn-crusted scallop, and her
second, the smoked vegetables.
"Five minutes to go."
Cora is plating a butter cake with caramel, while
Grieveson is plating aromatics strained and mixed with butter and morels for a
match with a seabass
"Three minutes to go." Cora is rescuing her pork
loin from the broiler, while the brioche rings on the challengers' side is being
filled with that tetilla-cheese mixture. It's a toad-in-the-hole with a
"One minute to go." Time to review. We have on
the challengers' side, a veal milanese, a sea bass, a toad in the hole, a cake
and ice cream, and a scallop. They're done. Iron Chef has pork tenderloin, the
butternut squash tart, scallops, gnocchi, breaded frozen butter, and her dessert
with the ice cream, caramel, and cake. And the ouzo's out.
"Five seconds... Three... Two ... One..." And put
it down, walk away, Battle Butter is in the books.
Judgment (Grieveson): "My approach
was to make it rich without seeming too rich. I wanted flavors to be clean,
precise, small enough where you can get a full feel for the butter without being
- Popcorn Crusted Sea Scallop
- Pullet Egg with Brioche
- Pan Roasted Sea Bass with Beurre Monte
- Veal Milanese
- Butter Dessert Tray (salted caramel ice cream with goat's butter pound cake,
butter streusel, and brown butter vinaigrette)
Judgment (Cora): "It's endless, the
things you can do with butter, and I wanted to get as creative as possible."
- Bread and Butter
- Butternut Squash Tarte Tatin
- Gnocchi with Brown Butter
- Butter Poached Scallops
- Asian Butter Pork Tenderloin
- Butter Dessert Tray (Caramelized Cake, Brown Butter Rice Krispie, Brown Butter
Ice Milk and Raspberry Brown Butter Sauce)
No pun intended, but the 11 dishes served today
were like BUTTER.... But whose cuisine reigns supreme? The verdict...
... a 54-54 TIE! The
challenger said that she was Cora's equal in terms of
school of cooking, and the result is borne from that.
Judges deadlocked on plating, they decide that Cora's
originality was equaled to Grieveson's taste.
Will this rivalry be
settled? Only time will tell.
Until next time... we bid you good eating.
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