Flay vs. Smith: Battle Avocado
The Challenger: Chef
Michael Smith started his career at a restaurant in
Prince Edward Island, Canada. His cuisine earned the Inn
at Bay Fortune a spot on Canada's top ten restaurants.
Since then he's authored several cookbooks and starred
in four shows on Food Network Canada. Today, he
challenges his American brother-in-arms, Iron Chef Bobby
Prepare for battle.
The Crib Sheet:
JC Pavlovich & Renee Forsberg, sous-chefs
Paul Rogalski & Bill, sous-chefs
The Theme Ingredient: Hass and
Florida varieties of avocado.
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 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 Persea americana is on in KSA.
There's not much you can do with avocados, you certainly can't cook
them, so application will decide who will win this battle. Flay starts
by cubing some pork shoulder and making it a little hot. And it looks
like both chefs are going to work on a guacamole. That seems to be an
obvious play. So far, no protein on the challenger's side. Smith has
cumin, cream, and avocado in a ball of some sort. Now they're working on
a corn batter of some sort.
"Fifteen minutes have elapsed."
Flay has so far an avocado/edamame mix, a pork loin, and an avocado
puree. Smith counters with an avocado/tuna/tomato snack and avocado
biscuits. Over the break, more avocado gets scooped, chopped, whisked,
diced, and blended. The Iron Chef has added avocado leaves to the
steamer, a pot of red wine and tomatoes is on the heat, and more
avocados are being blended. The avocado biscuits are out of the oven,
and a tomato/avocado/lemon mixture is being processed.
- Restauranteur and lifestyle expert Donatella Arpaia ("Cooking In
- Actor Antonio Sabato, Jr. ("My Antonio")
- Sustainable food expert Anya Fernald
Back to action, we're going to have
plantain chips and which chocolate, not necessarily together, while
Bobby Flay is working a pita mixture and halibut on an avocado leaves.
And the ice cream mixture... silent on both sides.
"Thirty minutes have elapsed."
Flay has steamed halibut and edamame cakes. Challenger has grilled
avocado and a mousse of avocado and white chocolate. Over the break,
Flay has finished shucking his oyster, put his edamame patties in the
blast chillers, and chopped herbs for a later application. Smith has TWO
guacamoles in the works and oysters being shucked.
Flay is mixing up another spicy sauce,
while Smith is making an oyster wrap. Smith also breaks out a nice piece
of yellowtail. Flay is making a tempura flour, while he is also taking
out pita triangles and pork shoulders. Smith is tossing his tuna snack.
They're probably going to serve that as a salad course. Flay has plated
his deep-fried avocado, while cotija cheese has been grated. Smith has
started to plate his tuna snack.
"Fifteen minutes to go." Flay
has also started on watermelon, while Smith is starting on a third
guacamole. Flay adds pork carnitas and pork loin on top of his edamame
patty, fries tortilla strips, and dices more avocado. Smith's corn mix
has been added to his grilled avocado, and deep-fried oyster fritter is
on top of that. Beefsteak tomatoes have been sliced and are standing by.
Flay's saffron tempura is frying, while
his soups are mounted with cotija cheese and tortilla strips. Flay has
also plated his steamed halibut, while Smith is frying up some Canadian
beef while plating his guacamole. Smith also pairs those with chips of
various kinds. Flay has a goof on oysters Rockefeller. The watermelon is
going in a salad, which may be his last course. Smith has grilled
avocado plated down. Avocado biscuit is also down with strawberries and
more avocado. Flay has plated his lamb.
"One minute to go." Flay looks
over his plate one more time... and we covered everything. "Thirty
seconds to go." Smith is racing against the clock with the club sandwich
with crab, oyster, tuna snack, and guacamole three ways.
"Five seconds... three... two... one..."
And Battle Avocado is history. Put it down, walk away.
Judgment (Flay): "I think that when
it comes to an avocado, it's important to respect the freshness of it, the
richness of it, and the texture."
- Avocado Oysters Rockefeller
- Avocado Soup and Tomato Soup
- Halibut Steamed in Avocado Leaves
- Avocado and Edamame Cake
- Lamb with Avocado Chimichurri
Judgment (Smith): "My home, Prince Edward
Island, is in essence a giant farm surrounded by sandy beaches. My approach
today was to share as many of the flavors of home as I can with the judges. Of
course we don't grow avocados, so I had to be creative on how I put those
- Avocado and Tuna Snack
- Guacamole Three Ways (Mediterranean with Pita, Floridian with Plantain,
Southwestern with Blue Corn Tortilla)
- Avocados on the Half Shell
- Avocado and Soft Shell Crab Sandwich
- Strawberry Shortcake with Avocado Mousse
Flay is his usual bold self, while Smith was
forced to be creative. Which side will the judges favor? Whose cuisine reigns
supreme? The verdict...
... 54-40 in favor of
Iron Chef Bobby Flay. Although the judges clearly
enjoyed Chef Smith's Canadian fare, in the end, the Iron
Chef's use of the theme ingredient led to a three-way
sweet and another win for the home team.
Until next battle, we bid
you good eating.
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