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"Our ultimate competition is with ourselves. That is what my uncle told me when I would visit him as a young boy... My uncle, the man the world knows as Kaga the Chairman, has decided that although America is a young country, we now possess the proper palate to host our own Iron Chef competition, an American celebration of the world's high art of cuisine."

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host ("The Chairman") Mark Dacascos
Iron Chefs Cat Cora
Bobby Flay
Jose Garces
Masaharu Morimoto
Michael Symon
Culinary Commentator Alton Brown
Floor Reporter Kevin Brauch
Creator Keiichi Tanaka (based upon "Ryori no Tetsujin/Iron Chef")
EP Eytan Keller
Stephen Kroopnick
Stu Schreiberg
Packager Triage Entertainment & Fuji TV for Food Network
Origins Kitchen Stadium America, Food Network Studios New York
Web foodnetwork.com/ica
Airs 10p Sun, Food
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Flay vs. Smith: Battle Avocado
January 31

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 Flay.

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
JC Pavlovich & Renee Forsberg, sous-chefs
Paul Rogalski & Bill, sous-chefs
Southwestern COOKING STYLE Modern Canadian

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.

Tonight's Judges...
- Restauranteur and lifestyle expert Donatella Arpaia ("Cooking In Heels")
- 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 flavors together."

- 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...

Taste 28 17
Plating 14 12
Originality 12 11

... 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.

To see this episode in its entirety, go to www.foodnetwork.com/ica.