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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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Symon vs. Goldman: Battle Chocolate & Chiles
February 6

On a special night-before-the-Big-Game battle, one of the Chairman's superchefs is going up against... the Ace of Cakes. Something tells me that the frosting is about to fly. Let's bang a gong up in here.

The Challenger: Chef Duff Goldman is known to his legion of fans as Food Network's "Ace of Cakes", reigning supreme on his reality series of the same name. He heads up Baltimore's Charm City Cakes. But is he more than the sum of his ingredients? That we are about to find out as he calls out Iron Chef Michael Symon. He says... Bring it.

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Cory Barrett & Derek Clayton, sous-chefs
Shawn Aoki & Jesse Llapitan, sous-chefs
Mediterranean COOKING STYLE Pastry

The Theme Ingredient: chocolate between 58% and 71% cocoa liquor and several varieties of chilies, including savinas, Hawaiian long habaneros, anchos, poblanos, green infernos, and Thai bird chilies. The Chairman reveals via satellite.

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 Theobroma cacao and capsicum is on! Symon starts by rubbing down some pork butt with cocoa powder, cayenne, and salt. Duff also has a Kobe beef. He also has lobsters. The pork butt is hitting the pressure cooker with a variety of chilies. Duff is adding chili threads and chocolate to the Kobe loin. And the Iron Chef... has disappeared. He's at the judges table trying to buy some votes from the ladies... What the hell... Meanwhile, Derek is working on a cocoa pasta dough. Chef Duff is making a chili Swiss meringue.

"Fifteen minutes have elapsed." Chocolate stouts being exchanged as a peace offering. Derek is dicing pineapple. Iron Chef is also making a citrus marinade with cayenne. Challenger counters with Wagyu ribeye, salsa, and duck breasts.

Tonight's Judges
- Food writer Nigella Lawson
- Actress Jane Seymour ("Freeloaders")
- A woman my sister affectionately calls Mrs. Bobby Flay, actress Stephanie March ("Law & Order: SVU")

Chilies are being diced all over the place, as Duff is going to pipe his meringue into tin cups. Looks like a steam job. Yellowtail is being broken down on the IC side. Chef Duff... drills a chile out of seeds.

"Ice cream, you scream."

"Thirty minutes have elapsed." Symon has loaded chocolate crumble into the blast chiller, hamachi is out of cocoa-citrus marinade, and a mix of passionfruit, sugar, passion fruit juice, and corn starch is in the works. Duff has countered with Wagyu beef into the convection oven and a chocolate-chile infused tuile dough. The lobster gets hit with cream and chile threads. Symon has stuffed chilies with pepper-jack cheese and has plated his hamachi. Shawn is pouring a little uni soup mixture going into the oven. The meringue is now out of the oven, while the Iron Chef is pairing hamachi and uni. That plate is done. Derek is cutting some supremes, while Cory has a cake out. Shawn is slicing up some duck. chef Duff is cooling a few peppers in what looks like a margarita without some tequila.

"Fifteen minutes to go." Symon is slicing up his pork butt, while Duff's tuile is out and curling. The Iron Chef has his chocolate-beer-infused mole, grilled poblanos, and melted chocolate with eggs & lime juice. The challenger has a mix of curry powder, cream, and saffron to mashed potatoes and has piped it onto a plate. Melted chocolate has been added to a blend of tomatoes and parsley. Shawn is working on a frisee slaw, while the Iron Chef is cooking some chocolate pasta. Chef Duff is goofing on a lobster thermidor, filling dried cacao pods with the lobster mixture. Duff, meanwhile, is frying scallops in cocoa butter. Symon counters with yellowtail crudo.

With seven minutes left, Chef Duff has no plates on his side. Symon is plating his pasta and pork butt, so that'll be four. Chef Duff is starting to plate with duck and frisee salad, Wagyu beef, couscous in chocolate, and... not much else yet. Iron Chef is plating his fifth, a chocolate crumble. Duff has two more dishes to plate. Symon for all intents and purposes is done. Duff has his meringue down, and with less than a minute... uni and chocolate pudding... and chile relleno. That looks like a battle.

"Five seconds... Three ... two... one... " Battle Chocolate & Chile is done.

Judgment (Goldman): "First thing I thought of was mole. Too obvious. It's Iron Chef, we want to kick it up a little bit. At the same time, we're not doing a sous vide foam essence cut by a laser. Everything that you will see has something a little old school. It's got a nice twist on it."

- Seafood Duo (Sea scallop and uni brulee)
- Chile Relleno
- Lobster Thermidor
- Kobe Rib-Eye with Chili Poached Egg
- Chile Swiss Meringue

Judgment (Symon): "I think chocolate and chiles go very well together, but it's all about finding the balance of them with the rest of the food."

- Yellowtail Crudo
- Chocolate Pasta with Chile Ragu
- Coffee & Chocolate Braised Pork Belly
- Chile Chocolate Cake
- Dark Chocolate Sherbet

A lot of chocolate, and a lot of simple, straight-forward recipes. But whose reigns supreme? The verdict...

Taste 29 26
Plating 14 11
Originality 13 11

... 56-48 in favor of Iron Chef Michael Symon. As a result, he gets to wear Chef Duff's Charm City Cakes hat with pride. Even though Chef Duff is defeated, I have a feeling that he'll be back someday to exact a little culinary revenge.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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