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Season 8
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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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Garces vs. Liken: Battle Blue Cheese
May 9

The Challenger: Chef Kelly Liken, who was headed for a career as a physicist when she graduated #1 in her class at the Culinary Institute of America. She headed west to head up the seasonal American restaurant in Vail, CO, that bears her name. Keeping up with a growing trend, most of her ingredients are locally sourced. But how will she do against the newest of the Chairman's mantle, Iron Chef Jose Garces.

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Matt Limbaugh & Hunter Smith, sous-chefs
Dave Conn & MacGregor Mann, sous-chefs
Seasonal American COOKING STYLE Latin American

The Theme Ingredient: Roquefort, Gorgonzola Dolce, Cabrales, and Maytag varieties of blue cheese.

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, empty stomach, and apparently his dancing shoes on, utters the words of his dear uncle.... "Allez cuisine!"

And Battle Blue Cheese is on! As you know, Blue Cheese is symbolized by the presence of mold in the cheese.

And looks like we're heading to frozen yogurt territory.

"Fifteen minutes have elapsed." Over the break, Garces started on macaroni, bacon, and buffalo tenderloin, while Liken started on hazelnuts, egg whites, and butternut squash in chopped onion stock.

Tonight's Judges
- Actor Lou Diamond Phillips ("La Bamba")
- Sustainable food expert Anya Fernald ("The Next Iron Chef")
- Italian specialist Mario Rizzotti (Academia Barilla)

At the halfway mark, it looks like the battle is being joined with Garces working with escarole and Roquefort, peaches and chorizo, and apple chutney. Liken counters with apple crisps, Roquefort balls, and frozen yogurt.

"Fifteen minutes to go." Liken has tempura shrimp, Asian pear, and beef tenderloin. The Iron Chef has a microgreen salad, crystallized sugar on Gorgonzola, and a maple-glazed quail. Plating has begun on both sides with both sides starting with blue cheese croquettes.

Liken thinks she forgotten something. What could it be? Who knows.

"Five seconds... Three ... two... one... " Battle Blue Cheese is history.

Judgment (Liken): "I really wanted to weave the cheese in and out throughout the meal as opposed to just bombarding you with a whole ton of that really intense flavor all at once."

- Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with Cabrales
- Butternut Squash Soup with Roquefort Croquette
- Tempura Prawn with Maytag Salad
- Pork Tenderloin with Cranberries and Cabrales
- Fig and Asian Pear Crisp with Roquefort

Judgment (Garces): "We took the origin of each cheese and I used that as a backdrop and direction for each of our dishes."

- Roquefort-Stuffed French Toast
- Cabrales and Jamon Iberico Salad
- Maytag Stuffed Quail with Macaroni and Cheese
- Four Cheese Buffalo Tenderloin
- Gorgonzola Duo (custard and apple chutney with a schmear)

Both chefs with their share of hits. This is going to be a close one. Who's cuisine reigns supreme?

Taste 27 23
Plating 13 11
Originality 13 14

... 53-48 in favor of Iron Chef Jose Garces. Though Chef Kelly Liken had the edge in originality, it was taste and plating that ultimately won the day for the Iron Chef, who continues to pave his way in Kitchen Stadium.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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