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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. Fraser: Battle Cauliflower
May 23

Strange things are afoot in Kitchen Stadium. Today's challenger has asked - and has been granted by the Chairman - special dispensation to attempt something never before seen in this venue.

But first, we go to Huron, OH, where farmer Lee Jones has picked only the finest quantities of today's secret theme ingredient. He has traveled to KSA in New York City to personally deliver it to his Chairmanship so that he may personally inspect it for quality.

The Challenger: Chef John Fraser, who abandoned his medical pursuits for a culinary career. Today, he heads the kitchen at Dovetail in New York, which has been given three stars by the New York Times. Today, he decides to operate on Iron Chef Michael Symon.

Gentlemen... Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Cory Barrett & Dan Clayton, sous-chefs
Seasonal American COOKING STYLE Mediterranean

The Theme Ingredient: Several varieties of cauliflower including purple, orange, white, and Romanesco.

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 Brassica oleracia is on! As for the special dispensation... Chef Fraser is working ALONE. Usually the chefs are granted two sous-chefs to assist him or her in battle. Today, Chef Fraser has asked (and has been granted permission) to go it alone.

Back to the secret ingredient. Four varieties do not vary in taste, but the white cauliflower is the boldest in what we consider to be cauliflower flavor.

And as soon as the Iron Chef finds out that he's going up against one chef and one chef only, Symon decides to dismiss HIS sous-chefs as well! In the 17-year run of "Iron Chef", this has only happened once before. Now it's happening again, first time on American soil, it will be mano a mano.

"Fifteen minutes have elapsed." Over the break, Symon has loaded champagne on a stove, blended cauliflower into the oven. Fraser has a cauliflower/onion tart, scallop mousse, and something in the immersion circulator.

Tonight's Judges
- Farmer Lee Jones (The Chef's Garden)
- Actress Julie White ("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen")
- "The dean of the Iron Chef judges" Jeffrey Steingarten ("The Next Iron Chef")

Tempura is the order of the day on Fraser's side. Symon is starting to plate early, which wouldn't make sense under normal circumstances, but this is a far-from-normal battle. Fraser is also plating. At the halfway mark, Fraser is starting to sweat, perhaps regretting coming in here solo. Fraser has cut his cauliflower sausage into rounds and is frying, poblano & shallots are being poached in heavy cream, and Romanesco and chanterelles are plates. Symon counters with champagne-poached oyster and... not much else.

With 20 on the clock, Fraser is boiling some more cauliflower while Symon is making a fritter for his second dish. That'll be his dessert. He's also making a fritto misto. "Fifteen minutes to go." Time is quickly ticking away. Fraser is frying white cauliflower core, while Symon is plating his fritto misto into a bowl, and pasta is in the water.

Over six minutes left. The core is being plated. Fraser also has a tart, while Symon has spaghetti with bacon & cauliflower with parmesan cheese. Fraser has parmesan on his side as well.

"Three minutes to go." Symon has a salad with squab, and his spaghetti. Fraser has tempura with apple & Greek yogurt. And Symon... "DONE!" You're kidding me. "One minute to go." Fraser is still going at it. He's going to fight all the way to the end.

"Five seconds... Three ... two... one... " Battle Cauliflower, the strangest battle in KSA, is in the books. Five dishes each, let's eat.

Judgment (Fraser): "I wanted to make cauliflower the star of every plate. I'm trying to let the cauliflower be the protein on each plate."

- Cauliflower Tempura
- Cauliflower Sausage
- Cauliflower Tart
- Ham Glazed Cauliflower Core
- Cauliflower Pudding

Judgment (Symon): "To use everything up on that altar and give it the respect it deserves. I wanted to use everything from stems to leaves to the whole kit'n'kaboodle."

- Oyster with Cauliflower Zabaglione
- Fritto Misto
- Linguine with Cauliflower Carbonara
- Squab & Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Cauliflower and Almond Fritters

Fraser used to working by himself. Symon... not so much. Both chefs got the job done, but who'll get the W? Whose cuisine reigns supreme?

Taste 26 22
Plating 12 10
Originality 11 12

... 49-44 in favor of Iron Chef Michael Symon. Sometimes if you want to do something right, you better do it yourself, but if you come to town... you better make certain you have backup.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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