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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. Stone: Battle Skipjack
May 30

The Challenger: author and Chef Curtis Stone, who traded in an Aussie-rules football playbook for a recipe book, honing his craft in the London kitchen of Mirabella, where he earned his Michelin star. He's also a contestant on "The Celebrity Apprentice" and one of People's "Sexiest Men Alive". Today, only his culinary prowess is being graded against... Iron Chef Bobby Flay. Well, if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly.

Gentlemen... Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
FLAY
Christine Sanchez & Renee Forsberg, sous-chefs
VS STONE
Chris Haworth & Mario Manabe, sous-chefs
Southwestern COOKING STYLE Organic

The Theme Ingredient: Skipjack tuna.

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. In an added wrinkle, today's battle is a special "grill battle". The chairman wants one component from each plate to be grilled.

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 Katsuwonis pelanis is on! This is also known as a striped tuna, bonito, katsuo, and aku. Skipjack has a fairly-high oil content, so it'll be interesting to see what the chefs choose to pair with this protein. Flay is starting with two oils and a pasta, while Stone is going the route of a vitello tonnato. He also has a veal, tomato, and a fish that they kissed before plunging a knife in it.

"Fifteen minutes have elapsed." Over the break, the Iron Chef has grilled red bell peppers, a bechamel sauce, and a ground fennel and allspice mixture is coming together. Stone has vacuum-packed skipjack loins, capers, anchovies, and cauliflower with coconut milk.

Tonight's Judges
- Culinary author John T. Edge
- Actress Cady Huffman ("The Company Men")
- "The dean of the Iron Chef judges" Jeffrey Steingarten ("The Next Iron Chef")

Stone is functioning as the chief butcher of the fish on his side of things, while Mario is trying to harvest some juice for a sorbet. How in the world will that go with tuna? Christine, meanwhile, has a mayonnaise in Flay's kitchen. She also unpacks some white sardines.

"Thirty minutes have elapsed." Half of the battle gone in Kitchen Stadium. Flay has a grilled pineapple relish, a mint-habanero sauce, and a passionfruit-mango curry. Stone has candied orange peel, cubed tuna, and pureed cauliflower.

Time is going to be a huge issue, as both chefs are going to try and calculate when the fish needs to hit the grill. Stone is playing with a wide range of cooking methods, with one ceviche, one tartare, and one in the immersion circulator. Flay... has hit the grill with the fish with 23 minutes remaining in the battle. Stone's fish shortly after.

"Fifteen minutes to go." Plates are coming out on the Iron Chef's side. Flay has a grilled red pepper sauce, a mango-curry-passion sauce, and a bechamel sauce. Stone counters with confit tuna belly in a blender, grilled shellfish in tomato, and garlic chips in a deep fryer.

"Ten minutes to go." Stone's tomato water sorbet is out of the ice cream machine. He's also plating grilled tuna with orange supremes and cauliflower puree and olive tapenade on tuna. Flay has his curry tuna down.

"Five minutes to go." Flay is plating his freeform lasagna, grilled tuna with barbecue sauce, grilled tuna with curry sauce, a tonnato dish, and two more dishes to go. One is a red pepper tuna, the other... a fish taco. "One minute to go." Following with Stone's ceviche, confit, tonnato with flatbread, tartare, and sorbet. It's all coming down to the last minute... Literally...

"Five seconds... Three ... two... one... " Stick a fork in Battle Skipjack, it's over!

Judgment (Flay): "Very tough ingredient. It's almost mackerel-like, so my approach is to treat it like meat instead of fish."

- Grilled Skipjack Tonnato
- Spice Rubbed Skipjack Salad
- Grilled Skipjack Freeform Lasagna
- Grilled Skipjack with Pineapple BBQ Sauce
- Grilled Skipjack with Indian Spices & Curry Glaze

Judgment (Stone): "What we wanted to show was how many different ways you can cook with it, how many different types of preparation."

- Tuna Ceviche with Coconut
- Vitello Tonnato
- Tuna Tartare with Tomato Sorbet
- Grilled Tuna with Cauliflower Puree
- Tuna Confit with Tomato Fondue

The challenger seemed to be on his game all day. Will he throw Iron Chef Flay onto the barbie? Whose cuisine reigns supreme?

IRON CHEF CHALLENGER
Taste 26 19
Plating 12 10
Originality 11 8

... 49-37 in favor of Iron Chef Bobby Flay. Curtis Stone put up five dishes worthy of Kitchen Stadium, but the mere fact that Bobby Flay was born on a grill says it all right there.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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