vs. Stone: Battle Skipjack
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:
Christine Sanchez & Renee Forsberg, sous-chefs
Chris Haworth & Mario Manabe, sous-chefs
The Theme Ingredient: Skipjack
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
"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.
- Culinary author John T. Edge
- Actress Cady Huffman ("The Company Men")
- "The dean of the Iron Chef judges" Jeffrey Steingarten ("The Next Iron
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
"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
- 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
... 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.
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