Morimoto vs. Hines: Battle Pacific Cod
Chef Maria Hines, a Seattle-based chef who cooks with
natural organic ingredients and endeavors to reduce the
carbon footprint of Tilth, an eatery that is only one of
TWO restaurants in America to be certified as "organic".
Today, she challenges the master, Iron Chef Masaharu
Prepare for battle.
The Crib Sheet:
Larkin Young & Jason Brzozowy, sous-chefs
Ariki Omae & Jojo Vasquez, sous-chefs
The Theme Ingredient: Pacific cod.
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 their 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 Gadis Macrocephalus is on!
Pacific cod is an ocean-going catfish. Each one weighs about 10 pounds.
They cure very easily, and therefore they provided a lot of protein for
Europe before the days of refrigeration. The cod stocks in the Atlantic
has not bounced back from being fished out. Because it is a mild fish,
the chefs will want to be careful not to overwhelm the fish with
anything too strong.
Morimoto is bringing back an old
favorite... the ice-block smoker that he helped craft for the 2009
Holiday Eggnog Battle. He's also making grilled cod heads and Michiba's
broth of vigour. Meanwhile, Hines is starting out with... corn juice.
After 15 minutes, Morimoto is cooking
bacon, boiling eggs, and Hines is breaking down more cod.
- Food writer John T. Edge
- Actress Julie White ("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen")
- Author Sam Haskell ("Promises I Made My Mother")
At the half, Morimoto is making a curry
and some rice. Hines looks like she's making fried green tomatoes.
With 15 minutes remaining, we've started
plating. Morimoto has made cod chips, rice balls, and a cod roux with
vegetables. Hines has a tomato fondue, French bread, and a flagoulet
mixed with some creme fraiche. Morimoto's eggwhites are being pushed
into ramen with the cod broth and a piece of sudachi.
Less than six minutes left, and Hines has
plated... nothing. Morimoto is plating "fish & chips" and his
cold-smoked cod. And Morimoto has not been happier. He also has cod
noodles, a cod dog, and cod pizza. That's five. Curry is also done.
Where that goes, I haven't the foggiest. Hines has balsamic cod, paprika
cod, the cod brandade, fried green tomato, and ... pan sear. That's
And here's five.
seconds.... three... two... one..." Put it down, walk away. Battle
Pacific Cod is history, and all of the chefs on the floor are toasting
Judgment (Hines): "What I wanted to
do was show the flexibility of cod and all the different ways you can prepare
- Paprika-Smoked Pacific Cod
- Pacific Cod Brandade
- Sous-Vide Pacific Cod on Lemon Verbena and Fried Green Tomatoes
- Pan-Seared Pacific Cod
- Alderwood Planked Balsamic Cod with Corn Chowder
Judgment (Morimoto): "I tried to use
everything from head to tail. The cheeks, bones, and I used a lot of different
techniques, and I created dishes with flavors from all over the world."
- Cold Smoked Cod Sashimi
- Cod Broth with Cod "Ramen"
- Grilled Cod Ribs ("Cod Pizza")
- Fish & Chips
- Pacific Cod Curry
Morimoto going all over the world with
cod. Hines... stays domestic. This approach usually favors the Iron
Chef. But whose cuisine will reign supreme today?
... 51-46 in favor of
Challenger Maria Hines. An upset win decided on taste,
as someone clearly didn't make mention that Pacific cod
never has it in with the Iron Chef. Just ask Alton
Until next battle, we bid
you good eating.
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