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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
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Morimoto vs. Hines: Battle Pacific Cod
August 1

The Challenger: 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 Morimoto.

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
HINES
Larkin Young & Jason Brzozowy, sous-chefs
VS MORIMOTO
Ariki Omae & Jojo Vasquez, sous-chefs
Modern American COOKING STYLE Neo-Japanese

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.

Tonight's Judges
- 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 five.

And here's five.

"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 with champagne.

Judgment (Hines): "What I wanted to do was show the flexibility of cod and all the different ways you can prepare it."

- 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?

IRON CHEF CHALLENGER
Taste 23 28
Plating 10 12
Originality 13 11

... 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 Brown.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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