vs. Gordon: Battle Berry
The challenger: Chef Daisley Gordon, a
native of Jamaica and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He has
cooked at Kentucky's legendary Brown Hotel. Today, he serves his Traditional
French with local ingredient as executive chef of Campagne in Seattle. Today, he
chooses to lock cleavers with Iron Chef Bobby Flay.
Prepare for battle.
The Crib Sheet:
Vicki Wells & JC Pavlovich, sous-chefs
Nikki Schiebel & Keiko Okuda, sous-chefs
The Theme Ingredient:
blueberries, strawberries, grapes, blackberries, golden
& red raspberries, gooseberries, cape gooseberries and
any other berries you can think of.
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 or her 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!"
Battle Berry is on in
Kitchen Stadium. Interesting thing. Not all of today's
offerings are technically berries.
Opening words from Chef
Gordon: "I always thought that his flavors were really
tasty and bold."
Flay is starting with
duck confit. Food pro has a mixture of berries, chilies,
and honey. Challenger is double-boiling some
berries... they're being mixed on the challenger's side.
He's also making some quail. So protein on both ends.
More protein on Gordon's end with blood sausages. Over
on the IC side, JC is making halibut, while Flay is
brushing his berry mixture on the lamb, while Gordon is
brushing herb-glaze onto his lamb.
"Fifteen minutes have
elapsed." Gordon has a raspberry watermelon soup and a
reduction of red wine and blueberry juice added to a pot
with berries and shallots. A sheet of gelatinous berries
is loaded into the oven as well, Flay counters with a
pot of berries reducing, pinenuts roasting, and a puree
- Media relations director Lee Schrager (Southern Wine & Spirits)
- Actress Julie White ("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen")
- ESPN host Kenny Mayne ("An Incomplete and Inaccurate History of Sport")
Flay is working on two batters, something that
looks like pancakes, and something that looks like polenta. Gordon has some
crepes... and Kevin? "I scream, you scream." That's code for ICE CREAM MACHINE!
"Thirty minutes have elapsed." Halfway through
the battle, Flay has a blackberry/cape gooseberry salsa, a mixed-berry bread
pudding, and a pair of batters. Gordon has a fruit salad, sliced strawberries,
and a saute of onions, capers, and berries. Iron Chef's blackberry rubbed loin
is on the grill, halibut slices are on the heat, and balsamico has been added to
a raspberry reduction. Challenger counters with a blueberry-sausage mix,
strained strawberries, and a pot of orange juice. The blood sausage mixture is
going onto that crepe he made earlier.
Vicki's ice cream is going out of the machine and
making a nice berry swirl. Keiko's ready to cook Gordon's quail.
Flay is also trying out his blueberry pancakes,
while the challenger adds golden raisins to the reduction of blackberry and
"Fifteen minutes to go." No plates on either side
yet. Flay found the pancake he wanted. More strawberries are being sliced and
the raspberry/sugar coulis is being reduced and chilled. Gordon has a reduction
of his own while his crepe is being finished.
Remember the watermelon-berry mixture? That's
getting the sea scallops on the challenger's side. Flay is plating his pancakes
with duck confit. Lamb also going down with blackberry barbecue sauce. Gordon is
adding uni, or sea urchin, to his strawberry plate. Another berry plate on the
IC side has cheese and fruit leather on it. Flay is plating his halibut on that
raspberry sugar reduction as well as a summer bread pudding and swirled ice
cream. And there's a napoleon to finish it out. The challenger's quail, crepe
with poached egg... "One minute to go." ... strawberry napoleon with uni,
gazpacho with sea scallops, and the berries with cheese and fruit leather.
And Flay is making a last second adjustment to
his bread pudding! This could be a game changer.
"Five seconds... three... two... one..." Battle
Berry is done, and everyone's in under the wire.
Judgment (Gordon): "For berries, I
was very excited. Initially, of course, some of the berries are sweet, but some
have a savory quality. So we decided to play on those particular qualities and
push them in one direction or another."
- Strawberry Napoleon with Sea Urchin
- Raspberry and Tomato Gazpacho
- Blood Sausage and Berry Crepe
- Grilled Quail with Blackberry Compote
- Berry and Cheese Course
Judgment (Flay): "The main challenge
for me was keeping the berries on the savory sides and to sweeten them up with
the sweeter dishes later on."
- Blue Corn Blueberry Pancake with Duck Confit
- Raspberry-Brown Butter Poached Halibut
- Blackberry-Marinated Lamb
- Warm Berry Charlotte
- Fraise des Bois and Cheese Napoleon
Both sides had very nice play with the
berries, but there can only be one winner. Whose cuisine reigns supreme tonight? The verdict...
... 56-50 in favor of
Iron Chef Bobby Flay. Daisley Gordon might've outdone
him with his originality, but when it comes to taste,
nothing beats perfection.
Until next time, we bid
you good eating.
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