Cora vs. Walzog: Battle Cherry
The challenger: Chef David Walzog, no
doubt America's foremost expert on steak. He was the executive chef of The
Steakhouse in the Monkey Bar in New York City and the author of "The New
American Steakhouse Cookbook". Nowadays, you'll find his strip steak on the
strip at SW in Las Vegas. Today, he challenges Kitchen Stadium's iron maiden,
Iron Chef Cat Cora.
Prepare for battle.
The Crib Sheet:
Lorilynn Bauer & Ed Cotton, sous-chefs
Patrick Munster & Kimberly Valdez, sous-chefs
The Theme Ingredient:
several varieties of cherry, including Bing, sour, and
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 Cherry is on in
Kitchen Stadium, and while the challengers are going
into the cherries, Cora is breaking down protein with
lamb bacon, duck breast, and king crab tail combined
with cherries and lime juice. She likes her vacuum bags.
Walzog mows through coconuts saving his water for a
later application perhaps. He also has an ancho mixture
"Fifteen minutes have
elapsed." And the challengers has some quail and
about a couple hundred bucks worth of truffle being
mowed down. He also has some coconuts opened up. Cora
counters with crab tail meat, duck breasts, and a cherry
reduction. All in all, cherries are being pounded,
pitted, reduced, vacuum sealed, and run through a food
mill. Cora has a risotto and a batter. Walzog is
breaking down a rack of lamb and a batter for a later
- Media gadfly Mo Rocca (NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me")
- Actress Roz Ryan (Broadway's "Chicago")
- A man who needs no introduction, Jeffrey Steingarten
Back on the floor, Ed is adding Kirschwasser to
his risotto. Kimberly has a crepe. Cora has livers going into a food pro with
guts, while Walzog is frenching his tips for the rack of lamb and... "Ice cream,
you scream!" Back to the food pro, where the guts are being strained for later.
"Thirty minutes have elapsed." Cora has
cherry empanadas while she curlicues a cucumber. Walzog does the same with
carrots and zucchini. Cora has wrapped some cherries and feta/almond paste in
bacon. That's in the oven. Walzog has a cherry-orange reduction and an ancho-cherry
glazed quail on the grill. Over the break, Cora reduced cherries, diced them,
loaded up on Greek yogurt, and blast-chilled her sherbet. Walzog answers back
with onion and stock, cherries and vanilla, and cherries, butter, and truffles
being blast-chilled. Kimberly's crepes are being filled.
Cora is making some tzatziki, while plating some
cherry salsa. Walzog is also starting to plate a hibachi apparatus. Iron Chef's
sous vide has been cooked, now it's time to seat. The crab tail is also cooked.
Walzog will tempura-batter wild asparagus. Cora takes out some chicken-liver
mousse. Kimberly's making crepe souffles. Cora plates her bacon-wrapped rumaki
cherries, while Walzog is making a drink with tequila and the coconut water.
"Fifteen minutes to go." Cora has
matched her cherry salsa with cherry-marinated crab tail, cherry soup is in the
works, and her rumaki cherries are plated. Walzog has cherry souffle, cherrywood
steaks, and cherry cocktails. Over the break, Cora juices bing cherries, loads
up cherry gelee on chicken liver mousse, and bing cherries and mascarpone cheese
loaded into the risotto. Walzog has tempura cherries, green asparagus, and rack
of lamb sliced into chops.
Lorilynn's gingerbread croutons are into the
cherry soup. Everyone's plating at this moment. Walzog is plating his
tenderloins, while Cora is plating the soup with the cherry sherbet. One dish
each. Walzog plates the lamb chip with asparagus. Ed's chicken liver mousse is
down. That's two each. Souffle's down on the challenger side. Cora has cherry
risotto down. Walzog has the cherry quail on his hibachi rig. Crab tails are
being flambeed, while Lorilynn is mixing a concoction of some sort.
"Three minutes to go." That mixture is going with
"One minute to go." Once again to review, the
challenger has a tenderloin, lamb chop, hibachi quail, soufflé, and that coconut
salad. Iron Chef answers with rumaki cherries, mousse, king crab tail, duck,
soup, and the empanada.
"Five seconds... three... two... one..." Battle
Cherry is in the books. And the Iron Chef team only broke out the ouzo when the
battle ended! That was close.
Judgment (Cora): "Cherries. Endless things
you could do with cherries, and I wanted to get as creative as possible."
- Stuffed Cherry Brochette
- Chicken Liver Mousse with Cherry Gelee
- Alaskan King Crab Tail with Cherry Salsa
- Cherry Soup
- Cherry Risotto with Duck
- Sour Cherry Empanada
Judgment (Walzog): "Cherries are a
fantastic thing to work with in that they have such diversity, tart and sweet
- Coconut-Cherry Salad
- Cherry Ancho Glazed Quail
- Cherry and Truffle Crusted Rack of Lamb
- Cherry Glazed Filet
- Cherry Cheesecake Crepe Souffle
Walzog went exotic and the judges loved
him for it. Iron Chef Cora also did honor to the cherries, but whose
cuisine reigns supreme? The verdict...
... 48-45 in favor of
Iron Chef Cat Cora. David Walzog may have had the edge
in his creative plating designs, but today, it was
Cora's originality that gave her the margin of victory.
Until next battle, we bid
you good eating.
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