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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
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
Airs 10p Sun, Food
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Cora vs. Walzog: Battle Cherry
October 25

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
Greek/Aegean COOKING STYLE Steakhouse

The Theme Ingredient: several varieties of cherry, including Bing, sour, and Rainier.

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 with cherries.

"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 dish.

Tonight's Judges:
- 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 the empanada. 

"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 and savory."

- 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...

Taste 25 24
Plating 10 11
Originality 13 10

... 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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