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Iron Chef America
Season 9
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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
Marc Forgione
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 & Fujisankei Communications Inc. for Food Network
Origins Kitchen Stadium America, Food Network Studios New York
Web foodnetwork.com/ica
Airs 10p ET Sun, Food

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Garces vs. Medina: Battle Mexican Chocolate

The Challenger: Chef Julian Medina, born and raised in Mexico City, where he honed his interest in Mexican cuisine. What he does now is French techniques in Mexican ingredients, which you can sample in his restaurant, Toloache in Manhattan. Today, he challenges the only other Latin chef in Kitchen Stadium, Iron Chef Jose Garces. 

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Jessica Mogardo & Tim Spinner, sous-chefs
Venancio Tapia & JC Pavlovich, sous-chefs
Latin American COOKING STYLE Mexican French Fusion

The Theme Ingredient: Nuggets and patties of Mexican chocolate, with and without almonds.

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 Mexican Chocolate is ON! The fifth chocolate battle in Kitchen Stadium history, this one is dealing with only the Mexican variety. It's a lot more grainy than standard American fare. Nothing is in the chocolate other than roasted nibs ground up with sugar and cinnamon. It is never conched, that is rolled into the melt-in-your-mouth texture that we know of.

Tonight's Judges
- Actor/host John O'Hurley ("Family Feud")
- PR specialist Karine Bakhoum (KB Network News)
- Master chocolatiers Michael & Rick Mast

"Five seconds... three... two... one... " And Battle Mexican Chocolate is history. Put it down and walk away.



- Scallop over Chocolate Tamal de Olla
- Arepa de Puerco: Pork Belly Slider
- Black Cod with Mancha Manteles
- Duck Breast with Chocolate Mole
- Chocolate Panna Cotta and Hot Chocolate


- Kobe Beef Tartare & Beet Tartare
- Mexican Chocolate Linguine with Smoked Duck
- Mexican Chocolate Tamale and Chocolate-Crusted Iberian Pork Loin
- Canela Waffle with Mexican Chocolate Sauce
- Mexican Chocolate Atole and Doughnuts with Mexican Chocolate Sauce

An interesting variation of flavors from savory to sweet. This is going to be a close one. Whose cuisine reigns supreme? By a very very... VERY... narrow margin...

Taste 34 37
Plating 18 18
Originality 20 16

... 72-71 in favor of Iron Chef Jose Garces. It was a very close match indeed, but the Iron Chef's creativity outscored the challenger's taste by a razor-thin margin of one.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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