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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. Paley: Battle Radish
April 17

The Challenger: Chef Vitaly Paley, raised in Kiev, Ukraine. Having moved to New York to become a concert pianist, he abandoned his Steinway for a stock pot. He worked in several restaurants before opening his own, Paley's Place, in Portland, OR. His food speaks to the local bounty of the Pacific Northwest, as determined by the James Beard Foundation. Today, he challenges the Latin maestro, Iron Chef Jose Garces.

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Macgregor "Mac" Mann & Dave Conn, sous-chefs
Benjamin Bettinger & Patrick McKee, sous-chefs
Latin American COOKING STYLE Pacific Northwest

The Theme Ingredient: Varieties of radish to include daikon, baby daikon, cherry rosa, French breakfast, black, watermelon, Easter egg, baby Easter egg, and cherry bomb.

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 Radish is ON! We have an unprecedented 11 varieties on the altar. Both chefs have very interesting takes on this vegetable. The issue will be fleeting flavors.

And Paley has brought turnips to a radish party. How interesting.

Tonight's Judges
- Cooking Channel host Bal Arneson ("Spice Goddess")
- Food writer Michael Ruhlman
- PR specialist Karine Bakhoum (KB Network News)

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


Paley: "I grew up in the former Soviet Union. I feel very comfortable with radishes, feel right at home. Today, we're going to show you what we do with radishes using the whole plant."

- International Radish Tasting
- Radish Greens and Ricotta Gnocchi
- Poached Halibut with Radishes a la Grecque
- Horseradish-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- Watermelon Radish & Apple Tart Tatin

Garces: "I think the thing that can be challenging is that it's a very strong, pungent flavor. We wanted to highlight the secret ingredient, but also let it show some natural subtleties"

- Breakfast Radish Mosaic
- Daikon Noodles with Seared Toro
- Radish Pinxto with Sangria
- Radish Bratwurst
- Radish Congee

Both chefs used the radish in a sorbet, but cooking from the roots will not be enough to win this battle. The Iron Chef's world tour was a hit... with a few misses. The challenger, same deal. Whose cuisine reigns supreme?

Taste 22 27
Plating 12 11
Originality 12 13

... 55-46 in favor of Challenger Vitaly Paley. Close scores in the aesthetics departments, but today, taste is where Vitaly Paley earns his margin of victory.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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