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Iron Chef America
Season 9
10p ET Sundays

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January 2
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February 13
March 6
April 10
April 17
May 1

"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 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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Flay vs. Stein: Battle Mussel
May 15

The Challenger: Chef Todd Stein, a chef who works out of the Chicago kitchen of Cibo Matto in theWit Hotel. When he was a 5th grader, he worked at a local restaurant as an intern, eventually cooking in restaurants in Cleveland, Las Vegas, and Minneapolis. Today, he heads to the Big Apple to take on the Big Apple's own, Iron Chef Bobby Flay.

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Renee Forsberg & Christine Sanchez, sous-chefs
Russell "Rusty" Kook & Joe Cecchini, sous-chefs
Southwestern COOKING STYLE Contemporary Italian

The Theme Ingredient: A pair of mussel varieties - blue Mediterranean and New Zealand green-lipped.

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 Mussel is ON in Kitchen Stadium! Among the mussels are wild mussels from Maine, Prince Edward Island, and France. Mussels are used in cuisines all over the world. Pubs feature them steamed. Paellas and fisherman's stews are common as well. They act as a sponge to the flavors around them. The green-lipped variety have a subtle acidity and sweetness.

Tonight's Judges
- TV host Julie Chen ("The Talk" and "Big Brother")
- Cooking Channel host David Rocco ("David Rocco's Dolce Vita")
- Culinary author Laura Calder ("French Food at Home")

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


Stein: "I think mussels are one of those things that get glossed over in restaurants, but they're one of those great ingredients that need to be used more."

- Chilled Mussel Salad
- Roasted Prawns & Mussels
- Steamed Mussels with Chorizo
- Smoked Mussels & Lobster
- Grilled Swordfish & Roasted Mussels

Flay: "As soon as the mussels are steamed open, they're ready."

- Crispy Mussels in Green Chile Sauce
- Mussels & Grits
- Mussel Cioppino
- Linguini and Mussels
- Red Curry Coconut Mussels

Timing was an important factor in the prep of both kitchens' mussel dishes. But who timed it perfectly? Whose cuisine reigns supreme?

By a hair margin of one, the verdict...

Taste 25 25
Plating 12 13
Originality 12 10

... 49-48 in favor of Iron Chef Bobby Flay. The original Iron Chef America, though bested in plating design, more than made up for it with originality.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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