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Iron Chef America
Season 9
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January 2
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February 13
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April 10
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May 1
May 15

"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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Symon vs. Mooking: Battle Hot Dog
May 29

The Challenger: Chef Roger Mooking, who, in the mid-90s, was known as MC Mystic of Bass is Base. Nowadays, he's traded his ones-and-twos for ovens and stoves at Toronto's Nyood with his Mediterranean-style cuisine. Not only is he the host of "Everyday Exotic" on Cooking Channel, but he is also back in the music business with an album entired, appropriately enough, "Soul Food". Today, he's hoping that Iron Chef Mike Symon won't leave a bitter tune on his tongue.

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Katie Pickens & Derek Clayton, sous-chefs
Stuart Cameron & Nelson Fernandez, sous-chefs
Mediterranean COOKING STYLE Mediterranean

The Theme Ingredient: Artisanal hot dogs made by hand by a local butcher specifically for this battle.

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 Hot Dog is ON in Kitchen Stadium! Finally, we demystify this mystic concoction of odd offal. They're not exactly hot dogs in the sense that we know of, being in link form. The dark dogs are 100% beef, while the lighter ones are 100% pork.

Symon plans to go all around the world with hot dogs, while Mooking is going to grind it up into its bare components and "freak it". We'll see which approach wins the day. So far, Symon is starting out with... "More meat, AB!"

Tonight's Judges are the hosts with the mosts...
- Sports broadcaster Boomer Esiason ("The NFL Today" and "Boomer & Carton in the Morning")
- Sports broadcaster Craig Carton ("Boomer & Carton in the Morning")
- Restauranteur Donatella Arpaia ("The Next Iron Chef")
- TV host Andrew Zimmern ("Bizarre Foods")

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


Mooking: "I wanted to take the hot dog and give it a twist and show a little bit of different tastes and a little bit of adventure."

- Pork Sui Mai
- Pork, Peas, Pears & Plums
- Bangers & Mash
- Hot Dog Garganelli
- Hot Dog Cassoulet

Symon: "I wanted to pay a lot of respect to the ingredient, and in every dish you have you really taste the hot dog. I kinda went from country to country."

- Hot Dog & Chicken Liver Crostini
- Hot Dog Tortellini
- Hot Dog with Poached Egg & Lobster
- Hot Dog Poutine
- Hot Dog Polish Boy

The Iron Chef delivered on hot dogs. Mooking decided to go a different direction and make the hot dog into something more than what it was? Respect for the ingredient or creativity on display? Whose cuisine reigns supreme?

Taste 38 31
Plating 17 16
Originality 19 14

... 74-61 in favor of Iron Chef Michael Symon. Again, respect must be paid to the ingredient, and to the master manipulator of said ingredient, who manages yet another three-tiered sweep.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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