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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 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. Christensen: Battle Chum Salmon
July 24

The Challenger: Chef Ashley Christensen grew up in her native North Carolina, the daughter of a beekeeper and a Southern cook. Currently, she the chef/owner of Poole's Downtown Diner in Raleigh. She describes herself as a Southern chef with a flair for French. Today, she draws the dean of the Iron Chefs, Bobby Flay.

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Renee Forsberg & Christine Sanchez, sous-chefs
Juan Esparza & Matthew Kelly, sous-chefs
Southwestern COOKING STYLE Southern

The Theme Ingredient: Chum salmon.

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 Oncorhynchus keta is ON in Kitchen Stadium! The word "chum" is from the Chinook meaning "marked". So it has a lot to do with the markings on its skin. In America, we focus on king or silver salmon. This is not as fatty a fish, and it tends to turn a little mushy if it's overcooked.

Frog legs are on order on the challenger's side, while the Iron Chef is going to cook one whole Cuban-style.

Tonight's Judges...
- Seafood expert Ben "Dr. Claw" Sargent
- Actress Cady Huffman ("The Company Men")
- Food author Jeffrey Steingarten ("The Man Who Ate Everything")

FUN FACT: Jeff holds the record for most dishes tasted by an ICA judge. Cady is a close second.

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


Christensen: "Celebrating our theme ingredient, just showcasing techniques that we celebrate at the restaurant, local produce and offerings in our area.

- Chum Salmon Carpaccio
- Chum Salmon Chile Relleno
- Chum Salmon Tartare with Carolina Shrimp
- Brown-Butter Roasted Chum Salmon
- Chum Salmon Skin Beignet

Flay: "We tried a lot of different techniques, and a couple of things not go our way. Luckily we recovered and got everything done."

- Slow Roasted Chum Salmon
- Fried Green Tomato with Smoked Chum Salmon
- Grilled Chum Salmon with Black Bean Sauce
- Cuban Style Whole Roasted Chum Salmon
- Chum Salmon Chowder with Dungeness Crab

Christensen could've pushed the dessert a little further with the salmon, but the rest of her menu was a veritable pantheon of comfort food. Flay made some serious missteps in cooking this salmon. Will that cost him the win in the end? Whose cuisine reigns supreme?

Taste 20 15
Plating 12 11
Originality 13 10

... 45-35 in favor of Iron Chef Bobby Flay. Good times quickly turned tough for both chefs in this battle, but in the end, Bobby Flay racks up a clean decisive victory for the home team.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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