vs. Christensen: Battle Chum Salmon
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
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
- 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.
TASTING & JUDGMENT
"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
"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
... 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
Until next battle, we bid
you good eating.
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