vs. Johnson: Battle Cucumber
Chef Wayne Johnson. While attending college at Northern
Colorado, he was a wrestler and a part-time cook. When
he graduated, he stepped into the kitchens at Vail and
San Francisco. Today, he heads the kitchen at Andaluca
in Seattle, where his Mediterranean flair has won him
numerous accolades. Today, he steps into the ring of
fire against Iron Chef Michael Symon.
Prepare for battle.
The Crib Sheet:
Derek Clayton & Katie Pickens, sous-chefs
Dawn Kale & Nami Rosas, sous-chefs
The Theme Ingredient: several
varieties of cucumber, including but not limited to Kirbys, Englishes,
Persians, Brazilians, Lemons, Gherkins, and Mexican gherkins, as well as
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 Cucumis sativus is ON in
Kitchen Stadium! The cucumber is a member of the melon family.
Technically, the cucumber is a fruit with seeds inside. Their flavor can
range from so mild it's not noticeable to extremely strong and tart
depending on age and variety.
A natural accompaniment to today's secret
ingredient.... salmon, as in the one over on Johnson's side AND the Iron
Chef Symon's side. It has a lot of melon and cucumber-like scents and
- Actress/host Alison Sweeney ("Days of Our Lives", "The Biggest Loser")
- Food author Michael Ruhlman ("Ratio: the Simple Codes Behind the Craft
of Everyday Cooking")
- Actress Cady Huffman ("The Company Men")
FUN FACT: Cady is also close second in
terms of most appearances by a female judge. Number one belongs to
Ice cream, you scream. Technically,
And as the clock runs down, the Iron Chef
has time to whip up a couple of extra cocktails for Kevin and AB.
"Five seconds... three... two... one... "
And Battle Cucumber is history. Put it down and walk away.
TASTING & JUDGMENT
"Cucumber has such a subtle flavor. Sometimes you have to add flavor to it, but
at the same time you don't want to lose that cucumber flavor. So we tried a
variety of cucumbers and it came out nice."
- Gazpacho Trio
- Cured Salmon with Pickled Cucumbers
- Crispy Duck Cake with Cucumber Raita
- Chermoula Cucumber Salad
- Cucumber Sorbetto
"I didn't just want to go Greek, that'd be too predictable. I kinda did a little
bit of everything\."
- Cucumber Margarita with Cucumber and Tuna
- Cucumber Spaghetti
- Roasted Wild Salmon with Cucumber Sauce
- Grilled Lamb Chop with Cucumber Salad
- Cucumber Sorbet with Melon
A lot of cucumber flavors and varieties
lend to a lot of applications. Creativity definitely on display on both
ends of the world, but can there can only be one winner. Johnson has a
combination of coolness and heat, of freshness and preparedness. Symon
took a little diversionary tactic, especially in the not-pasta dish. And
he didn't go just Greek. He went around the world with the cucumber.
Whose cuisine reigns supreme?
... 45-38 in favor of
Iron Chef Michael Symon. Once again, we witness the
incredible insurmountable undeniable power of food as
the Iron Chef takes down another challenge in taste and
Until next battle, we bid
you good eating.
To see this episode in its entirety, go to