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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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Morimoto vs. Tila: Battle Seaweed
August 7

The Challenger: Chef Jet Tila, a third-generation chef whose grandmother taught him the fundamentals of Chinese cooking. Today, his expertise is on display at Wazuzu at Encore Las Vegas, where he shares his love of Pan-Asian cuisine. He currently holds the world record for the largest stir-fry. Today, he takes on another Pan-Asian expert known for honing his craft in America... Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Jamison Blankenship & Ariki Omae, sous-chefs
Kittiphong "Kitt" Xaiyasiha & Masaru "Matsu" Matsuura, sous-chefs
Neo-Japanese COOKING STYLE Pan-Asian

The Theme Ingredient: several varieties of seaweed, including but not limited to sea beans, ogo, nori, and kombu.

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 Seaweed - a battle that AB has been secretly and personally dreading - is ON in Kitchen Stadium! Seaweed is a natural source of many things in Asian cuisine, chief among them, Omega 3s, umami - that savory flavor of glutamic acid - and MSG.

Morimoto has a lot of proteins on his side, mainly fish, but Tila is actually using more vegetables than anything. Jamison is working on three flour concoctions for the Iron Chef. Three different doughs for three different seasons. Matsu, on the other hand, is working on a scallion oil and an ogo-wakame mixture.

Tonight's Judges...
- "Gastronaut" Stefan Gates (The BBC's "Cooking in the Danger Zone")
- Actress Julie White ("Transformers: Dark of the Moon")
- Senior chef instructor at the Art Institutes Michael Fernandez

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


Tila: "Being a Pan-Asian restaurant, we really wanted to bring the best of myself and my chefs. We wanted to really bring you what seaweed could be, but represent it in all these Pan-Asian cultures."

- Crab & Seaweed Poke
- Seaweed Gazpacho
- Shikai "Stained Glass" Maki
- Crispy Fish and Seaweed with Mango Salad
- Chinese Seaweed Drunken Noodles in Lobster Stir-Fry

Morimoto: "With seaweed, it's very difficult to make one dish after another and have it be different, so my main theme is one of umami."

- Yellowfin Tartare with Nori Paste
- "Manhattan Style" Seaweed Chowder
- Kombu and Sake Steamed King Crab
- Seaweed Roast Chicken with Seaweed Carbonara
- Sushi, Temaki, Tea & Seaweed Doughnut

When Tila wasn't over with the seaweed, it was under. But he really hit a home run with the Lobster and Chinese Seaweed noodles. Morimoto goes one step further - as always - in his tradition of borderless Japanese cuisine, particularly with his pasta dish. Whose cuisine reigns supreme?

Taste 27 26
Plating 14 12
Originality 14 13

... 55-50 in favor of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. No creature great or small could withstand the awesome power of the original Tetsujin, though Tila made it a close battle to watch.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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