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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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Garces vs. Casella: Battle Hawaiian Snapper
August 28

The Challenger: Chef Cesare Casella, an Italian-born, Italian-bred chef who earned a Michelin star for his parents' trattoria outside of Lucca. He has since been an executive chef/owner at Salumeria Rosi in New York City and a dean of the city's Italian Culinary Academy. His food is simple, a base for great ingredients. Today, he'll go knife to knife against the Latin American maestro, Iron Chef Jose Garces

Prepare for battle.

The Crib Sheet:
Tim Spinner & Macgregor Mann, sous-chefs
Jessica Botta & Aaron Oster, sous-chefs
Latin American COOKING STYLE Italian

The Theme Ingredient: Hawaiian snapper

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 Pristipomoides filamentosus is ON in Kitchen Stadium! The Hawaiian snapper, aka the ruby snapper, aka the opakapaka, have big eyes because they need to see 250 to 750 feet deep, where they make their home. They go to market at one to five pounds, but they can grow quite larger.

Today, Garces is going to go to the Far East for inspiration. Casella is going top to tail with his fish, pulling out every inch of flavor.

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...
- Seafood expert Ben "Dr. Claw" Sargent
- Restauranteur Donatella Arpaia ("Donatella Cooks: Simple Food Made Glamorous")
- Grammy-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman

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


Casella: "Sixty minutes is a very short time, but for true Italian cooking, this is normal, because you don't need to cook it all the way, like this fish."

- Hawaiian Snapper Fritto
- Insalata del Pontormo al Mare with Snapper Belly
- Hawaiian Snapper Farrotto
- Regalo del Mare al Cartoccio
- Bigoli al Torchio with Snapper Ragu

Garces: Garces went from east to west with his spread...

- Hawaiian Snapper Tartare & Ceviche
- Smokes Hawaiian Snapper Chawanmushi
- Scallop & Snapper Sausage
- Macadamia Butter Poached Hawaiian Snapper
- Salt-Seared Hawaiian Snapper

Casella offered a buonissima taste of Italy with the fish. The judges were pretty much floored by everything he has presented, having shown deference to the ingredient. The Iron Chef, not one to shy away from creativity, but in the end, it's taste that matters. Whose cuisine reigns supreme?

Taste 30 28
Plating 15 13
Originality 15 13

... 60-54 in favor of Iron Chef Jose Garces. Can't do any better than that. A perfect 60, only the second perfect 60 ever logged in Kitchen Stadium America, and it's by the Iron Chef.

Until next battle, we bid you good eating.

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