Michiba... Sakai... Morimoto... Flay...
Symon... The history of the Iron Chef is riddled with the greats. In a
few weeks time, one more name will be added to the roster of these men
(and woman) of metal. Ten chefs will be tested as they've never been
tested before, and their culinary journey will take them from Los
Angeles to the birthplace of the Iron Chef legend, Japan. Who will seize
this moment and change the course of culinary history forever? Who will
be named... THE NEXT IRON CHEF?
We start in the gastronomical melting pot
of Los Angeles with 10 celebrity chefs...
- ROBERTO TREVINO: San Juan, PR; head
chef, Budatai; Latin Asian
- AMANDA FREITAG: New York City; head chef, the Harrison;
- SEAMUS MULLEN: New York City; head chef, Boqueria; Regional Spanish
- BRAD FARMERIE: New York City; head chef, Public & Double Crown; Fusion
- NATE APPLEMAN: New York City; chef, Pulino's Bar & Pizzeria; Regional
- HOLLY SMITH: Kirkland, WA; head chef, Cafe Juanita; Northern Italian
- JOSE GARCES; Philadelphia; restauranteur; South American
- DOMINIQUE CRENN; San Francisco; head chef, Luce Restaurant; "Farm to
- ERIC GREENSPAN: Los Angeles; head chef, The Foundry on Melrose; Modern
- JEHANGIR MEHTA: New York City; pastry chef; Graffiti; Pastry
The ten arrive at the American Culinary
Institute in Los Angeles, greeted for the first time by the scion of
Kitchen Stadium... the legendary Chairman... He tells them to be
creative, be ambition, be brave... "You are the chosen few, and soon we
will learn which is the chosen ONE..."
The next face they meet is the Chairman's
trusty ward, Alton Brown. He puts it more directly... All ten are
capable of being the next Iron Chef. It's just a matter of which nine to
send home. Enough talk. Time to cook.
TEST #1: MEMORY
Each chef has been given an ingredient
that has both a personal and a cultural connection with them. They are
to turn that ingredient into a culinary masterpiece that tells us a
story about who you are and why it's important to you. They will have to
prepare these dishes family style, and - as with all Iron Chef
challenges - they will be timed.
Appleman: Country Ham
Garces: Queso Fresco
Smith: Lamb Kidneys
You have 45 minutes... from now! When the
airhorn sounds, we're left with these dishes...
Appleman: Green Bean Stew with Country
Crenn: Apple Scallop & Bacon Salad
Farmerie: Asparagus with Salsify Noodles
Freitag: Beer Braised Beef Stew
Garces: Ecuadorian Locro with Queso Fresco
Greenspan: Matzoh Ball Soup
Mehta: Mango 3 Ways
Mullen: Wild Salmon Confit with Spring Menestra
Smith: Sautéed Lamb Kidneys with Bruschetta
Trevino: Migas with Carne Asada
The reason why these dishes are prepared
family-style is because you are all about to taste your opponent's
stories. You'll decide amongst you who had the more tantalizing story to
taste, and that person will receive a special advantage in the next
Future tests will be judged... by judges.
This test, it's you against you. They vote...
With five votes, Chef Garces will be
given an advantage in the next test...
TEST #2: FEARLESSNESS
"My uncle used to say, 'A good chef reads
the cookbook; a great chef writes the cookbook.'" An Iron Chef must be
prepared to cook with ANYTHING, including the lesser-known bits of
protein amongst the many edible critters.
Appleman: Unlaid Eggs
Crenn: Stinky Tofu
Mehta: Duck Tongues
Mullen: Sea Cucumber
Trevino: Chicken Feet
You'll have 75 minutes to create a
tasting sample of a dish focusing on your ingredients. You will be
judges on presentation, taste, and your overall fearlessness, how bold
you were in the cooking of your sample.
As Chef Garces won the first test, he
will be given the advantage of swapping out ingredients with someone
else. He likes his, so he can swap out two others' ingredients. He asks
Chefs Mullen and Crenn to switch, so Mullen will cook with stinky tofu,
while Crenn cooks with sea slugs.
One will have the dubious honor of being
the first person to leave the kitchen when this is over. And your time
will start... NOW. After the 75 minutes of all out war, we have five
minutes... Get it on a plate or it's not going to the judges.
Five seconds... three... two... one...
Put it down, walk away. Time to go to the judges. Returning from season
1 is famed restauranteur Donatella Arpaia. Joining her this season is
KSA mainstay judge Jeffrey Steingarten and arbiter of the
sustainable-food moment Anya Fernald.
The dishes to be judged...
Freitag: Eel Osso Bucco with Tomato
Anchovy Broth and Yogurt Marinated Eel with Cucumber Salad
The judges loved the eel, but it had a
few bones inside of it.
Mehta: Pickled Dock Tongue with Raisin &
Tomatoes and Fried Duck Tongue with Rhubarb Duck Confit Jam
The plating's beautiful, but the high
acidity is not necessarily needed. It was bold to render the fat and
infuse the biscuit with that flavor.
Mullen: Datiles con Beicon with Stinky
Tofu & Cashews and Cocido Madrileno with Bean Stew & Stinky Tofu
The judges don't taste the funk as much.
The stew is delicious, but perhaps a little sanitized.
Garces: Braised Cockscombs in Leek
Mushroom Broth and Cockscomb Tempura
The cockscombs are rubbery. The dishes
are balanced and a little safe.
Crenn: Port Wine Bacon-Braised Sea
Cucumber with Grilled Fig and Confit Sea Cucumber & Vanilla Pudding
Jeff wishes that the pudding had a flan
textures. There's a great complexity of flavor and texture working,
Farmerie: Grilled Scallop with Durian
Chili Mayo and Durian Custard with Berries
The dessert was a little boring. But he
produced a solid result.
Greenspan: Salad of Grasshopper with
mint, mole & yucca and Grasshopper Gremolata with Pork Milanese
Greenspan concealed the grasshoppers...
when he didn't show them whole and challenged the judges to eat them.
Trevino: Phoenix Foot Chinese Salad with
cold noodles and Chicken Feet with Sweet Plantains
They're very succulent and very sweet,
though the plantains were very undercooked and the feet were a little
Appleman: Egg Yolk Carbonara with Chicken
Intestines and Zabaglione with Unlaid Egg Yolk Crumble
They give him points for using the entire
product, but we're looking for a little more wine in the zabaglione.
Smith: Cold Jellyfish Salad with Sesame
Noodles and Lobster Coconut Soup with Jellyfish Noodles
The flavors are not so different from
your usual soy vinegar. The textures are intriguing, but the judges
couldn't get past the salt content.
And now, the judgment. One person's
cuisine is nowhere near supreme enough to continue... And like the test
before, the winner will get an advantage in the next test.
The winner of this test... is NATE
APPLEMAN. He'll have an advantage in the next test, and he survives to
cook another day. Joining him... Chefs Mullen, Mehta, Trevino, Freitag,
and Garces. That leaves us with the bottom four: Farmerie, Smith,
Greenspan, and Crenn.
Farmerie... is in.
Smith... is in.
Leaving the bottom two. The person who
lives to cook another day is.... Chef Crenn. Unfortunately for you, ERIC
GREENSPAN, you will NOT be the next Iron Chef. But let us remind you:
Iron Chefs are not allowed to have bad days.
For the other nine chefs, it's a time for
a very short celebration, because the next test looms just around the
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