Last time, the Chairman welcomed 10
celebrity chefs and tested them on fearlessness. Unofrtunately, Eric
Greenspan couldn't make grasshoppers work for him, so he was sent
packing. Now only nine remain in the running to become the greatest of
the great, an Iron Chef.
TEST #3: SIMPLICITY
"This container harbors precious cargo,
unique cooking tools gathered from around the globe from Korea,
Thailand, Spain and Mexico to name a few. You must demonstrate that
simplicity is a global phenomenon. And remember... thrill us with your
Each chef will be given 45 minutes to use
one pot to serve a dish family style. It doesn't necessarily have to be
a dish that is unique to a vessel's country, but the vessel has to be
used in a creative and imaginative way.
Chef Appleman gets to pick his vessel,
having won the last test. He chooses... the Moroccan tagine.
It's general admission, kids... The pots
and their dishes...
Appleman: Mixed Lamb in a Moroccan tagine
Crenn: Bouillabaisse in a Portuguese cataplana
Farmerie: Sausage & Clam Curry in a Thai curry pot
Freitag: Stuffed Swiss Chard in a Chinese bamboo steamer
Garces: Clam & Chorizo Paella in a Spanish paella pan
Mehta: Lobster Curry & Rice in a Tunisian couscousiere
Mullen: Crispy Rice with Prawns in a Mexican comal
Smith: Squash Blossom and Pork Broth in a Korean stone hot pot
Trevino: Spicy Noodles with Skirt Steak in a Mongolian hot pot
The chefs struggle to find the smallest
imperfections with the dishes. No one's here to make nice. After the
group vote, Mehta's dish is the best, and the worst... Chef Mullen's.
Chef Mehta will receive an advantage in the next test...
TEST #4: INTERPRETATION
"As an Iron Chef, you must develop a vast
knowledge of global cuisine. FOr your next test, you'll go in search of
classics so you can ultimately push the envelope with an exciting new
interpretation and taste sensation."
Three menus follow three different
disciplines: Greek, Italian, and French. The chefs are to redefine a
classic, and they'll have one hour to do so.
Chef Mehta goes in with the advantage, so
he chooses his discipline... Greek. Alton orders up some spanakopita. He
has never made a spanakopita before. He has tasted one, though... not a
very good one.
The dishes to be redefined...
Appleman: French Ratatouille
Crenn: Greek Moussaka
Farmerie: Italian Vitello Tonnato
Freitag: French Coq au Vin
Garces: Italian Minestrone
Mehta: Greek Spanakopita
Mullen: Italian Pasta Puttanesca
Smith: French Bouillabaisse
Trevino: Greek Dolmas
The trick here is to elevate a very
simple dish to Iron Chef quality. The cooking starts... NOW. We have a
lot of separation, a lot of substitution, and in the case of Nate "I'm a
Carnivore and I Make No Apologies" Appleman, a lot of addition of meat.
Mehta brought a brix to test the waters... literally... to make a
sorbet. This ought to be fun. Meanwhile, Chef Mehta is trying to throw
Chef Trevino under the bus by taking all the grape leaves. A chief
ingredient of a Greek dolmas is grape leaves. With only 39 minutes, you
have to think on your feet. This is both the gift and the curse of an
Iron Chef. Eventually, he gets grape leaves.
And three... two... one... Put it down
and walk away, time to present to the judges.
MEHTA: Spanakopita Mille Feuille of
Spinach & Feta and Spinach & Oregano Sorbet. There's a contrast of salty
and sweet, but it's a little too sweet for the judges' liking.
GARCES: Deconstructed Minestrone. The
texture of the zucchini was a bit much, but all in all, it was
deconstructed done right.
APPLEMAN: Ratatouille Raw, Roasted &
Fried. It invokes a classic base ratatouille. But all of his zucchinis
were a little burnt.
TREVINO: Dolmas with Greek Crudo. The
judges are wondering if replacing rice with couscous is
"reinterpreting", but it is delicious.
SMITH: Butterfish, Clams & Prawns with
Bouillabaisse. The fennel favor is really strong, and the flavor didn't
do anything for Jeff.
CRENN: Moussaka with Pork Sausage,
Eggplant & Caul Fat. It was salty, but not overpowering. And though it
was light, it was very rich.
FARMERIE: Vitello Tonnato Raw and Vitello
Tonnato Rillette. The remoulade isn't too acidic and the rillettes are a
FREITAG: Coq au Vin with Chicken,
Mushrooms & Grilled Ramps on a Beurre Rouge. There's a richness about in
the dish, and there are some very deep flavors.
MULLEN: Pasta Puttanesca with Zucchini
Spaghetti. He presents all of the dishes in a salad form. The judges
know what he was going for, but it was supposed to be hearty. "Sometimes
fresh and light stinks."
So who wins this challenge and who'll be
left to scrub? We'll find out in mere moments, but first, a word from
the judges: "Deconstructing" isn't necessarily "reinventing." If you're
to be an Iron Chef, you need to take some outside-of-the-box risks. If
you can make a dish that will take the judges back to the best of that
dish that they've ever eaten AND inject a little of yourself into said
dish... all the better.
Chef Freitag was outdone by one chef, BUT
her coq au vin was gobbled up. She survives to cook another day, as does
Chefs Garces, Appleman, Mehta, Trevino, and a most-improved Crenn.
That leaves only Smith, Farmerie, and
Mullen. One of them is the winner of this test. Mullen's pasta
puttanesca salad... wins him this test. That leaves only the bottom two.
The judges didn't really care for either dishes. The vitello tonnato
really threw off the judges. Smith took apart a dish that should, by no
means, be taken apart.
The person who is one step closer to
becoming the next Iron Chef is... Farmerie. Unfortunately for HOLLY
SMITH, she will NOT be the next Iron Chef. Great chefs have bad days in
the kitchen. Iron Chefs can't afford such a luxury.
Next time, the chefs go on a field trip
and Asian American fusion is on the menu.
To view this episode in its entirety,