The chefs went globetrotting without ever
leaving Los Angeles. They brought back those flavors to use in the next
test, making Asian inspired American fare. Chefs Seamus Mullen and
Amanda Freitag were locked in a dead heat, as Mullen claimed the
advantage. Most disadvantaged was Brad Farmerie, who was ousted. Now
only seven remain.
TEST #7: ADAPTABILITY
"In the chaos of Kitchen Stadium, things
don't always go as planned. Therefore, an Iron Chef must have the
ability to adapt quickly. The jet which has just landed is carrying an
ingredient from Mexico. Be prepared to adapt accordingly."
The jet captain delivers.... tamarind, a
tropical seed pod with tangy pulp. The Chairman wants a Mexican duo,
where one dish is sweet and another is savory. Not only that, the dishes
must reflect a Mexican flair. You'll have 90 minutes to shop AND cook.
Mullen has an advantage: a five-minute
head start. Right NOW. Some people go for their protein first... others
go for vegetables first... others... shop from a list.
Crenn is the first back to the kitchen
with 1:21 to cook, followed by Mullen, who has 1:18 to cook.
Mehta seems to be taking his sweet time
while the others finish. Appleman and Trevino have 1:17 to cook. That
leaves three chefs to arrive... the first, Freitag, arrives with 1:16.
Then comes Mehta with 1:14. Finally... Garces is stuck behind waiting
for eggs. He arrives with 1:12 to cook.
And Mehta, who is a glutton for
punishment, is going for the ice cream machine AGAIN. Will it be
Crenn is making a tamarind-infused
chicken. She was the first one back, so she has an advantage.
Garces not only grew up eating Mexican
food, he owns a Mexican restaurant. If he doesn't produce today... he
shouldn't even be here.
Appleman and Crenn have a tough time
sharing pots. Crenn's trying to use the stove, but Appleman is breaking
out his king-sized pressure cooker. Again.
Freitag suggests that she's not making a
churro... On Mexican day. She's making an eclair with tamarind filling.
Trevino is making what looks like a
ceviche, while Mehta is making a custard AND a pork disk. And once
again, the ice cream machine has failed him.
Meanwhile, something's burning... it's
Appleman's pressure cooker, with a thick layer of whatever on the
bottom. That's going to be a setback. He was able to salvage it, so
we'll see what happens.
Eight minutes on the clock, and Freitag
hasn't even peeled her shrimp.
And if having to adapt on the fly wasn't
enough, now there's one more adaptation. Looking at the altar, the
Chairman also wants you to prepare a beverage on top of what you are
doing... and you have to do it within the allotted time. Oh, and the
beverage must contain tamarind.
One minute to go, as the chefs start
"Five seconds... three... two... one..."
Put it down and walk away. The test is over. Time for judgment.
First is Dominique Crenn...
- Tamarind-Marinated Chicken & Tortilla
- Tamarind Churro
- Screwdriver with Tamarind & Blood Orange
Overall, the theme was connected, but the
churro wasn't cooked all the way through.
Brad Appleman is next..
- Sopa de Albondigas with Pecan &
- Crepas with Tamarind Pineapple
- Parfait of Tamarind
Next is Amanda Freitag...
- Tamarind-Chipotle Shrimp with Jicama
- Tamarind-Stuffed Eclair
- Bitter Margarita
It's only 2/3 Mexican. Her presentation
was really poor.
Down the middle is Jehangir Mehta..
- Tamarind Apple Pork
- Tamarind Ice Cream
- Chocolate Tamarind Shot
Chef Jose Garces is next...
- Mole de Tamarindo with Chicken Poblano
- Coconut Flan with Tamarind Caramel
- Tamarind Agua Fresca Martini on the Rocks
Garces is the man to beat so far. Will
Seamus Mullen do it?
- Tamarind-Marinated Shrimp Taco
- Tamarind Mango
- Icy Icy de Tamarindo
The drink scores. Everyone should have
liquid nitrogen in their houses. Roberto Trevino is last.
- Tamarind Coctel with Shrimp &
- Chocolate Gordita with Tamarind & Posole
- Tamarind Sake Razzmatazz Mojito
Mehta's ice cream finally worked, so he
won't have to try that again. All of his elements tied together finally,
and he comes up the winner of this test. Joining him in the next round
is honorable mention Nate Appleman and, barely, Jose Garces. That leaves
us with four... Surviving to cook another day... Chefs Mullen and
That leaves our bottom two, Chefs Freitag
and Crenn. Crenn's dish was underseasoned... and the giant chili didn't
work. Freitag's dish was underwhelming, and the quality of the shrimp
was poor. The deciding factor... was dessert. The eclair... saved
Freitag. DOMINIQUE CRENN will not be the next Iron Chef.
Six chefs remain, but only four will
survive to take the ultimate culinary journey... on the road to Kitchen
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