Last time, the chefs had to adapt to the
constraints of shopping and cooking their own meals using Mexican
tamarind. In the end, Chef Amanda Freitag eked out a win and managed to
stave off elimination. Chef Dominique Crenn... not so lucky. Now six
remain on the road to Kitchen Stadium...
TEST #8: PRESSURE
The chefs are instead greeted by Chef
Suvir Saran of Devi in New York City.
"You have amazing ingredients and a
pantry that rivals any in the best Indian homes."
The chefs will have thirty minutes to
create something that, in one bite, typifies Indian cuisine. You will
not be using ANY meat and you must create just a single bite.
The winner of the last test, Chef
Jehangir Mehta, will be given first crack of the ingredients on the
altar and in the pantry. Being Indian, he could very well be in the
driver's seat for this challenge.
Freitag is going with what she knows... a
pakora. Mehta is making an eggplant fritter with a chutney. Jose Garces
is making a curry with a chapati and raita.
After dealing with using rolling pins and
flipped handles into the fryer, we're finally ready to taste.
MEHTA: India with eggplant, poppyseeds &
MULLEN: Roti with raita, okra & garam marsala vinaigrette
FREITAG: Pakora with mint-cilantro yogurt
GARCES: Curried cauliflower with mango chutney & raita
APPLEMAN: Aloo gobi with fried cauliflower & okra
TREVINO: Vegetable curry with chapati & raita
So we have six dishes. Who'll get the
advantage in the next test? That would be... Chef Nate Appleman, with
Chef Seamus Mullen in a close second.
We've done one bite... Now we're doing
TEST #9: PRESSURE: Part 2
The chefs are charged with creating a
five-course Indian feast with two hours. The four chefs that best
portray India through their feasts will be flown to a mystery kitchen in
a faraway location. That's right, kids... this is a double elimination
round. Talk about pressure.
Chef Appleman will have first crack at
the proteins. He chooses yellowtail snappers... all of them... and a leg
As for the other five chefs... it's a
fight. Mullen is going for seven dishes. Does Mehta's ethnicity give him
an advantage? And who'll bow to the pressure? After all, there are so
many utilities... and so few chefs.
Two minutes remain, and if you are not
plating, you might want to think about it.
"Five seconds... three... two... one..."
Put it down, walk away, prepare for judgment.
- Chicken Mughlai with almond-based curry
- Naan Bread 2 Ways (Grilled & sauteed with scallions)
- Basmati Rice with crisp potato
- Thoran with cabbage & carrot
- Kheer sweet rice pudding with saffron
The yogurt in the middle was not a good
call, but everything else tasted well. Freitag gets docked a few with
- Samosa with garbanzo, okra & potato
- Vindaloo Goat
- Spice Grilled Spot Prawns with ghee
- Chana Dal with red lentils
Not a real win with Mullen, as the judges
are not impressed.
- Dal with orange lentils with saffron
- Basmati Brown Rice with Curry Beef
- Potatoes with Nigella and Fennel
- Aubergine with mushrooms & almonds
- Chicken Tikka with grilled tandoori sauce
All in all, the dishes were a little bit
- Saag Paneer Dumplings & spinach sauce
- Fried Yellowtail Snapper
- Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb & Tomato Chutney
- Masala Dosa with Cauliflower and Potatoes
- Roasted Banana with Cinnamon & Cloves
Appleman's dishes... are not very Indian.
- Eggplant with poppy seeds & shrimp
- Goat Palao with rice & saffron
- Shrikhand with Tapioca Chips
- Halvah with sesame seeds & figs
- Rava semolina dessert
Mehta didn't really venture out of the
box. Nothing extraneous.
- Lamb Karahi with apricots & almonds
- Dal with yellow lentils & zucchini
- Prawns Korma in a coconut cream sauce
- Saag Paneer spinach with ginger, garlic & cheese
- Coconut Tapioca Parfait with pineapple and saffron foam
Garces was out to set up a balance. He
thinks he belongs in the top four.
Now it's time to, as Alton put it,
download a third of the chefs. It's simple... four tickets. Six chefs.
Two must leave. But first, the Chairman...
"You are probably curious as to your next
location... Perhaps my meal will provide a clue."
Where else can you find a bento box
but... Tokyo, Japan! That's right, kids, you're going back to where it
all began. Well, four of you anyway. Those four are... Chef Freitag...
the winner of this test, Chef Garces... Chef Mehta... and Chef...
Mullen. NEITHER Chef Roberto Trevino nor Chef Nate Appleman will be the
next Iron Chef.
As for the four that remain, it's time to
pack and head to the Land of the Rising Sun... as well as the Land of
the Iron Chef. "Good luck, or as they say in Japan... Gambatte."
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