Last time, the Iron Chef hopefuls
traveled to Japan, where their sense of umami was put to the test.
Unfortunately, Chef Amanda Freitag's taste buds weren't quite up to
snuff, so she was put on the next flight back to the States, leaving
three chefs to battle it out tonight for two spots in the grand
finale next week.
TEST #12: INTEGRITY
"No matter what dish is prepared, an Iron
Chef always respects the integrity of the ingredients. Food tells a
story, and your food should tell your story. Good luck, chefs."
Across the Sumida River is one of Japan's
greatest fish markets, Tsukiji. The semifinalists will head there to get
ingredients to create a kaiseki, a multi-course meal where taste
presentation, and creativity come together to tell your story. You'll
have 60 minutes to get all your ingredients to create five courses.
If you waste five minutes... if you waste
ONE minute... you're going to have a hard time getting back up to speed.
All three chefs don't waste a second in getting their ingredients before
heading back to Hattori Nutrition College. Mehta definitely goes
overboard. The other chefs call it "ridiculous."
Now to cook. You'll have two hours to
make it do what it do... starting NOW!
Mullen has one leg to stand on, as a) his
arthritis starts acting up, and b) both of his competitors have taken
all of the good stuff.
Mehta's story is one of a happy person,
so all of his dishes will feature fish and flowers. He's got a clam
salad and a chili shrimp, as well as an ice cream... Historically, it's
been a mistake for him. But we'll see how this works.
Mullen wants to do six courses, including
dessert. He has a lot of work to do. He has a salmon, a yuba sea urchin,
prawn tartare, and a salmon mousse with ikura.
Garces is basing his story on a theatre
play with five acts. The acts have a king crap gazpacho, a grilled
kampachi, and a seafood hot pot.
Midway through the test, Mullen's pain
becomes an issue. Is he truly ready to call it quits? Not bloody likely.
He's summoning what strength he has left.
Thirty minutes left, and Garces is making
an urchin custard. Risky, since Mullen is also making a roe ice cream.
Mullen has to clean the machine before he can use it.
Six minutes, and no one has plated yet.
All of the chefs are running out of time. If it's not on a plate by now,
you are in serious trouble.
"Five seconds... three... two... one..."
The test is over. Now to judge. Sitting with the panel this time are the
Chairman, Alton, and the original culinary commentator from "Iron Chef"
Dr. Yukio Hattori.
MULLEN: "I tried to give you a little
journey through my own culinary story."
- Kelp Cured Wild Salmon Belly, Prawn
Tartare, Yuba Sea Urchin with Strawberries
- Salmon Mousse with Ikura in a Dashi Broth
- Prawn a la Plancha with Potato Confit
- Tomato & Oyster Water Chilled Soup
- Ginger Rice and Blonde Miso Soup
- Strawberry Ice Cream with Grey Mullet Roe
MEHTA: "I think of kaiseki as being
personal. Flowers is something that makes people happy, and I'm a happy
- Clam Salad with Chili Flower
- Lobster with Zucchini Blossoms
- Green Chili Shrimp with Chrysanthemum
- Scallop with Ginger and Chrysanthemum
- Mango Crab Tartare with Cactus Flower Sherbet
GARCES: "I'm basing it on a
theatrical performance with five acts. The story is really a journey
through the start of my culinary career."
- Discovery: Gazpacho with King Crab &
- Roots: Peruvian-style Tiradito with Toro and Scallops with Leche de
- Labor: Grilled Kampachi with Asparagus, Bamboo, and Amaebi
- Breakthrough: Hot Pot with Lobster, Abalone & Mushrooms
- Destiny: Sea Urchin Custard with Fresh Mango & Strawberries
Now six people have to come to one
decision... Which person will NOT compete in Kitchen Stadium next week?
Mullen was simple and elegant, but he hit a bit of a rough patch with
his rice dish, and his salmon mousse ball was hard. Mehta was excessive,
but different. He takes more risks than anyone. Garces was surprisingly
clumsy, but the judges connected most with his story.
Back at the teahouse of destiny, it's
time to make a final decision. Both Mullen and Garces want to send Mehta
home. Mehta's just concentrated on his victory. Chef Mullen's ice cream
was delicious, but his salmon was overdone. He simply took on too much.
Mehta's presentation is both his high point and his low point. Garces'
kampachi had a lot of flavor, but not a lot of doneness.
One of them will be an Iron Chef. It will
not be... Seamus Mullen. The biggest mistake: undercooked rice.
So the battle has now been joined. In one
week's time, America will have a new Iron Chef. It will be either
Philadelphia-based Jose Garces or New York-based Jehangir Mehta. The
only thing separating them and what they want... is each other. This can
only be settled one way.
Next week... we're back in New York for
the final test of greatness, and one of these chefs will be crowned...
the Next Iron Chef.
To view this episode in its entirety,