Heat & Meat
For the past 20 years, chefs from the
world over have risen through the ranks to achieve greatness and be
called men and women of iron. Michiba... Sakai... Morimoto...
Flay... Symon... and now one out of an army of ten celebrity chefs
will be asked to join their esteemed academy and be called... an
This season's lineup...
- Anne Burrell (New York City, 20
years experience) - she has cooked in KSA before... as one of former
Iron Chef Batali's trusted sous-chefs. She's won "Worst Cooks in
- Michael Chiarello (Napa Valley, CA; 25 years experience) - the
only chef to have NEVER fought in any capacity in KSA.
- Elizabeth Falkner (San Francisco, 20 years experience) -
Battled former Iron Chef Cora in Battle Honey in 2006.
- Alex Guarnaschelli (New York City, 20 years experience) - Lost
to Iron Chef Cora in Battle Farmer's Market in 2007.
- Chuck Hughes (Montreal, 15 years experience) - Beat Iron Chef
Flay in Battle Canadian Lobster earlier this year.
- Robert Irvine (Hilton Head, SC; 30 years experience) - only
chef in the contest to have lost in Kitchen Stadium... TWICE.
- Beau Macmillan (Scottsdale, AZ; 26 years experience) - beat
Iron Chef Flay in Battle American Kobe Beef in 2006.
- Spike Mendelsohn (Washington, DC; 17 years experience) - the
only contestant to NOT have his own FN/CC series. Was last seen as a
"Top Chef" All-Star. Lost to Iron Chef Symon in Battle Prosciutto in
- Marcus Samuelsson (New York City; 3 James Beard awards) - he
won "Top Chef Masters", but lost to Iron Chef Flay in Battle Corn (2008)
- Geoffrey Zakarian (New York City; 30 years experience) - the
most seasoned chef in the competition. He's a regular on "Chopped" and
has lost to Iron Chef Morimoto in 2010's Battle Sardines.
Should be noted that if Chuck were to
win, he would be Canada's very FIRST Iron Chef. If Marcus were to win,
he'd be Sweden's FIRST Iron Chef.
Each round will comprise two matchups...
A Chairman's Challenge and a Secret Ingredient Showdown, where the
bottom two will do battle in a test to see whose cuisine truly reigns
supreme. Judging will be Iron Chef Michael Symon, food critic Simon
Majumdar, and food writer Judy Joo, who represents American cuisine on
"Iron Chef UK". She expects no less than 12 foodgasms in this
competition. Her words.
CHAIRMAN'S CHALLENGE #1: Resourcefulness
Chef Spike was chosen by random draw to
choose the teams in this first challenge.
- Spike & Marcus
- Robert & Anne (C-Note: HAH!)
- Alex & Elizabeth
- Michael & Chuck
- Beau & Geoffrey
The Chairman wants to see how resourceful
you can be when you are reduced to only heat and meat. To that end, we
go from the civilized training kitchen to ... "the middle of nowhere".
You have the essentials to create heat. From that, you'll have to cook
one whole pig. You will be given some more additional ingredients, but
you will have 90 minutes to create fire... then create two different
dishes. Whoever fails will face each other in a Secret Ingredient
Not 20 minutes into season four, and we
have our first injury as Beau rolls his right ankle. Ouch. Thirty
minutes in, and Alex has a panic attack and a mental collapse (C-Note:
one of many) as she puts a whole leg onto a grill and burns it.
And then Anne says "Oh crap" on a burned
porchetta (well, ALMOST). They saved that in time.
A very popular ingredient around here...
And what is Michael doing? He's rushing
into the middle of nowhere to get more ingredients for his salad. That's
iron baby. Smart.
Now that the dishes are done, it's time
for them to face the toughest room in America, the Next Iron Chef
ANNE & ROBERT
- Braised Pork Belly & Pork Cheek. Cooked perfectly.
- Porchetta with Raw Artichoke Salad. Accompaniments are superb, but the
pork isn't great. The skin needed to be a little crispier.
SPIKE & MARCUS
- Pork Stew. Every bit of the animal is used
- Pork Spare Ribs with Honey Glaze. The ribs are dry, because they're
BEAU & GEOFFREY
- Pork Shoulder with Barigoule. Lots of finesse, and lots of balance.
- Spit-Roasted Pork over Scallop Salsify. The pork is nicely, but the
skin is rubbery.
MICHAEL & CHUCK
- Salad of Crispy Pig Ear. Texturally perfect.
- Chili Maple Glazed Pork Chop with Pig Brain Duxelles. Nice flavor
ALEX & ELIZABETH
- Pig Four Ways - Mushroom with Pig Ears, Sunchokes & Egg with Tongue,
Jowl with Rhubarb, Kidney & Tarragon with Leeks. This is Mike's favorite
of the day.
- Glazed Pork Belly with Roasted Leg. "This dish would've beneffited
more with less pork belly."
And now, the judgment aspect. Eight chefs
will be assured of a spot in the next round.
Chefs Zakarian & Macmillan .... are tied
with Chefs Hughes & Chiarello. At least initially. The winners of this
challenge... Chefs Zakarian & Macmillan win this test and get an
advantage in the next. Chuck and Michael join them in safety.
Anne & Robert.... and Alex & Elizabeth
are also safe. Which means that Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Chef Spike
Mendelsohn will face off against each other in...
SECRET INGREDIENT SHOWDOWN #1: Trick or Treat
The Chairman is fanatical about
Halloween, so he has arranged both a trick and a treat, one you really
want to cook with, another... not so much. They choose the red tarp.
Under the black... the trick, canned tuna.
The treat... is today's secret
ingredient.... DIVER SEA SCALLOPS.
Both chefs will have 30 minutes to cook
one dish. On the back of that dish, someone will be eliminated.
Judgment (Spike): Scalloped Sofrito with
shaved scallop roe and lemon verbena salad.
The sofrito is very complex, and it has two
ingredients that don't usually go together. But in the end, it did. And the
scallop was the star.
Judgment (Marcus): Duo of Scallop: Scallop
Corn Miso Soup and Seared Scallop with Porcini.
There is always a danger with two preparations.
One can be great, one can suck. Both must be judged as one. Fortunately, both
worked well. Simon wasn't satisfied with the presentation of his dish.
But is this Iron Chef-worthy food? This is going
to be a difficult decision.
But the decision is unanimous.
Chef Marcus Samuelsson.... Survives to cook
another day. Spike Mendelsohn lost by a hair, but a loss is a loss in this
parts, and he will NOT be the next Iron Chef.
And then... there were nine.
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