The superchefs headed to the lobby to
get some snacks, but they weren't going to a movie. They were going
to be thrust into the action. Elizabeth's malt-ball concoctions
earned her an advantage in the next round, while less palatable
offerings from Chuck Hughes and Beau MacMillan earned them a spot in
the Secret Ingredient Showdown, where Chuck assured us that the next
Iron Chef will not be Canadian. Now seven remain.
CHAIRMAN'S CHALLENGE #4: Improvisation
Today's challenge takes us to the
Hollywood Improv, where we see the chefs take in a night of comedy... or
so they think.
The last laugh is going to be on our
combatants, as Kevin Nealon asks for ingredients improv-style, because
if you think about it, what's "Iron Chef" than improvisational cookery?
From the crowd we get a protein, a carb,
a fruit, and a random item. That gives us... octopus, tortillas,
kumquats, and marshmallows. Now take all of these items and cook ONE
dish. You have until Clive Anderson beats his buzzer, which should take
about, oh, 45 minutes.
Oh wait! Elizabeth gets an advantage
doesn't she? Let's give her.. an extra five minutes.
GEOFFREY: Tortilla and Octopus Polenta.
The technique is fantastic, but it's all one-note. There's a muddiness
to the octopus, and it's the mushrooms that give it.
MICHAEL: Tortilla Squared with Paprika
Octopus. The flavors are balanced. The octopus is tender, and the
marshmallow air is brilliant. The aioli is brilliant. It's a very
ELIZABETH: Red Wine Braised Octopus with
Romesco. The romesco was splendid, and the octopus was cooked very nice.
Simon likes the technique, but not the plating. Judy, however, liked it.
ANNE: Braised Octopus and Tortilla
Kumquat Raviolo. It hit a little bit of bite. It's a very smart and
surprising dish. It takes a lot of technique to make a dish like this.
BEAU: Charred Octopus with Corn Tortilla
Fritter. Mike has some problem with the octopus, as it has texture
issues. Judy thought that the dish wasn't as successful. Simon thought
the miso was a nice touch, but questioned the dish as a whole.
MARCUS: Kumquat Pickled Octopus. The
octopus was tender, but as a dish, it's "interesting" at best. Simon
doesn't have much of an issue with presentation.
ALEX: Octopus with Cabbage & Marshmallow.
Simon licks his plate clean. That says a LOT.
Five chefs will be assured of a spot in
the next round right now.
At the top of the pack today... Alex,
Michael, Elizabeth, and Anne. The winner of this challenge... MICHAEL
That leaves Geoffrey, Marcus, and Beau.
All three are no stranger to the bottom. Well, Geoffrey is. Marcus and
Beau have already taken up squatter's. All three dishes have been
Marcus had a hot mess on his plate, so
he's back in the kitchen next week. Which means that Chef Beau MacMillan
(again) and Chef Geoffrey Zakarian will face off against each other in...
SECRET INGREDIENT SHOWDOWN #4
The secret ingredient today is...
COCONUTS. You will have 30 minutes to create one dish featuring the
theme ingredient. The winner will survive to cook another day. The
loser... out that door's the world, be careful.
Judgment (Geoffrey): Coconut Halibut Two
Ways: Coconut Halibut Crudo and Coconut Crusted Halibut.
Geoffrey also added braised Jerusalem
artichokes in coconut water. A lot of notes came together, and the
concept succeeded, but Simon's piece was overcooked. The other two
pieces were perfectly cooked.
Judgment (Beau): Coconut Curry Stew.
The broth has a depth of flavor, but it
didn't need the pineapple. This was one of the best dishes that Simon
has ever eaten in this competition.
Beau's dish was one note, but Geoffrey's
dish failed on one element. All in all, it worked, though.
The judges did not agree on a whole lot,
and the panel was split, but one bite did unite them. That bite belonged
to... the crudo of Geoffrey Zakarian. Unfortunately, that makes Beau a
two time loser. Chef Beau MacMillan did have a great day in the kitchen,
but he was beaten by a better, and as such, he will NOT be the next Iron
Chef. The rest of the chefs salute their fallen comrade and a genuinely
And then... there were six... as the chefs
prepare to go on a great voyage... to NEW YORK CITY.
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