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Iron Chef America (Part 3)


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The Good--Seingarten, Ruhlman, that ditzy actress in her 40s, The PR woman (Bakhoom?), Allen

The bad-Katayama, & assorted nobodies whose PR person got them the gig

The Ugly- Knowlton

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I wonder if the show has finally jumped the shark with this last competitor from The Red Pearl Kitchen; it seems the show has lost all standards by allowing a chef of that poor caliber into Kitchen Stadium. I want to see some of the best, talented chefs competing on the show, not a chef from the Asian equivalent of Les Halles. Yes, there were shows with Rachel Ray and Paula Dean, but those shows were clearly publicity stunts and not real culinary competition.

Interesting dynamic between Ruhlman and the ladies. Did I notice a little tension? :hmmm:

I lost a lot of respect for Ruhlman, whom I previously admired for his books, when he made some rather unncessarily acrebic comments about Donatella in his blog after The Next Iron Chef show that I felt was a bit too misogynistic for my tastes.

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I lost a lot of respect for Ruhlman, whom I previously admired for his books, when he made some rather unncessarily acrebic  comments about Donatella in his blog after The Next Iron Chef show that I felt was a bit too misogynistic for my tastes.

ditto.

Showbiz does that to people.

I was surprised by his blog comments about Donatella and it made me feel a little uncomfortable about liking him because it seemed any friend of Bourdain's had to be somebody I liked. Fortunately, I'm all grown up now and clearly see the stupidity in that bit of logic. I don't care much for smug. Ruhlman seems [to me] more smug than Knowlton and at times came off as a bit of a bully when interacting with Knowlton and others. But, you know, it's reality television so who knows what is real and what is contrived? I fear I'm going way off topic so I'll stop here.

edited for grammar and stuff and to add that I like Knowlton AND his pretty hair.

Edited by Jane Die (log)
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YAY! Chef Jose Garces wins Battle Melon over Bobby Flay! Awesome.

Chef Garces was nice enough to throw a big party for his friends and employees at his new restaurant Distrito, Sunday evening during the broadcast of his Iron Chef America battle with Bobby Flay. Great episode with the added twist of having to have a frozen element in every course. Winning menu was as follows:

Desayuno

Fresh Melon, Quail Egg, Bacon Crisp, Cream & Maple, Cooled with an Espresso Granita

Sliced Ibérico & Cantaloupe Terrine

Melon & Serrano Ice, Fresh Herb Salad

Ceviche Sandia

Toro, Melon Lime Bon Bons, Sandia & Tomato Orbs

Som Tum

Kobe Beef, Wintermelon, Radish & Carrot, Pickled Honeydew, Peanut Dressing & Fresh Herbs

Mosaic Melon -

Charred Melon Cubes, Ricotta Cream, Watermelon Puree, Anise Lemon Espuma

The global approach definitely helped cement the victory. Lots of different cuisines represented. The platings were gorgeous. Congrats to Chef Garces and his team for bringing it to Bobby Flay! Woo-hoo!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Cat Cora was a local celebrity here in the Bay Area well before her ICA days.

While she was still at Postino, she was a frequent guest columnist in the Food section of the Contra Costa Times.

And don't forget her stint at Bistro Don Giovanni in St. Helena. She prepared a few great meals for my friends and me.

scb

 ... Shel


 

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  • 1 month later...

Appearing tonight, October 5, as a judge on Iron Chef America, is our friend and eGullet contributor, the Master and Major Domo of www.eatinglv.com-the one and only Mr. John Curtas-KNPR, KLAS, James Beard Foundation, et. al, etc., and so on.

I have it on good authority, (the authority being the credible gossip wags that search these things out), that the "secret" ingredient on tonight's battle involves a creature from ancient seas that is known more for its eggs than its flesh.

Since we can't fly to Las Vegas this afternoon with such short notice, we won't be able to join Mr. Curtas and his adoring fans at the debut party at Marche Bacchus restaurant. Just tune in to the show and then send your adoring reviews to John at eatinglv.

Edited by David Ross (log)
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I thought the new additions in the judges' panel worked well and hope to see them in future eps. They explained their reasoning and perspectives quite well.

**Spoiler**

But, urgh, the final judgment. Tie?! Just seemed too pat and neat. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention but it seemed like the challenger really got pummelled for his first few dishes; one of the judges even said that like his fourth or fifth dish was the first really good item prepared. Symon did get a couple of tags on his own food but seemed to have done better by far based on just the comments he got. Plus I hate that they leave ties at that and don't go into overtime ala ICJ; those were some of the best eps.

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I'm so tired of Bobby Flay's food, I usually just delete those challenges where his name shows up. More tamales and cowboy breakfast? No thanks!

So was excited to see Symon would be taking on a challenger this time.

Curtas seemed pretty hard on both competitors. Nice to see someone other than Steingarten playing the curmudgeon. I was a bit surprised by the verdict after hearing the judges' opinions. But looking at the food as it was prepared, I thought it would be pretty close.

The challengers food did seem to be more creatively conceived, prepared, and plated and I could see Symon's being more appealing on a sort of comfort food type taste level.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Was that the David Adjey episode? He and Symon were roomates at culinary school...how could it have been anything other than a tie? Thing that annoyed me was that I have seen David Adjey make the lobster croquettes before on Restaurant Makeover, so I thought they were neither interesting or original. I met him not long ago, he was wearing a purple velveteen jacket, so I guess I'm not surprised :laugh:

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
Didn't see a ICA 2009 thread yet.

Anyone see the recent battle "fresh beans"?

Thoughts? 

I enjoyed Joe Bastianich's judging. 

He seems even meaner than Steingarten.

Of course I saw it - hometown chef Sabrina from La Spiga. If she had won, I would have eaten my hat. But I was underwhelmed by Flay as well - pureed almost everything...baby food challenge? One course, tempura style beans - "oh, I've never had green beans this way. I like them" says two judges? Come on, ever eaten tempura? I can get those at o local fish and chips place (granted, it's a good one, but still.)

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It is weird that there was so much ado about fried green beans--you can get them at TGI Friday's, for crying out loud.

One last Mario gripe: that's two back-to-back IC eps where the challenger was steeped in Italian cooking and yet neither took the opportunity to go up against Batali? Weird. Maybe he was tied up promoting the ill-fated Spain show at the time of taping . . .

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One last Mario gripe: that's two back-to-back IC eps where the challenger was steeped in Italian cooking and yet neither took the opportunity to go up against Batali? Weird.  Maybe he was tied up promoting the ill-fated Spain show at the time of taping . . .

Yeah. According to this interview, Batali missed a season. Since the interview is dated last summer, when the current episodes were taped, that's probably it.

PS: Tell me about working with Mario Batali on Iron Chef.

AB: Well this season we are not doing it, due to conflicts in Mario's schedule during filming. . .

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One last Mario gripe: that's two back-to-back IC eps where the challenger was steeped in Italian cooking and yet neither took the opportunity to go up against Batali? Weird.  Maybe he was tied up promoting the ill-fated Spain show at the time of taping . . .

Yeah. According to this interview, Batali missed a season. Since the interview is dated last summer, when the current episodes were taped, that's probably it.

PS: Tell me about working with Mario Batali on Iron Chef.

AB: Well this season we are not doing it, due to conflicts in Mario's schedule during filming. . .

I would think there might also have been a perceived conflict of interest in this particular episode since Batali and (judge) Bastianich were business partners. But I suppose all of that stuff is worked out ahead of time.

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I would think there might also have been a perceived conflict of interest in this particular episode since Batali and (judge) Bastianich were business partners.  But I suppose all of that stuff is worked out ahead of time.

I was thinking that too. But it seems like there's been some some other shady judging pairs in the past, no? If I recall correctly, there was a minor quibble with Bakhoum being a judge since she'd worked with one of the ICs before (Flay?). Ted Allen was also a judge on the panel with the Rathbun brothers and Tre Wilcox were challengers and of course Ted and Tre had dealings on Top Chef (not that that would be a bias in Tre's favor but I found it odd to still have Allen there.)

Nothing as overt as a Bastianich/Batali pairing would have been though, you're right.

Oooh, how I'd love to see a Lidia/Batali battle.

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I thought Appleman and his crew were robbed on a recent episode I saw.

Huh?

The scoring was extremely close, with Symon winning (narrowly) on flavor points.

I still have trouble tasting the food through the Teevee interface, so I'll have to take the judges' word for it...

:blink:

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yeah, but the "judges" were Boomer Esiason and that other guy he does a radio show with...I thought he was worse than Mo Rocca.

They were the worst EVER. EVER. Even Julie Chen is better than they were. I almost swore off ICA forever after watching that travesty, even with having Symon join the crew.

Why not have my dogs as judges? They'll eat canes off my rosebushes.....That was about the same qualifications as food "critics" or judges as those two fools.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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