Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Iron Chef America (Part 3)


gfweb
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am curious, and pardon me if someone asked this before, but I have only been on this site for a couple of weeks, but how did the original ICA chefs become Iron Chefs? Michael Symon had to compete for it, but how did the rest get the Iron Chef title? Did they beat the japanese guys? Also, do they really only have an hour? It seems to me that once they get the secret ingredient they know exactly what pantry items they want and all the chefs have a specific responsibility, so something must be discussed ahead. And, BTW, I am so with you on the judges they have on this show - a football player? The judges should all be food critics, chefs, etc, but not tv personalities or sports figures, etc. :huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am curious, and pardon me if someone asked this before, but I have only been on this site for a couple of weeks, but how did the original ICA chefs become Iron Chefs?  Michael Symon had to compete for it,  but how did the rest get the Iron Chef title?  Did they beat the japanese guys?  Also, do they really only have an hour?  It seems to me that once they get the secret ingredient they know exactly what pantry items they want and all the chefs have a specific responsibility, so something must be discussed ahead. And, BTW, I am so with you on the judges they have on this show - a football player?  The judges should all be food critics, chefs, etc, but not tv personalities or sports figures, etc.  :huh:

When Iron Chef America launched there were a series of battles pitting the new FTV Iron Chefs against the Iron Chef Japan chefs. Being a Food Network show now, FTV picked Bobby Flay and Mario Batali as part of its original lineup (there wasn't any back story for the choices but they were both prominent professional chefs on the lineup at the time). Cat Cora came along later at mid season.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that they are really allowed an hour of hard cooking. But they are given a list of likely theme ingredients to prep a menu around. It seems to me like they can have some basic items up and running for the battle: water simmering, stock or broth premade, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that they are really allowed an hour of hard cooking. But they are given a list of likely theme ingredients to prep a menu around. It seems to me like they can have some basic items up and running for the battle: water simmering, stock or broth premade, etc.

I've read they are given a list of 2-3 possible theme ingredients to prepare for in advance. And they practice the menu to make sure they can bring it in under an hour.

I've also read that in fact they cook the menu twice - once for the TV taping of the cooking, and a second time for the actual judges tasting. I assume it's because the food would get cold by the time they get set up to tape the tasting portion.

Edited by rickster (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that they are really allowed an hour of hard cooking. But they are given a list of likely theme ingredients to prep a menu around. It seems to me like they can have some basic items up and running for the battle: water simmering, stock or broth premade, etc.

I've read they are given a list of 2-3 possible theme ingredients to prepare for in advance. And they practice the menu to make sure they can bring it in under an hour.

I've also read that in fact they cook the menu twice - once for the TV taping of the cooking, and a second time for the actual judges tasting. I assume it's because the food would get cold by the time they get set up to tape the tasting portion.

Thanks so much for the clarification. That makes sense!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You would think from watching the American show and the original Japanese one that they would have to have a bit of a heads up. Ocassionally the challenger has some ingredient or tool they bring with them. Funny how often the ingredient/tool/gadget matches perfectly with the theme ingredient.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You would think from watching the American show and the original Japanese one that they would have to have a bit of a heads up. Ocassionally the challenger has some ingredient or tool they bring with them. Funny how often the ingredient/tool/gadget matches perfectly with the theme ingredient.

This article describes the process.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You would think from watching the American show and the original Japanese one that they would have to have a bit of a heads up. Ocassionally the challenger has some ingredient or tool they bring with them. Funny how often the ingredient/tool/gadget matches perfectly with the theme ingredient.

This article describes the process.

Thank you so much for that! Very good article!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Really looking forward to tonight's show with David Kinch.

Me, too! We'll be at the restaurant with the Chef for the showing. He has been mum since taping in June, and the cat will finally come out of the bag tonight! :smile:

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really looking forward to tonight's show with David Kinch.

Me, too! We'll be at the restaurant with the Chef for the showing. He has been mum since taping in June, and the cat will finally come out of the bag tonight! :smile:

If only I was not on the other coast. :sad: Have a great time!

Robert R

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The challenger (Kinch) brought some serious heat--well done!!

What was the deal with Bobby Flay throwing a pot over his shoulder??

They showed this several times in the previews and, watching last night I couldn't tell if he was upset, if someone was supposed to catch it, just being a punk???

Pick up your phone

Think of a vegetable

Lonely at home

Call any vegetable

And the chances are good

That a vegetable will respond to you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, but that doesn't make him a decent judge. To me that is the major weakness of IC. Many of the judges are buffoons. Mo Rocca? Boomer Esaisen? please.

In another era they'd have booked Paul Lynde and Rosemarie. Or Flip Wilson and Rip Taylor. Uggh.

Looks like all one needs to be a judge is a good PR person.

Edited by gfweb (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, but that doesn't make him a decent judge.  To me that is the major weakness of IC. Many of the judges are buffoons.  Mo Rocca?  Boomer Esaisen?  please.

In another era they'd have booked Paul Lynde and Rosemarie.  Or Flip Wilson and Rip Taylor.  Uggh.

Looks like all one needs to be a judge is a good PR person.

I guess its all a matter of observation then.:laugh: As for myself I feel I had no way to accurately form an opinion on his palate in that short of time.

Robert R

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re judges - I have to disagree a little. ICJ always had at least one judge on the panel, usually a female, who was clueless about food, but pretty and giggly. So long as it's only one "celebrity" judge per panel.

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re judges - I have to disagree a little. ICJ always had at least one judge on the panel, usually a female, who was clueless about food, but pretty and giggly. So long as it's only one "celebrity" judge per panel.

True, but you are assuming that ICJ is the ideal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

There's a lot of discussion here right now over who will the the "Next Iron Chef America."

But let's back-up to the actual show itself--the Chef's, (and sometimes the judges), certainly give us enough cannon fodder to lob a few volleys in their direction. When I saw the preview this evening for tonight's episode, "Cora vs. Walzog," it immediately took me back to a horrific dinner I had at SW Steakhouse last May. Chef Walzog holds down the kitchen at SW Steakhouse at the Wynn--purportedly the highest grossing restaurant in Las Vegas for both food and wine. (Those statistics are of course based on the Las Vegas casino/resort style of accounting).

The low-point of the dinner in May was a $46.00 grilled veal chop that was absolutely raw. The black grill marks must have been painted on with a magic marker because there was zero evidence that a flame had even touched this piece of meat. And what a shame. The Chef was in the kitchen that night and when he came to our table, he gasped in horror at the havoc that had been wrought on that plate-shards of meat cut into bits in search of just one little tidbit that was cooked. My dining companion, a local, told me that Chef Walzog apologized for days after the veal disaster. He really didn't need to apologize--he should have made sure the veal was cooked properly in the first place. Apparently the Chef wasn't watching over his crew on the line closely enough that evening.

It will be interesting to see what "secret ingredient" the Chairman will choose for Cora and Walzog tonight. Let's just hope it isn't veal.

Edit to add that the episode was shot months ago, far in advance of our dinner at SW Steakhouse last May. Maybe we just caught Chef Walzog and crew on an off night and he really is an "Iron Chef."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it wasn't an earth-shattering show of cookery in "Battle Cora vs. Walzog." The secret ingredient was cherries--three varieties including Bing, Ranier and Sour.

Cora took the win. Walzog nearly the blew two of the judges off the panel with his cherry salad with chiles--lots of chiles. His lamb chop, while getting decent praises from the judges, looked nearly similar to the afore-mentioned, (in my post above), raw veal chop. Apparently it was saved somewhat by the accompanying cherries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Here is the Food Network link to the show; features Chefs: Batali, Lagasse, Flay and Comerford.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/iron-chef-america/index.html

If you watched it as I did, I thoroughly enjoyed the extended style video of the White House Garden, the theme focus of sustainable living foods/local ingredients with the garden produce.

So, I have yet to see the recipes posted. I am extremely driven to find the recipe by Mario Batali for those large ravioli with I think sweet potato-cheese filling and a fresh egg enclosed within the ravioli pillow. The egg was an amazing idea.... I want that recipe. If anyone has found it........oh, please share the goodies.

Edited by VeraAgnes (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay....I found Mario's recipe from 2000. Now I can make my own version.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/uova-da-raviolo-ravioli-with-an-egg-inside-recipe/index.html

Let me hear other styles.

snip>

Ingredients

1/2 small white or black truffle, shaved

1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus more for garnishing pasta

1/2 cup fresh sheep's milk ricotta

1/2 cup spinach, blanched, drained and chopped

Scant pinch nutmeg

Salt and white pepper to taste

1 recipe basic pasta dough, recipe follows

7 very fresh eggs

12 tablespoons butter, melted and kept warm

Directions

In a non-reactive bowl, combine 1/2 the truffle shavings, the Parmigiano, the ricotta and the spinach, mix well, and season to taste with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Set aside.

Roll out the pasta dough to the thinnest setting on a pasta rolling machine. From the thin pasta sheet, cut 12 circles with a 6-inch diameter. Set 6 of the circles on a sheet tray dusted with flour, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

In the center of each of the remaining 6 circles, mound an equal portion of the ricotta mixture. With the back of a small ladle or spoon, hollow out a well in the center of each mound. Carefully break the eggs, 1 at a time, into a small bowl, and transfer 1 yolk and a bit of white into the center of each well. It is imperative that the yolk remain unbroken.

Cover each filled circle of pasta with an unfilled circle, and press the edges together with fingers to seal.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Gently, using a wide spatula, lower each ravioli into the water to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the water and place gently into a 12 to14-inch saute pan with the remaining butter, shave the remaining truffle over, add a generous grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano and carefully put 1 on each plate.

Edited by VeraAgnes (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

-spoilers ahead-

We had a bunch of people over the house to watch it, felt that Batali/Lagasse thoroughly beat them, and had no doubt that the results were fixed to favor Comerford and Flay. I can imagine Batali/Lagasse not really caring whether they win or not, but Flay isn't going to let the producers do that to him. Also, if this was an all-American tasting, why were two of the judges British? And could the Flay/Comerford sous chef seem any less capable?! Also, I feel like Batali should have cut the burnt tops off the radishes and re-seared them, no one like the taste of pure carbon.

I'm with you on the ravioli, would love that recipe.

Highlight of the episode - Alton saying "I cannot FREAKING wait to watch Lagasse put this together"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree about the radishes....and, I thought Emeril was more showboating New Orleans with the coffee-beniet desert...It was just a bit too far off of the secret ingredient....fantastic I'm sure but off focus. Apparently Batali's vegetable medley was not a whoo factor for the Judges. I'm not connecting at all with Nigella Lawson anytime I see here of late. I'm going to watch it again, not sure who won in retrospect. My money was on Batali....Emeril I think has always admired the Iron Chef title....maybe a private wish, but he appeared out of his league a bit last night...Mario carried him like a big brother. Of course, with Anne Burrell there........that team was solid.

I think Comerford comes from a demanding venue from the White House but with a full, expert staff to work with...the stress is minimized that way. It showed. Flay and Comerford were destined to win...it was the heart or "Special Theme Episode" for this Iron Chef America......

Alton, he sure knows how to make me smile! He was great last night as was Ted Allen.....I'm glad I recorded it.

Edited by VeraAgnes (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...