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Iron Chef America (Part 1)


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i agree with bux i think he comes off as an asshole

I never said that I came off as an asshole. It must have been someone else who said that. I also never said that other guy comes off as an asshole, only the someone might be entitled to feel he's pompous or even an ass.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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sorry i didn't mean to misquote i meant ass and not asshole. Did i say someone came of as an assole? When i said he i meant steingarten. Just a misquote.

i agree with bux i think he comes off as an asshole

I never said that I came off as an asshole. It must have been someone else who said that. I also never said that other guy comes off as an asshole, only the someone might be entitled to feel he's pompous or even an ass.

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I might have said Steingarten came off as an asshole.

To clarify: I wasn't overly enamoured with the other judges either, and I felt the woman in the middle was especially ditzy. However, while they made lots of unsubstantiated positive comments, Steingarten made lots of unsubstantiated negative comments. I don't have a problem with the judges making comments either way, but I would love to hear much more in depth discussion of the food, how the flavors play on each other, how the textures are, etc, as opposed to just 'this is great' or 'this is icky'. In the original IC show the comments made on the food, even getting run through the Canadian translation service, came across as much more in depth and intelligent.

My biggest issue with Steingarten on the show was that he kept trying to railroad the other judges. Several times during the judging clips he openly argued with them or chastised them for thinking something was good that he didn't, that just seems bullish to me.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I just saw ICA for the first time last night and enjoyed it. It was the episode with live catfish as the ingredient and the Mario Batali catfish wrestling was fun to watch. He was up against a chef from Puerto Rico.

I think the whole thing's a hoot and should be enjoyed as such, without too much thinking. I mean, you can't read Dostoyevsky and Umberto Eco all the time!

I have always figured the chefs knew the ingredient ahead of time (on both the original and ICA) because they always show up with off the wall accompaniments for their dishes. I just happened to have some caviar, some fresh fennel, and some Israeli cous cous in my car out back, eh? :biggrin:

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Here is the pantry list for Iron Chef America that I got from Food Network.

IRON CHEF AMERICA PANTRY LIST

SALT

Iodized Salt

Large boxes Kosher Salt

Good quality Sea Salt

Balene ok) Rock Salt

Fleur de Sel

OILS

Olive oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Vegetable Oil (any kind)

Peanut oil

Sesame Oil– not toasted

Toasted Sesame Oil

Walnut Oil

Almond Oil

Hazelnut Oil

VINEGARS

White Wine

Balsamic

Apple Cider

Mirin

Rice

Sherry

Red Wine

FLOURS/GRAINS

semolina

unbleached AP flour

wheat flour

Rice flour

Stone Ground Cornmeal

Polenta

Cornstarch

SUGARS

Granulated Sugar

Confectioner's Sugar

Dark Brown Sugar

NOODLES

Chinese Egg Noodles (fresh)

Rice Vermicelli Noodles

fresh Udon noodles the square ones

Spaghetti

couscous - regular and israeli

fresh pasta sheets

RICE

Arborio Rice

White Long Grain Rice

Brown Rice

Wild Rice

Sticky Rice – good quality

Jasmine Rice – good quality

Sushi Rice

BREAD/BREADCRUMBS

white bread

french bread

boule

dry plain breadcrumbs

Panko breadcrumbs

CANNED/JARRED

Cans Whole peeled tomatoes

Cans pureed tomatoes

cans Tomato paste

jars honey

Salt packed capers

Regular hot sauce

Ethnic hot sauce (like sambal oelek or sriracha

DRIED CHILES

Arbol chiles – whole

Birds Eye Chiles – whole

Ancho Chiles

LENTILS

De Puy Lentils

Green Lentils

orange lentils

ASIAN PACKAGED

3 different varieties of Soy Sauce large HS

Tamari

Chinese Soy

White Soy

tins wasabi powder

Packages NORI

Packages Konbu

Large Jars Bonito Flakes

CHOCOLATE

good quality Belcolade or Callebaut Bittersweet Chocolate

block good quality (see above) Milk chocolate

canisters Valrohna Cocoa or other NON dutch processed high quality cocoa

HERBS AND SPICES:

caraway seeds

Arrowroot

Allspice

Cumin

Coleman's Mustard

Ground Coriander

Whole Coriander

Fennel Seed

Ground Ginger

Mace

Whole nutmeg

Paprika (sweet)

SMALL TINS – Saffron

Tumeric

Chile Flakes

Black Peppercorns

SMOKED PAPRIKA – Pimenton

Black and White Sesame Seeds – not mixed

Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

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i imagine that its like the original where the chefs were told it could be one of two secret ingredients two days before the show. So you basicaly have 2 days to come up wih a plan to make 5 or 6 dishes out o two different things.

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Apparently with the original it was a choice between 5 secret ingredients, with ICA it is 2, from what I have heard. It would be a hell of a lot more fun if it was a total surprise though...

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I might have said Steingarten came off as an asshole.

To clarify:  I wasn't overly enamoured with the other judges either, and I felt the woman in the middle was especially ditzy.  However, while they made lots of unsubstantiated positive comments, Steingarten made lots of unsubstantiated negative comments.  I don't have a problem with the judges making comments either way, but I would love to hear much more in depth discussion of the food, how the flavors play on each other, how the textures are, etc, as opposed to just 'this is great' or 'this is icky'.  In the original IC show the comments made on the food, even getting run through the Canadian translation service, came across as much more in depth and intelligent. 

My biggest issue with Steingarten on the show was that he kept trying to railroad the other judges.  Several times during the judging clips he openly argued with them or chastised them for thinking something was good that he didn't, that just seems bullish to me.

I caught the catfish episode last night. I was surprised that the judges knew so little about food. I don't think of catfish as a particularly exotic ingredient. Yet Steingarten was the only person who said he'd had catfish before (once) - and his commentary about the basic ingredient was that it tasted "muddy". I thought the main reason Batali won is that in most of his dishes - he chopped up the catfish - mixed it with other ingredients - fried a lot of it - and basically managed to come up with dishes that didn't taste like catfish. Even the movie stars on IC seemed to know more about the main ingredients than these panelists did.

By the way - who is the woman sitting between Zagat and Steingarten (they gave her name on the Food TV website - but not her background)? Robyn

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I might have said Steingarten came off as an asshole.

To clarify:  I wasn't overly enamoured with the other judges either, and I felt the woman in the middle was especially ditzy.  However, while they made lots of unsubstantiated positive comments, Steingarten made lots of unsubstantiated negative comments.  I don't have a problem with the judges making comments either way, but I would love to hear much more in depth discussion of the food, how the flavors play on each other, how the textures are, etc, as opposed to just 'this is great' or 'this is icky'.  In the original IC show the comments made on the food, even getting run through the Canadian translation service, came across as much more in depth and intelligent. 

My biggest issue with Steingarten on the show was that he kept trying to railroad the other judges.  Several times during the judging clips he openly argued with them or chastised them for thinking something was good that he didn't, that just seems bullish to me.

I caught the catfish episode last night. I was surprised that the judges knew so little about food. I don't think of catfish as a particularly exotic ingredient. Yet Steingarten was the only person who said he'd had catfish before (once) - and his commentary about the basic ingredient was that it tasted "muddy". I thought the main reason Batali won is that in most of his dishes - he chopped up the catfish - mixed it with other ingredients - fried a lot of it - and basically managed to come up with dishes that didn't taste like catfish. Even the movie stars on IC seemed to know more about the main ingredients than these panelists did.

By the way - who is the woman sitting between Zagat and Steingarten (they gave her name on the Food TV website - but not her background)? Robyn

I just dont know if its correct to say that Steingarten isnt knowledgeable about food.. Infact, I know he has written things about catfish, down to how their taste buds form. And I believe his comment about the catfish being muddy was in reference to a carpacio dish. I think this gave me a very clear picture of how raw catfish might taste.

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Ted Allen from Queer Eye is going to be one of the judges on tonight's episode.

And I am quite thankful he was. Proving that his last appearance wasn't a fluke, he was again quite eloquent about what he was eating, how the flavors worked, and what the texture was like. Whether I agree or not with how the judging turned out (and tonight, for once, I did!), the judges are our only glimpse into the smell/taste/texture results., and I appreciate it no end when they let us know what the dishes are like, too.

And I am even more thankful that I ate dinner BEFORE the show aired :-).

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Apparently with the original it was a choice between 5 secret ingredients, with ICA it is 2, from what I have heard.  It would be a hell of a lot more fun if it was a total surprise though...

They have to know. Ming Tsai had a freakin air compressor and a fan on the set for the duck. I doubt those are regular items they keep lying around. And they don't really talk about any kind of menu with their sous chefs in the beginning, everybody just seems to start cooking.

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Apparently with the original it was a choice between 5 secret ingredients, with ICA it is 2, from what I have heard.  It would be a hell of a lot more fun if it was a total surprise though...

They have to know. Ming Tsai had a freakin air compressor and a fan on the set for the duck. I doubt those are regular items they keep lying around. And they don't really talk about any kind of menu with their sous chefs in the beginning, everybody just seems to start cooking.

In The Iron Chef Book about the original series, it says the tape stopped rolling after the theme ingredeint was announced and the chefs had time to review their menues, talk to the sous chefs, start basic prep work, and get their serving plates out.

Michael Simon, who directed the new kickoff series last year, gave me the impression that the chefs come in very prepared for what they will be making.

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Apparently with the original it was a choice between 5 secret ingredients, with ICA it is 2, from what I have heard.  It would be a hell of a lot more fun if it was a total surprise though...

They have to know. Ming Tsai had a freakin air compressor and a fan on the set for the duck. I doubt those are regular items they keep lying around. And they don't really talk about any kind of menu with their sous chefs in the beginning, everybody just seems to start cooking.

Peking duck. The crispy skin needs to be dried out. Naturally or with fans. He knows his technique. Not really an Ancient secret.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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i said it before and i will say it again. Flay did the same dam food he always does. He did a pouched egg with holendaise last time and he did wraps last time. Same food and you can totally tell he was beat before he even started. Im glad ming won he deserved it. The panel was teh best its been. They should keep those three from now on.

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I'm glad Ming Tsai won too, not only because he seems to be such a nice guy, but I think his dishes were much more creative (foie gras creme brulee with chutney!) Bobby Flay's dishes didn't look all the different from what he's done before, and although the green/orange sauces are attractive, I would like a different plating style from him. Some of Flay's dishes looked a little dry, particularly the first dish of grilled duck breast in the flour tortilla wrap.

And I'm pretty sure shumai is a Chinese dish, not something you get at a Japanese restaurant like the lady in the middle said.

edit: Flay's duck dish with the blue corn wrap did look delicious with all that dark, syrupy sauce.

Edited by Ling (log)
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This episode was pretty good. Tsai won hands down, I thought. Flay's dishes weren't really inovative, thought I thought the hash looked pretty good (I'm partial to anything with an egg on it.) The challenger's dishes were all sublime, though. I thought the judges were better this time around, Allen really knows his stuff. All in all, I'm pleased with this series so far.

"yes i'm all lit up again"

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In terms of the editing of the show.. do people think that the show is being shown in the order of the actual challenges?

What are you joking? Lets see overcooked lobster probably over cooked scallops and pig and duck and crayfish. It looked gross and it went horribly with that dish he served it with. Please tell me your joking?

On top of that he made such a big deal about it having 10 ingredients. Was that supposed to impress? Step into teh world of fine dining and see how many ingredients are in something. Just because theres alot of things in it doesn't mean it tasted good. If he made those same grits and just finished it with some nice duck confit and foie butter it woudl have been perfect.

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As much as I like Flay, I also agree that Tsai won this one hands down, his dishes just looked tastier. I also loved this judging panel, Ted Allen should become a permanant judge, much more charisma and just as insightful, if not more insightful, comments than Staingarten. The Woman from the Asia Society was pretty good too.

As for the chefs knowing the ingredient: it was mentioned up thread that they are told it will be a possibility of two different ingredients for the ICA show. It isn't incomprehensible that the chefs would have just prepared two complete and detailed menus with their sous-chefs and brought along all of the equipment they would need for either possibility before the show.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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i said it before and i will say it again. Flay did the same dam food he always does. He did a pouched egg with holendaise last time...

Not only that, but Batali did something similar last week.

I am amused that, of the first three episodes of ICA shown, all three have featured the Iron Chef making a variant of Eggs Benedict.

* AB drinks one of those "Guiness Pub Draught" beers, with the nitrogen cannister in the bottom of the can.

* AB wonders what Budweiser would taste like with one of those...

<AB> . o O (Like shit, still, I should think.)

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Anybody catch that Steingarten's role last night must have been heavily edited.I only remember two comments from him, that were very short.One compilmentary to Ming and one not so glowing remark about flays' wraps.

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