The guest judge this week was Gavin Kaysen who competed in the 2007 "culinary Olympics" called the Bocuse d'Or. Sorry, not impressed. The footage of that event looked like it was filmed in a high school gymnasium by a local municipal access cable company. Seriously, it looked like a joke.
Anywho, for the Quickfire Challenge, the 5 remaining cheftestants were to try to recreate in their own style Chef Kaysen's dish that he made in 2007 which was a Ballotine of Chicken, Chicken Liver and Crayfish. It is essentially a protein inside of a protein inside of a protein...think turducken.
While the instruction were to make a "version" of it, brother Michael apparently took a little too much license and made a terrine. I'd always thought of a terrine as a cooking dish (and it is) but in food it's essentially several items pressed together and shaped and cut. It kinda looks like a sushi roll. So, his dish didn't go over too well. Surprisingly, Jen won! It was her first win in a looong time, and maybe finally will get her confidence back up. Her win got her 30 minutes extra time in the Elimination Challenge.
The Elimination Challenge of course was to make something in the style of the Bocuse d'Orusing one protein (either Salmon or Lamb,) and 2 garnishes. Kevin (who I agree with) said that while the Bocuse d'Or is all about presentation (you present your dishes on a mirror...oy,) he wanted to focus on complex flavors. I mean, leave it to the French to come up with a food competition that is more about looks than taste. What is it for, a magazine cover? Ridiculous. Anyway, Brian was the one who everyone thought had the best technique and complicated dish, but his lamb was undercooked. If he had Jen's extra 30 minutes, he probably would have won. All of them received some praise, and all of them received some criticism. Kevin won, which I'm SURE pissed off Michael because he keeps saying that Kevin cooks what he cooks on his day off. WTFE a-hole. Kevin not only focused more on taste than appearance, but he sous vide his meat, which he'd never done, and he had asked brother Bryan the night before on some tips for doing it. Bryan said that he'd have been an a-hole to not tall Kevin...and that he doubted that his brother would have told Kevin. He's probably right, and Kevin is probably lucky that Michael went to sleep early, so he didn't know about his brother "helping" a competitor. Eli ended up going home so as predicted here after the 1st or 2nd show, the Final Four are the brothers (Bryan and Michael,) Kevin, and Jen.
Next Iron Chef America:
This started with 10 chefs, and I only knew 2 of them. Amanda Freitag and Jose Garces. Both had competed on ICA before (and Garces won as I recall.) The final 2 chefs were Jose and Chef Mehta who was born in India. So, the new Iron Chef would be a minority (either Hispanic or Indian.)
The final round was a head to head ICA battle in Kitchen Stadium and the "secret ingedient" was "ribs and racks." So it was ribs from pig, cow & buffalo. Unlike the first NICA 2 years ago, the 3 judges who had been judging all along actually got to be judges for the finals. The last time, there was a LOT of issues where the 3 judges throughout the show weren't the judges for the ICA battle (3 Iron Chefs were instead,) and the 3 judges who had been there all along thought that Symon probably would not have won had they been the judges. So, this time not only were the 2 judges there, but also 3 current Iron Chefs (Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, and Morimoto.) To me, that made the most sense, and both the Chairman and Alton Brown also were served dishes. I bet if there had been a tie that Alton would have been the tie breaker.
It seemed pretty apparent to me who would win. The 3 judges of the series made noise that Chef Mehta took more risks and that maybe led to more failures but also led to the single best dish. The Iron Chefs seemed to say that Chef Garces might have been more "conservative" but nearly everything was technically correct, cooked correctly, and he didn't produce 5 "Latin" dishes, so it wasn't "really" conservative for him. In the end, Chef Garces won and is the new Iron Chef to replace Mario Batali who has had a falling out with Food Network...although he WILL compete in the Iron Chef Battle with the White House Official Chef along with Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse (who also has had a falling out with FN.) This special episode of Iron Chef America will air in January.
Detroit Lions vs Cleveland Browns:
While this game was blacked out locally, I listened to it on the radio.
What the heck was that on Sunday?