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Iron Chef America: Thanksgiving Showdown

What would be better than having one Iron Chef cook for you for Thanksgiving? How about having four cook for you? That is what happened this week as the chairman paired up Iron Chefs Flay and Symon against Iron Chefs Cora and Morimoto. The secret ingredients were items that may have been used in the first Thanksgiving – duck, turkey, leeks, Indian corn, etc. I was hoping Ted Allen would be a judge, but he was floor reporter. Judging was former NFL star Tiki Barber, restaurateur Donatella Arpaia, and actor Lou Diamond Phillips.

Morimoto threatened 10 dishes, but they only served up one more than Flay and Symon. Flay and Symon served up butter-poached lobster with leeks and puffed wild rice (which Donatella said was “beautifully cooked”), fry bread taco with spice crusted venison (which Tiki said was “super flavorful”), duck three ways, heritage turkey roasted on a cedar plank with ancho gravy and cranberry (Lou said he was going to steal that recipe from Bobby), and Indian pudding with cinnamon and nutmeg ice cream.

Iron Chefs Cora and Morimoto tried to combine East and South in their dishes and served up seared venison tenderloin on a salt brick (which Lou called “delicious”), Asian lobster stew, duck skewers four ways (Tiki said there was a lot of East in this dish), tandoori turkey and Japanese braised red snapper (Lou thought the turkey got lost in the curry), Thanksgiving rice (which Donatella thought “fell flat”), and walnut soufflé.

Donatella was more critical of Iron Chef Cora and Morimoto’s dishes, but in the end, they lost by only one point. They beat Flay and Symon on plating, lost a point on originality, then lost a point on taste.

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