They get one bite to thrill the chairman. By Chairman, I’m sure they mean our favorite judging panel, but you know. Time to test Simplicity.

For the first bite, they get 30 minutes. Besh, having won the last challenge, gets to select his ingredient first, while the other chefs stand by and wait. Oh, and the clock is running. The other chefs catcall like mad as he luxuriously takes his sweet time.

Then, before grabbing anything, Besh lets them come up, and it’s a madhouse. He’s still closest, of course, but it was a very gentlemanly move.

Lots of grabbing for the seafood. Lots of words being thrown around: tuna tartare is declared lame. Scallop ceviche? Nope, Besh stole Aaron’s scallops, so that’s a no-go. However, it’s very difficult to keep track of anything that is going

on. There isn’t enough time in the episode to show everything, so I only have a barest idea of anything. Hopefully it will get better as the season goes on – I love learning tips and tricks from the iron chefs.

Of course, while we watch them cook, they are all talking about what their style is. “Fanatically Fresh French!” Wow. Lots of fresh is thrown around, as if we would ever assume a chef wouldn’t use the singular freshest ingredients available to him/her. When you’re an Iron Chef, you don’t have to “work with what you’ve got.” You work with the best in the world.

We also discover that Gavin hates kitchen whistling. Which Symon does. Whoo boy.

Morou has it on right away – get it plated! Now! Do not screw yourself over by not plating on time. I’ve seen the commercials, and I’m in frightened disbelief already.

And here it is. Aaron tries to keep going after Alton says no, and he whines. He whines, people, and that’s just disgusting. I know you didn’t get it down, but you didn’t get it down and that is your fault. You should have started plating sooner, period. Even if it’s not done, you can’t judge it if it’s not on a plate. He had this problem in the first episode too, and it just reeks of unprofessionalism. I want to reach through the screen and shake him. Grow up!

Gavin has awesome plating, with a pretty radish circle and spectacularly even and perfect everything. That should go over well.

But wait! They are judging themselves! That’s why they had to make six, as opposed to three. I really like that – and so does Symon, who apparently thinks this will up his chances.

Besh: Seared scallop with truffle and jerusalem artichoke. But, not one bite, possibly closer to three.
Chris: Ahi tuna, cured in olive brine, basil, and tomato juice, etc. The orange peel was a bit astringent for Jill.
Besh gets to taste Aaron’s one plated ceviche. Besh says he’s glad he didn’t make more, ’cause the bite was perfect.
Gavin: Clam, which tasted flat after the ceviche to John. Alton’s discussion on sabatoge next, and how that will happen, as intentionally as possible, in Kitchen Stadium. It kind of sounds like a lecture to Besh to never give up your advantages.
Symon, lamb tartare with citrus zests and heirloom tomato and Greek yogurt. Jill loves the dish. And also thinks it represented Symon well. And also has a crush on him. Blusher.
Jill: Crazy plating (it kind of happened in the last 3 seconds), and “strange pb&j flavor” according to Besh. Jill claims she is “crucified. ”
Morou: Duck with orange and cumin. Very tender.

Chef Symon won the whole thing. Now, however, he has to worry about everyone gunning for him: “You’re only as good as your last plate”

Crazy gadget time! Most of them have no idea what have idea what it is, and if they do they’ve never used it. This contest is Innovation. New tools, new tech, odd ingredients. Combine the previously un-combine-able, and create something new.

The chairman did help out by sending out a sciencey chef who tells them how to to use what chemicals they’ve been given and an engineer to describe the tools. Chris comments how he’s been trying to get chemicals out of food for how long, and now they are telling him how to put them all back in?

The second expert tells them how to use all of the psychotic crazy tools, including an “Antigriddle” and a immersion thing that can cook at a temperatures accurate to 2/100ths of a degree.

90 minutes from now they have to have something crazy. Some of this they look spectacularly excited to do, others they seem terrified. Lots of complaints as to how they all failed and/or hated math in the first place.

Specifics after the commercial break: 2 chemical substances, at least 3 devices. 2 dishes, 90 minutes. Symon, as winner, gets his own workstation, and, like Besh, he gets first go at the ingredients. He actually takes advantage of the extra time and has most of the pantry on his station when the rest of the chefs get to go up – or so the other chefs complain.

Morou and Jill tug-of-war on fish. They cut it in half, with each getting the half they grabbed.

Thus far, Besh has used the immerison cooker. Symon is going to do the foam thing, with tomatos. Sanchez is working with the chemicals.

Besh has whipped out the lecitin! Alton wipes his very sweaty face for him. As he does indeed sweat “like a man possessed,” whatever that means.

Jill used liquid nitrogen on a “wacky compote salad.” It’s crazy seeing how well they deal with dumping white powders in their beloved food. Or in some cases, less well (see: Chris).

Morou was unhappy with what he plated. Chris put shaving cream (a sauor [sweet/sour] cream) on a razor (clam). Awesome food-pun. There need to be more food puns, as they are far more tolerable (and tastier) than the regular variety.
Thus far, I think Aaron deserves to leave. In fact, if he doesn’t, they have done a disservice to the name of Iron Chef. There is no point to good food when you are an extremely poor sport and can’t finish your food on time anyway.

They aren’t going to give you 10 extra seconds in the Stadium. Next, Josh and I debate on Gavin (boring!) or Jill (generally seems to just lose!) leaving next, but no one deserves to leave like Aaron deserves to leave. As in, like last week.

We also think Besh deserves the title. He is fun and silly, like Mario, and a good cook who is not afraid of relatively frightening things. I mean, come on!  Catfish truffle?

Anyway, judging! The three judges are back – as it’s an elimination round. Besh first. His first “dish”: Cold potato soup, summer truffle tapenade, warm potato soup. They think that it isn’t innovative on the table, no matter how innovative it may have een in the kitchen. As to his second dish, roast Duck, parmasan roast cracker thing, frozen with liquid nirogen, and one more thing I didn’t catch. When you say “dish,” Besh assumes you mean three. So when you say “two dishes,” he makes six. Overachiever.

Gavin’s up! Fricasse of sweetbreads, with a kind of cappuchino. Hamachi crudo next, with three kinds of beets. Again, lacking innovation is the verdict.

Chris: Duck Breast smoked with spice. Also, of course, the saour shaving cream with razor clams. They seem to really like it, and they think he did well with innovation, even though he complains about the evils of those chemicals.

Symon: Deconstructed tomato salad. Everyone but Andrew loved it. Truffle salad next, and compliments for Donatella – schmoozing his way to a win?

Morou: lobster sashimi with pickled plum instead of ginger and ginger “caviar.” Braised beef cheeks was his second dish. When asked, he said he was inspired, especially by the immersion cooker.

Jill: Freezo Frito! They didn’t like the salad, calling it difficult and confusing. She also served osso bucco, made of potato that looks like bone marrow.

Aaron: Pan raosted sablefish. Very hot! Sweetbreads, which may or may not have needed salt.

Beacuse Aaron’s dish was better than others, he might not leave. If he makes it only because he “behaves” (see: manages to plate on time without whining) on elimination rounds, it will be a disservice to Iron Chef, period. He needs to leave and take his bad attitude with him. It won’t help anyone in kitchen stadium.

Anyway, elimination time. First safe, Aaron. What?! They tell him he plays it too safe with always sticking to Latin cuisine, but he’s still safe for the week.

Morou is safe next, but he’s not making a good impression. Turn things up a bit, as it were.

Symon is third safe, with no complaints.

Besh is also safe, loving the duck – but it wasn’t innovative enough.

Chris next – no onion next time, as it was very strong, but the clam dish saved him. They felt it was truly worthy of the title of Innovation, and they told him that not only was he safe, he won the whole thing. Go Chris!

Jill and Gavin are down. Jill’s been here before. Not good for her! The drama of Gavin’s smoking pillow was appreciated, but the “dirty mushroom water” was not worthy.

Jill’s salad was a no-go, and she has to go. She, like Traci, smiles through her gauntlet run, but she ends up falling. She took it very well, and for that I appreciate her all the more.

I am so dissappointed, still, that Aaron is not gone. He’s not a worthy person, no matter how great his dishes may be. He is not a worthy competitor, and they should be addressing this.

At least next week is double-elimination. We can but hope he is kicked.

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