I have to say, I am glad that TVgasm has been able to unleash all of this pent up demand for all things Food Network. That being said, I don’t share quite the obsessions about most of the hosts and their show, but I can certainly relate. My Food Network obsession is Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, which I wrote about awhile ago. I really like the kitschy quality of the original series, and the current version on the Food Network is a lot of fun as well. A few weeks ago we got to witness Battle Turkey in Kitchen Stadium. Since we are doing an all Food Netwok Special for Thanksgiving, I thought it would be appropriate to let you know whose cuisine reigns supreme.One of the best parts about Iron Chef America is the pageantry we place in the whole event, from introducing the challengers, to choosing the iron chef, to the revelation of the secret ingredient. For Battle Turkey the challengers were Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, two very famous chefs who are known for their Border Grille restaurants among others, as well as their books and Food Network show Too Hot Tamales. As you can guess by the name, their specialty is Latin cooking, and what better person to match them up with than Iron Chef Bobby Flay! A lot of people hate Bobby Flay’s arrogance, but I kind of like how huge of an asshole he is and can appreciate the huge ego he has with regards to his own work. Besides, let’s cut him some slack. He’s a ginger kid with a lisp, and if he had been born thirty years earlier, he might have lived his entire life in a sanitarium for angry red heads with speech impediments. So he likes to gloat! Can you really blame him?
Our chairman, Mark Dacascos, always comes in with a lot of energy, or at least we always get a clip of him doing a back flip, but Susan Feniger was waiting with her own little show. She had taken an iron to the back of her smock and let it sit there, burning the shape of her iron onto the back. Well, either that or she had some really strange skid marks. She called herself the “Ironed Chef”. Although both Mark and Susan do have a flair for the dramatic, neither of them can match the original chairman Takeshi Kaga. Somebody said that he wore Freddy Mercury outfits[that would be holyterror], but Freddy Mercury humping Elton John would not be nearly as flamboyant as what Takeshi wore. He walked around like he was at a constant dress rehearsal for Pride and Prejudice, and his clothing usually featured more ruffles and adornment than a French pirate (during the first republic, I think they discovered the Islands of Prada and Barney’s somewhere off of Macao).
After Mark introduced Turkey, the chefs got to work. Allez cuisine!
Paula Dean’s battle? No, that brown sugar, molasses and butter is going to go into a, wait for it, turkey sorbet.
Alton got really excited talking turkey trivia. He wasn’t able to work aromatics and seratonin in the same sentence however.
Bobby Flay is making tamales? No way!
Susan forgot to bring her strap-on pasta insemination kit, or she left it at the hotel.
Kevin Brauch takes a taste of the Turkey Sorbet
My favorite Tamales dish. If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!
My favorite Bobby Flay dish. Southern style Thanksgiving
Overall, it looked like we had a bunch of interesting dishes. Bobby Flay can usually hold his own, and is very difficult to beat, but going up against two chefs with the skills of the Hot Tamales is no easy task. Then again, there is that turkey sorbet. The judges for this week were Jeffery Steingarten, Katy McLaughlin, and Natalie Morales. At first I thought it was Soledad O’Brien, who has also been judge, but they really are different people. Who would have known? They use Steingarten a lot, and although he is a famous critic, he comes across as a slob who probably hooks himself up to a crisco IV at night, and for some reason he always picks fights with the other judges.
Maybe it was the hair.
Triple bypass? I’ll take one!
When the judges finished, we got our results, and in a very rare occurrence, the score was tied. Even more unlikely, their score for taste, originality, and plating were all identical. It wasn’t the craziest kitchen stadium battle, because I always like more exotic ingredients (which is why I watch the Japanese version), but there were some interesting dishes, and really, when you get a turkey and bourbon sorbet, what more could you ask for?
Bobby Flay, always trying to cop a feel.