19 Times Iron Chefs Battled Food Network Friends on Iron Chef America
These battles may have brought together a network of chefs who are now part of the Food Network family, but that doesn't mean their Kitchen Stadium showdowns were any less intense. Relive all the action.
Iron Chef Morimoto vs. Iron Chef Forgione
Anything can happen when Iron Chefs enter Kitchen Stadium, and that's even truer when the competition pits two of them against each other. In Battle Mangalitsa Pig, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Iron Chef Marc Forgione were tasked with bringing that Secret Ingredient to life — with the mandatory use of the grill. Iron Chef Forgione presented an impressive dessert of Grilled Bacon Ice Cream with a lard-laced cappuccino, but it wasn't enough for him to claim a win versus Iron Chef Morimoto.
Iron Chef Guarnaschelli vs. Judy Joo
When Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli took her turn in Kitchen Stadium for the first time as an Iron Chef, she was met with a familiar face as her challenger, Chef Judy Joo of Iron Chef UK, who had judged Alex when she competed on The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs. In Battle Mortadella, though, Chef Joo was judged as well, and she ultimately fell to her competitor.
Iron Chef Morimoto vs. Jet Tila
Just four points separated Jet from victory when he entered a seaweed showdown with Iron Chef Morimoto in Kitchen Stadium. He'd told the judges, "Being a Pan-Asian restaurant, we really wanted to bring the best of myself and my chefs, so we wanted to really give you a taste of what seaweed could be, but represent it in all these Pan-Asian cultures." And indeed he delivered with a well-rounded menu featuring dishes inspired by poke and gazpacho, among others.
Iron Chef Morimoto vs. Geoffrey Zakarian
Just a year and a half before Geoffrey accepted the Iron Chef title as his own, he entered Kitchen Stadium as a New York City chef ready for battle. "I'm very confident today," he told the Chairman. However, after facing off against Iron Chef Morimoto in a sardine showdown, he ultimately felt the sting of defeat.
Iron Chef Morimoto vs. Michael Symon
Before Michael claimed the title of Iron Chef, back in 2005 he entered Kitchen Stadium for the first time to battle Iron Chef Morimoto. The Secret Ingredient was asparagus, and like many challengers before and after him, Michael ultimately fell to the great Morimoto.
Iron Chef Morimoto vs. Iron Chef Symon
In 2011, Iron Chef Morimoto came together with now-Iron Chef Michael Symon to face off once again, this time in the seasonal showdown Battle Alton's Holiday Fruitcake. "Going against Iron Chef Morimoto, you have to respect the man. He's just an amazing, amazing chef and fantastic at what he does," Michael said of his esteemed rival. But unfortunately for Michael, his title could not help him best Morimoto.
Iron Chef Morimoto vs. Iron Chef Symon (Again)
Only a few months after Iron Chefs Morimoto and Symon celebrated the holidays in Kitchen Stadium, they were once again at culinary odds, though in a far different setting. After catching a flight to Hawaii, they faced off in Iron Chef America's premiere tailgate showdown at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii with a Secret Ingredient of wild boar. This time, Iron Chef Symon reigned supreme with a four-point victory over Iron Chef Morimoto.
Iron Chef Michael Symon vs. Roger Mooking
"I wanted to take the hot dog and give it a twist and show a little bit of different tastes and flavors, and give you a little bit of an adventure," Roger Mooking told the Chairman and the judges during Battle Hot Dog, in which he faced off against meat man Michael. Roger succeeded in his goal, but unfortunately for him, the Iron Chef's presentation was stronger.
Iron Chef Michael Symon vs. Duff Goldman
"I'm here to show everyone I know how to cook, not just make desserts," Duff declared at the start of his battle against Iron Chef Michael Symon. Though Duff indeed held his own in Battle Chocolates & Chiles, ultimately the Iron Chef reigned supreme.
Iron Chef Morimoto vs. Maneet Chauhan
Just a year before Chef Maneet Chauhan joined the Chopped panel, she took her place in Kitchen Stadium for Battle Leeks against Iron Chef Morimoto; he managed to outcook her, despite her offering of a conversation-starting "leeky-tini" with cilantro.
Iron Chef Flay vs. Eric Greenspan
Though Iron Chefs are indeed elite culinary masters, they're not unfamiliar with loss. When Iron Chef Bobby Flay met Eric Greenspan for Battle Goose, it was the challenger who prevailed. Chef Greenspan's victory came after he had fallen in the quest to become The Next Iron Chef, and host Alton Brown declared, "He gets his redemption."
Iron Chef Flay vs. Curtis Stone
"They're all great chefs, but there's only one king of the grill," Chef Curtis Stone said as he prepared to choose his Iron Chef competitor. "And I consider myself pretty handy on the grill, so I challenge Iron Chef Bobby Flay." Not only did Curtis and Bobby have to do battle with skipjack tuna as the Secret Ingredient, but the Chairman asked them to showcase a grilled element in all their dishes as well. While both got the job done, it was Iron Chef Flay who reigned supreme.
Iron Chef Flay vs. Amanda Freitag
Battle King Crab ultimately went to the Iron Chef, but Amanda's stellar offerings indeed put the pressure on him. She scored just one point lower than him, tying him in both the plating and originality categories.
Iron Chef Flay vs. Jose Garces
Perhaps this 2008 battle served as a foreboding for what was to come, as Chef Garces entered Kitchen Stadium not as an Iron Chef but as a challenger who would take on the formidable Iron Chef Flay in Battle Melon. By just one point, Chef Garces claimed victory — just over a year before he would join Bobby's ranks as an Iron Chef.
Iron Chef Cora vs. Elizabeth Falkner
In 2006, Chef Elizabeth Falkner was a new face in Kitchen Stadium, though no one could have predicted that she would go on to become a familiar feature in the world of Iron Chef. Though she ended up falling to Iron Chef Cora in Battle Honey, she went on to meet the Chairman time and time again as she battled on The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, The Next Iron Chef: Redemption and a special Iron Chef America showdown, Battle Dessert Luau, in which she and teammate Iron Chef Zakarian failed to best the team of Iron Chef Guarnaschelli and Johnny Iuzzini.
Iron Chef Cat Cora vs. Alex Guarnaschelli
Before Alex rightfully claimed the Iron Chef title for herself in 2012, she joined Iron Chef Cat Cora for Battle Farmers' Market in 2007. Instead of displaying a single Secret Ingredient, the altar featured a plethora of fresh goods, including Brussels sprouts, beets and guinea hens.
Iron Chef Flay vs. Marcus Samuelsson
Chef Samuelsson joined the Chopped judges' panel in 2010, but before he started doling out no-nonsense feedback to competing chefs, he was a competitor himself. In 2008 he faced off against Bobby in Battle Corn, and he presented the judges with a globally inspired menu. Ultimately, however, his offerings weren't strong enough to best Iron Chef Flay's.
Iron Chef Batali vs. Richard Blais
You know Richard from his time judging Cutthroat Kitchen and Guy's Grocery Games. But before he took on those roles, he was a modernist cook who took on the likes of Iron Chef Batali in Battle Garbanzo Beans. Though the Iron Chef claimed victory in this showdown, the point tally was close — only a three-point margin — and Richard edged out Mario in the category of originality.
Iron Chef Flay vs. Marc Murphy
Sausage, eggs, orange juice and bread peppered the altar of Battle Breakfast when Chef Marc Murphy, now a frequent Chopped judge, met Bobby in Kitchen Stadium. (Ted Allen was there too, as a judge.) Marc's Bacon Flan left an impression on the judges, but it wasn't enough to reign supreme against Bobby.