Top Moments of Iron Chef America, Season 13

Anything can happen in Kitchen Stadium, and these photos prove it.

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Battle Peas

All Iron Chef America battles are tricky, of course, but when the Secret Ingredient so subtle like peas, the task at hand becomes particularly daunting. Iron Chef Guarnaschelli, of course, rose to the occasion tonight and set out to both honor the classics and reinvent old-school flavors for which peas are known.

A Close Start

Following judgment of their 20-minute dishes, challenger Chef Williams and the Iron Chef were close in points — only two separate them — with the Iron Chef in the lead. For the Iron Chef, this early lead was nice, but she remained cautious and intent in her execution.

Homemade Pasta, Times Two

Over on Chef Williams’ side of the kitchen, he worked on homemade gnocchi, which were to be served with a fresh pea-butter sauce. You know what they say about great minds. It turns out that the Iron Chef had a similar plan for pasta; one of her sous chefs made sheets of pea pasta and turned them into cheesy ravioli that looked like pea pods.

Judgment Giggles

There’s no doubt that the scene at the judges’ table is often fraught with anxiety. But just because the stakes are high doesn’t mean that the judges — and the chefs — don’t know how to have fun. John T. Edge and Ming-Na Wen were all too ready to start laughing.

An Impressive Finish

The lead Iron Chef Guarnaschelli earned after her first dish only grew as the battle went on. After all the offerings had been tasted, she scored a nine-point victory over Chef Williams.

Battle Swordfish

Kitchen Stadium was turned into a seafood house tonight when the Chairman unveiled an altar of swordfish. For the first dish, Iron Chef Forgione opted for an exceedingly simply preparation of grilled swordfish, while the challenger, Chef Dang, opted for a crudo-style offering with nuoc cham. The verdict? The Iron Chef out-cooked by just one point in that round.

Fish for Dessert

Believe it or not, Chef Dang managed to plate a swordfish dish for dessert. His secret was to pair the skin with pineapple, which garnered mixed reviews from the judges. “It’s interesting,” Jonathan Waxman told him. “I like your audacity.”

A Side of Fire

The Iron Chef's showpiece dish was his fifth and final offering, crusted swordfish with a side of bay leaves. He used a hand torch to char the leaves before serving, and when they met the fire, you could hear popping sounds throughout Kitchen Stadium. According to judge Tanya Holland, “That sword is just mind- blowing.”

Forgione Reigns Supreme

With a margin of just five precious points, Iron Chef Forgione bested his rival today, out-scoring him in each round. “It feels so amazing to come back here and get this victory,” the Iron Chef said, reflecting on the outcome.

Battle Carrots

Though carrots may be something you chop up in a salad or simply snack on in their “baby” form, they took center stage tonight for a colorful showdown featuring orange, purple, red and yellow carrots with their bright-green tops. Both chefs opted for a mix of carrot preparations, much to the judges’ delight.

The View from Here

Alton can see everything — and we do mean everything — from his perch in Kitchen Stadium, and sometimes, the action is a little overwhelming.

A Wide Range

Because carrots can straddle the line between savory and sweet, so too did the chefs’ dishes. Here challenger Chef Taymor is prepping lamb for his first-course carpaccio, though later on he went on to serve a sorbet complete with a carrot-infused caramel sauce.

Strong Start

The Iron Chef treated carrots as he would shrimp in a play on a Salt and Pepper offering for his dish, and the judges were into it — especially compared to the lamb carpaccio that challenger Chef Taymor presented. Following that 20-minute judgment, GZ was ahead of his opponent by two points.

Culinary Strength

After Alton jokes with the Iron Chef about being an “old man,” GZ dropped to the group for an impromptu set of push-ups.

An Iron Chef Falls

Despite the Iron Chef’s victory in the first round, Chef Taymor outscored him in every category thereafter, thus earning a three-point victory over Iron Chef Zakarian.

Battle Wagyu: More Fat, More Flavor

American wagyu beef is a delicacy — and straight-up delicious. As Alton explained from his perch, the meat is full of marbling, aka fat, which means that there’s a lot of flavor in each bite. Iron Chef Izard and the challenger, Chef Blamey, took full advantage of that this week with their offerings, showcasing the full richness of this exceptional product.

Similar Executions

Both chefs opted to do beef presentations that were totally raw or mostly raw for their first dishes, but it was the Iron Chef who out-cooked her competitor by two points in that first match-up.

“Rib-Ice” Cream

Yep, you read that correctly … ice cream made with meat. Of course, it was the brainchild of none other than Iron Chef Izard, who’s known for making over-the-top ice creams with savory ingredients. Floor reporter Jet Tila snagged a bite during the battle … and he was VERY into it.

Ready, Set, Flames

Given the high fat content in the wagyu beef and the fact that the Chairman mandated at least one grilled element in each course this week, Kitchen Stadium was nothing short of lit for all 60 minutes.

A Star Burger

No stranger to meat, burger aficionado Chef Blamey brought her A game tonight when she presented a stunning wagyu burger with cheese and a patty of bone marror. It was decidedly decadent, and much to her delight, the judges and the Chairman were beyond impressed with its flavor and the technique shown in creating it.

An Iron Chef Victory

Though Chef Blamey’s offerings surely left a stellar impression on the judges, her menu couldn’t best Iron Chef Izard’s. Seven points separated the chefs, as Iron Chef Izard out-scored Chef Blamey in every category.

Battle Blue Cheese

Host Alton Brown said it best when he declared, “A lot of really good blue cheese smells like gym sock.” The altar was full of nothing but the finest blue cheeses, which means that Kitchen Stadium got a little stinky this week— but it was all for the sake of culinary competition. Iron Chef Guarnaschelli faced off against Chef Anderson, who’s known for her German-inspired fare.

A New Approach

While the Iron Chef stayed within her wheelhouse of Italian-French-American cooking, the challenger strayed from her German perspective. She even made homemade pasta, just as the Iron Chef’s team did.

One-Point Margin

This is Iron Chef Guarnaschelli’s first-course offering, bite-size cherry tomatoes stuffed with blue cheese and served with what else but a martini garnished with blue cheese-stuffed olives. Though the judges thought the look of her plating wasn’t ideal, they couldn’t deny the taste of the dish, and they awarded her one more point than they did Chef Anderson.

Welcome to the Party

Though Jet Tila competed in Kitchen Stadium in the past, this marked his first battle as the floor reporter, which meant he checked in with both chefs, delivered updates to Alton and even snagged a few tastes of food.

All Business

Both chefs were sure to use multiple kinds of cheeses in their five-course menus, a known tactic for impressing the judges, who like to see range in their competitors.

Victorious

Iron Chef Guarnaschelli is known for bringing the heat to the competition, and sure enough, she wowed judges Antonia Lofaso and Simon Majumdar with her menu, either out-performing or tying her rival in each category to claim a four-point victory over Chef Anderson.