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Iron Chef America 1/1/09: Appleman v. Symon

whiner Jan 2, 2009 05:32 AM

I particularly liked this episode because I have extensive experience with *BOTH* chefs' cooking and they are two of my more prefeffered chefs in the States. IMO, the better chef won. But it was nice to see two people whom I have so much respect for, and knowledge of their cooking, 'doing battle'. The dishes they created were also quite representitive of the foods they serve in their restaurants, though I was actually expecting a dessert from Symon, and not expecting one from Appleman. (Symon's signature dessert is maple, bacon, eggs ice cream wonderfullness.)

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  1. susancinsf RE: whiner Jan 2, 2009 07:16 AM

    I enjoyed watching the chefs and the butchering of the suckling pigs (the secret ingredient) was particularly fun to watch, but nonetheless, I found myself muttering and yelling at the TV: the judges, especially the radio morning show guy, drove me crazy. I can see having one judge without a real food background, but two out of three? I could have been projecting, but I thought both Chefs looked a bit embarrased by the radio guy's comments and antics (including trying to reach over to take food off of the plate of another judge!), and perhaps the Chairman was too (at one point he cut him off mid-sentence).

    Boomer Eliason (also a judge; I suppose so that Alton Brown could make 'pigskin' jokes) said at the start of the show that he had never really tasted most parts of the pig, and that he was apprehensive about doing so, and yet in the end I thought his comments were more thoughtful and well-reasoned than that other guy (sorry, don't know his name, tried to look it up and see no mention of the show on the Food Network site, could it have been a rerun?).

    Would really have so much preferred seeing Jeffrey Steingarten's take on the food...

    On a good note, the show did remind me that I have been remiss in not checking out the Monday Meatballs at A16...

    14 Replies
    1. re: susancinsf
      melly RE: susancinsf Jan 2, 2009 09:20 AM

      Ditto. Did you notice how crazed the one sous chef looked?? The girl who made the blueberry sticks.

      1. re: melly
        BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: melly Jan 2, 2009 12:21 PM

        I damn near thought she was going to burst into tears at one point, while she was cutting the toasts for the Elvis sandwich. That's about the most harried I've ever seen an IC sous chef look.

        1. re: melly
          sommrluv RE: melly Jan 5, 2009 01:21 PM

          I called my husband away from the computer to show him my opinion of the hottest sous chef yet on Iron Chef. He agreed with me.


          Of course, there was Tre Wilcox..but back to the food.

          1. re: sommrluv
            theGent RE: sommrluv Sep 11, 2009 09:06 AM

            Yes she was gorgeous, anybody know her name? LOL

            1. re: theGent
              rubber_necker RE: theGent Oct 14, 2009 02:46 PM

              I think she's Jane Tseng from A16 in San Francisco
              Happy Eating!

        2. re: susancinsf
          Frodnesor RE: susancinsf Jan 3, 2009 06:57 AM

          I thought Boomer was surprisingly good. And it looked like he cleaned his plate for every course.

          1. re: Frodnesor
            susancinsf RE: Frodnesor Jan 3, 2009 02:16 PM

            true enough. and he definitely appreciated the beer. I'd have had no problem if he were the only non-culinary expert. Since I don't follow football, I know virtually nothing about him (it is thanks only to the fact that some members of my family seem to like the sport that I even recognized that he was a football player). I now realize I even spelled his last name wrong. However, he definitely came across as a nice, and as I said, thoughtful, guy.

          2. re: susancinsf
            goodhealthgourmet RE: susancinsf Jan 5, 2009 11:56 AM

            susancinsf, not that i think you *realy* care :) but the other judge was Craig Carton - he and Boomer Esiason co-host a sports radio show here in NY.

            i'm pretty much in agreement with everyone else. i thought it was a great battle, really fun to watch. they couldn't have chosen a better ingredient for those two, but they certainly could have chosen more appropriate judges. i really was scratching my head at the choice of Boomer & Chris. but Appleman was really impressive, and as always, i'm in awe of Michael Symon. i think he may now be my favorite Iron Chef.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
              susancinsf RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 5, 2009 01:00 PM

              thanks for the info, but wow, that's amazing...I wouldn't have guessed the two worked together from their interactions. Again, it must have been projection on my part, but I could have sworn that even Boomer was embarrassed by Carton's antics! (Can you tell I wouldn't tune into that show, even if I were in NY... :-))

              1. re: susancinsf
                goodhealthgourmet RE: susancinsf Jan 5, 2009 01:57 PM

                i was impressed that Boomer managed to warm up to the ingredient and get into the spirit of it all, and yes, i agree he seemed to be a little embarrassed by Carton's antics....so was i. he's a pretty talented broadcaster, but he rubs *a lot* of people the wrong way - he's actually quite controversial. and believe it or not, he's married with 3 kids - i just hope he sets a better example in terms of table manners in front of his children!

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                  chipman RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 5, 2009 02:26 PM

                  For those who don't remember or who don't follow football, Boomer's family issues have been documented very closely. here is a link to his charitable foundation and why it was formed.


                  1. re: chipman
                    AMFM RE: chipman Jan 5, 2009 02:49 PM

                    growing up in cincy in the 80s i remember boomer well, but i do think that the family comments were in regard to the other guy. that said, thanks for posting this as it's a great reminder of a wonderful guy (who i agree was surprisingly good for a non food person) - although the actual food person had NOTHING to contribute it seemed!

                    1. re: AMFM
                      goodhealthgourmet RE: AMFM Jan 5, 2009 02:58 PM

                      yes, if chipman was responding to my post, i was actually talking about Craig Carton.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        chipman RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 5, 2009 03:03 PM

                        My mistake, I should read more closely. As Gilda Radner used to say "Oh never mind".

          3. a
            AMFM RE: whiner Jan 2, 2009 10:41 AM

            it's weird. it's like this episode didn't exist on foodnetwork.com i was just trying to see when it might air again and it totally isn't there. strange.

            3 Replies
            1. re: AMFM
              sibeats RE: AMFM Jan 2, 2009 12:59 PM

              You are right, it is totally absent from the FN website! I found reference to it on a different site and it is being re-aired on the following dates:

              FOOD Sat, Jan 3
              5:00 PM Symon vs. Appleman
              San Francisco chef Nate Appleman goes up against Michael Symon in Kitchen Stadium.
              FOOD Sat, Jan 3
              11:00 PM Symon vs. Appleman
              San Francisco chef Nate Appleman goes up against Michael Symon in Kitchen Stadium.
              FOOD Sun, Jan 4
              2:00 AM Symon vs. Appleman
              San Francisco chef Nate Appleman goes up against Michael Symon in Kitchen Stadium.

              I thought it was a great show. I'm not familiar with Appleman at all, but am a fan of Symon. My daughter is an avid (stuffed) pig collector and the look on her face when they lifted the cover off of the secret ingredient was priceless!
              Symons food definitely looked more appealing to me. I agree about the judges though...when they were introducing them I was ranting to my husband about having not one but two non-food judges. It made for some pretty boring commentary about the dishes. Even the one foodie judge didn't have that much to say, especially towards the end. Looking forward to a new season!

              1. re: AMFM
                taos RE: AMFM Jan 2, 2009 01:01 PM

                My on-air guide shows it on "airing" (cabling I guess technically) next on Saturday Jan. 3 at 5 pm.

                In other matters, I'm not super experienced with the whole suckling pig thing and was simultaneously fascinated and appalled at the tearing apart of the cute little piglets. I played back my TiVO several times because I didn't see how the heads were removed. Oh, they didn't show that. To make matters more interesting, I was eating dinner while watching. Scallops wrapped in what else, bacon.

                And, yes, why only one culinary expert among the judges? Was everyone keeping Kosher?

                1. re: taos
                  AMFM RE: taos Jan 3, 2009 07:36 AM

                  thanks all!

              2. NYCkaren RE: whiner Jan 2, 2009 11:54 AM

                I thought Boomer was good. His comments were much more thoughtful than that other guy's, I agree. I enjoyed this episode.

                3 Replies
                1. re: NYCkaren
                  Bunson RE: NYCkaren Jan 3, 2009 08:41 AM

                  I thought Boomer was one of the better "non-culinary expert" chefs they've had on the show. He was professional and courteous to the chefs and dishes, and though food isn't his field of expertise did he best to provide honest commentary without drawing attention to himself or making lame jokes (i.e. Marc Ecko).

                  1. re: Bunson
                    BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Bunson Jan 3, 2009 09:28 AM

                    No one will ever top Bonecrusher, though. More Bonecrusher!

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                      goodhealthgourmet RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jan 5, 2009 11:59 AM

                      BFP, i'm with you on that one! Bonecrusher would have been such a fun judge for this battle.

                2. w
                  whiner RE: whiner Jan 2, 2009 09:25 PM

                  I agree with all the posters who said they would have preferred at least one more 'foodie' judge. Steingarten, ideally.

                  1. duckdown RE: whiner Jan 3, 2009 07:40 PM

                    I actually thought Symon was going to lose this one; judging by the initial reactions/comments/criticisms of the judges originally

                    Does Symon even have a loss yet?

                    Needed another foodie judge, gotta agree.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: duckdown
                      whiner RE: duckdown Jan 4, 2009 12:29 AM

                      Symon lost to Morimoto when he ws a guest. He has one loss as an Iron chef and Ithink 5 wins. Something like that. His one loss was to the chef at The Spotted Pig in NYC (who is also a friend of his and who he invited to cook at Lola for a special dinner several months back).

                    2. e
                      Elissa78 RE: whiner Jan 4, 2009 03:50 PM

                      Can anyone help I just watched this on DVR. The winners were not announced on TV at all can anyone tell me who won and by how much. Food Networks seems to have no record of this battle at all!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Elissa78
                        susancinsf RE: Elissa78 Jan 4, 2009 04:54 PM

                        as the prior posts imply, Symon won, but not by much (two points maybe?). Both chefs had high scores.

                        1. re: susancinsf
                          AMFM RE: susancinsf Jan 4, 2009 05:50 PM

                          i think it was like 52-50.

                      2. y
                        yankeefan RE: whiner Jan 8, 2009 09:51 AM

                        I have to admit, I loved this episode because Carton and Boomer have pretty much my favorite sports talk show here in NYC area and they have been talking about this for a while. Carton is a huge Food Network fan and doesn't shut up about wanting a show.

                        I think more foodie judges are always better but for me I thought it was fun. In listening to their show this week, they had no idea when it was going to air and they were happy with the editting.

                        Also, Symon was on the program this morning and came off as an incredibly good guy. They were talking about the Mangini-Browns thing and busting chops.

                        Good stuff.

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