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ICA: Flay v. Kinch (Battle Cabbage)

ipsedixit Mar 15, 2009 10:02 PM

Why was there a "farmer" on the judging panel?

And how ridiculous was it to have the "farmer" dressed in denim overalls? What farmer today looks like that? 50 years ago, maybe. Today? A modern farmer is as much a scientist dressed in a pair of Dockers and nice pressed shirt as anything else ... Sheesh.

  1. farmersdaughter Mar 15, 2009 11:00 PM

    The overalls were a silly touch. I liked the concept of having a farmer be a judge, especially with a secret ingredient being a vegetable, however. I wonder if the farmer was more of an agribusiness person or if he is a true farmer (from Ohio, I think they said).

    What a battle. I love David Kinch and Manresa and everything he prepared looked incredible. I'm hoping he does a dinner at Manresa where he prepares the dishes he made on the show.

    Bobby Flay's plating really looked amateurish compared to Kinch's and he had two dishes of basically a hunk of meat + cabbage. They looked pretty boring.

    I would have loved to see Kinch v. Morimoto. I think that would have been a much more interesting battle.

    6 Replies
    1. re: farmersdaughter
      ipsedixit Mar 15, 2009 11:22 PM

      Yeah, Kinch slaughtered Flay.

      1. re: ipsedixit
        paulj Mar 16, 2009 10:57 AM

        The spread in scores was similar to that in the Italian cheese battle which Mario won.

      2. re: farmersdaughter
        sailorgrrl05 Mar 16, 2009 05:04 PM

        farmersdaughter: I was left BREATHLESS by last night's competition, and this show has never done that to me. What an ass-whuppin'. And on his debut appearance!

        Here's a link to a SJ Merc article about it, where it mentions Kinch has ruled out your suggestion: '"There's nothing we make in this restaurant that we make in an hour," he said.'


        1. re: sailorgrrl05
          Paul H Mar 16, 2009 05:29 PM

          I think we will see an Iron Chef dinner being offered. There will be demand for it, the food costs are almost nothing, and it can be done in an hour!

          1. re: sailorgrrl05
            farmersdaughter Mar 16, 2009 06:06 PM

            I saw that article, but one can still hope . . . I'll keep my fingers crossed.

            1. re: farmersdaughter
              sailorgrrl05 Mar 16, 2009 09:32 PM

              I would love to be able to try that cabbage quenelle and that "napoleon"!!!

        2. Frodnesor Mar 16, 2009 05:31 AM

          The overalls and bowtie is obviously Lee Jones' schtick, it's not like ICA had a wardrobe department that decided to dress him like that. Here's his website where he is dressed the exact same way ->

          David Kinch gave what I thought was one of the most remarkable performances ever by an ICA challenger. His stuff looked and sounded exquisite and - not that I really pay that much attention to the "competition" angle of the show - I don't recall ever seeing a challenger run rings around the "Iron Chef" to quite the same degree. With cabbage!

          I have never been to Manresa but sure want to go now.


          3 Replies
          1. re: Frodnesor
            CucumberBoy Mar 16, 2009 10:11 AM

            I found the "farmer" ingratiating, frankly; everything he tasted was "exquisite" or "perfect", except for one dish involving chestnuts IIRC. I just didn't feel he offered anything as a judge, unlike the picky, snobbish judge from Saveur mag...

            During the mid-program chat with the judges, Farm Boy said something to the effect that "cabbage is under-appreciated in America." I dunno, I found that comment absurd, frankly. Now, if he'd says chayote squash was under-appreciated, I'd have likely agreed, but cabbage?

            Anyway, fun episode. I felt bad for Chef Flay -- his had his brussel sprouts handed to him by Chef Kinch.


            1. re: Frodnesor
              paulj Mar 16, 2009 10:59 AM

              If the Test Kitchen boss gets by with a bow tie, why not the grower of specialty vegetables?

              1. re: Frodnesor
                Porthos Mar 16, 2009 02:13 PM

                Long time no see Frod. Anyways, it's pretty much pop warner vs NFL. Flay was totally outclassed and it showed. I could cook at least half the dishes from Flay's array. This is not a testament to my skills but more of Flay's lack thereof. I can safely say that I couldn't make a single Kinch dish even if I were given the recipe.

                I would highly recommend Manresa when you go to the Bay Area. You know I'm a huge fan of NYC high end dining but Manresa, in terms of cuisine, beats them all. I thought the flavors there were much more original and delcious than what I had at TFL. Definitely one of the the top dining experiences in the country.

                A well deserved win for Kinch.

              2. k
                ktb615 Mar 16, 2009 10:31 AM

                For those that don't know, Farmer Lee Jones is the owner of Chef's Garden farms. He supplies produce/microgreen/etc to the like of Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter, etc. They don't pick your vegetables until you order them to maintain high quality and freshness.

                1. eatzalot Mar 16, 2009 10:44 AM

                  Note to Chowhound: Can this be consolidated into the original thread on this subject?


                  1. g
                    grantham Mar 19, 2009 09:52 PM

                    Fun episode. I always miss Jeffrey. Attire of judges isn't incredibly important to me.

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