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"Reverse Throwdown" -- Name the Challenge

I was inspired by sku, who wrote, "I have a recurring daydream that Bobby [Flay] is filming one of his shows, showing people how to make chili rellenos or some such thing, when Rick Bayless marches on the set and challenges him to a throwdown."

Now, I thought, THAT is a great idea!

Lidia Bastianich vs. Mario Batali on lamb ragu?
John Besh vs. John Folse on gumbo?
Michel Richard vs. Jacques Pepin on cassoulet?
Martin Yan vs. Ming Tsai on Chinese dumplings?
Marcella Hazan vs. Giada deLaurentis on anything actually Italian?
Tyler Florence vs. [uh, I'll take this Throwdown, folks]
Mary Ann Esposito vs. Nick Stellino, on...who cares? it'd be hilarious!
Isaac Mizrahi vs. Sandra Lee...well, on so many things....?*

What "reverse throwdowns" do you think would show us the cooks' real mettle, and on what particular item? Maybe you can throw in some humor with your chow-ish "deliciousness" concepts. Let's see *your" Reverse Throwdown Challenges list.


* "Honey, you have *some nerve* calling that a 'tablescape'! Oh, Snap!"

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  1. Martha Stewart vs. Sandra Lee on tablescapes. <falling down laughing>

    2 Replies
    1. re: mcsheridan

      mcsheridan, great minds.....
      as you were typing your entry, i was editing mine to add the "quotation" in the footnote.

    2. Tony Bourdain vs. Rachael Ray: 30-Minute Iguana - soup and sammies!

      1 Reply
      1. Andrew Zimmern vs Bourdain, on a dessert island, with miscellaneous animal parts, as yet unidentified.

        Paula Deen Vs Guy Fieri. Lard, butter, and bacon.

        Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless on anything Mexican. Real Mexican.

        Nigella Lawson Vs. who cares.....

        11 Replies
        1. re: Phaedrus

          I'd pit Nigella Lawson against the obvious contender - Ina Garten. The battle? Fabulous Friends and Environs for Under a Million with seemingly no effort. It would of course be a tie so they'd have to go to the Soft Focus Stare Off with copious amounts of Champagne swilling to try and throw them off their game.

          1. re: MplsM ary

            Nigella Lawson vs. me in battle whipped cream :-P (sorry i couldn't help that one!)

            1. re: Herm

              Well, I was thinking the same thing, just didn't put it down.

              1. re: MplsM ary

                Ina Garten vs James Beard. Battle of the Beards?

                I apologize.

              2. re: Phaedrus

                P you inspired me, I went to the library today and I checked out, Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless. Just to do a little sidebyside comparison of cooking styles, processes and recipes.

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  I attended a cooking demo by Diana not too long ago. Someone asked her what she thought of Rick's cooking. She said something like, "we are completely different and I don't want to get into this comparison junk".

                2. re: Phaedrus

                  A dessert island, really? *Imagines.*

                  Nigella Lawson vs. her interior voice.

                  1. re: Cinnamon

                    on dessert island, tattoo points and exclaims, "boss! boss! here comes the new cargo of petits fours! boss! can i please go meet da plane?!?!"

                  2. re: Phaedrus

                    Oooooh- Kennedy vs Bayless. i'd pay cash money to be a judge there.

                  3. Great idea! I would love to see Lidia and Mario!
                    Not to be bratty at all, I would love to see these shows.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      Lidia and Mario!!! I can tell you right now who would be the winner......US

                      1. re: margshep

                        just imagine how he'd cuss up a storm, then!
                        or get "real mad" with joe bastianich, and cry into his case of vino. ;-).

                            1. re: alkapal

                              I agree, I am too big of a whimp to say it first though!

                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                no, you're just more diplomatic -- something of which i'm rarely accused. ;-).

                    2. Mario vs. Marco Pierre White... oh, I dunno, let's say, Beurre Blanc

                      Andrew Knowlton vs. Michael Ruhlman on any piece of food writing - no dictionaries and mandatory hair nets

                      Jeffrey Steingarten vs. absolutely anybody... doesn't matter, Jeffrey wins

                      Alton Brown vs. Morimoto - Kalbi, and Alton can 't have his staff look it up

                      Alton vs. Harold McGee - a food science and lore quiz, and Alton can't have his staff look it up

                      Bittman vs.... oh never mind - he's already done that with everybody - lost them all, and didn't care!

                      Gwyneth Paltrow vs. Claudia Bassols - celebrity death match... common guys, they OWE us... there needs to be some entertainment, somewhere from these people...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: applehome

                        >>Gwyneth Paltrow vs. Claudia Bassols - celebrity death match... common guys, they OWE us... there needs to be some entertainment, somewhere from these people...<<

                        You set up the jello pit and I'll bring the beer.

                        How about Shirley Corriher Vs Harold McGee?

                        Marco Pierre White Vs. Gordon Ramsey!! The winner gets the reservation book for good.

                        1. re: Phaedrus

                          Paltrow did compete against Bassols in 'battle almond' at the end of the Spanish roadtrip. I think Paltrow made some sort of almond ice cream. I don't recall what Bassols made - I think she spent most of the time flirting with the Spanish chef on her team. Mario gave up trying to keep score and declared the battle a tie.

                          In original Iron Chef tradition, both of them would be too qualified to be on the commentary panel or to judge. However they'd make an interesting pair of judges in a ICA 'battle ham', one who won't eat anything that had 4 legs, the other raised on serrano ham.

                        2. re: applehome

                          "Andrew Knowlton vs. Michael Ruhlman on any piece of food writing - no dictionaries and mandatory hair nets": Or, AK vs. MR on eye-rolling techniques, or how to stab in back whilst drawing least amount of blood, or...

                          Am I the only one who thinks they are not kidding each other? If so, whose side are you on?

                        3. I had the occasion to meet Martin Yan after a taping of Emeril Live back in 2001 and I have to say he was kind, gracious and stayed afterwards to meet & greet while Mr.L ran off so fast I thought it was a magic trick.

                          Not sure why I felt compelled to tell y'all that, but there you have it. It was the dueling woks episode, and we were at one of the tasting tables- it was fantastic food.

                          Ok so how about I help you with the Tyler throwdown?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Boccone Dolce

                            I saw footage once of the contest Jacques Pepin and Martin Yan had on an ongoing basis as to who could cut up a chicken the fastest. it's mesmerizing.

                          2. Francois Payard v. Jacques Torres in Battle Chocolate, featuring obligatory chocolate mud wrestling scene.

                            Fabio v. Jamie (Top Chef), Battle Scallop.

                            1. hmmm... just for fun, Eric Ripert and Paula Dean.
                              Do you think that they would be able to carry on a conversation.?

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                That wouldn't be fair, Ripert would have to continually wipe Paula's drool from his face, jacket, and hands. Then again, this wouldn't be any different than if he were doing a public demo anywhere in Chowdom.

                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  Hopefully Paula would just be struck dumb and Chef Ripert would do all the talking. Oh wait....he was supposed to be cooking too? ;-)

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      Paula Deen has gone up against more highfalutin' chefs on Ready Set Cook. She can hold her own. She is a long-time restaurant owner after all.

                                      1. re: Avalondaughter

                                        Regardless of whether she's a long-time restaurant owner....I'd rather she be struck dumb so I wouldn't have to listen to her screeching vs. Chef Ripert's mellifluous voice. :-)

                                        1. re: Avalondaughter

                                          I've got an ideal throwdown: Justin Wilson vs. Paula Deen. Yeah, I know he's dead, but still...

                                            1. re: lscanlon

                                              I miss Justin Wilson, I gahrontee! ;) Classic clip here. Hooooo!

                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                I would go more regional:

                                                Justin Wilson against Emeril and Paula Deen against Natalie Dupree.

                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                  Paula Deen against Natalie Dupree
                                                  that might be an actual, physical throwdown, i'd imagine. ;-) doesn't natalie have a reputation? (or am i thinking of another?).

                                      2. I'd watch Mizrahi vs. Sandra Lee.

                                        1. Our own Sam vs Andrew Zimmerman!

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: meatn3

                                            GREAT one! :) FYI, it's Zimmern.

                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                              Thanks! :-)
                                              I think that just gave a good indication of my level of TV watching...
                                              But I will watch when Sam is on!

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                AHA...durian or smoked lung? It's a tough call, isn't it? ;)

                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                  How about the smelly tofu with the green fur on it?

                                            2. I actually really liked this question, and did enjoy the silliness that ensued, but I would like to see these matchups (throwdowns or iron chef)

                                              Cat Cora vs Michael Psilakis in battle lamb. (Lots of feta too)
                                              Guy Fieri vs Tyler Florence in battle "Football Game Snacks"
                                              Michael Simon vs Chris Cosentino in battle pork. (CC would be using a lot more parts)
                                              John Besh vs Emeril Lagasse (Just to see Emerial get pummeled)

                                              And Fine I'll stoop to a lower level. I would like to see GIada and Nigella in a romantic dinner/dessert battle.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: jhopp217

                                                Who's the dinner and who's the dessert?

                                                  1. re: jmckee

                                                    LOL. Nigella for starters, entree, dessert, cheese course, and whatever else.

                                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                                      Symon did battle Consentino on Episode 4 this year (Season 7). The SE was "Nose-to-tail Rustic Italian" and indeed both chefs used lots and lots of parts. As with the New IC, Symon beat him. This was Consentino's 2nd time on - the first, he lost to Mario in season 4.

                                                      Besh, of course, beat Mario in Season 3.

                                                    2. HAHA!

                                                      Rocco DiSpirito vs. Ted Allen in Battle Media Ho
                                                      Emeril vs. Wolfgang Puck in Battle Marketing Empire
                                                      Two Fat Ladies vs Paula Deen in Battle Cholesterol
                                                      Jaime Oliver vs Rachael Ray in Battle ADD

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: yamalam

                                                        Actually, to your 2nd one, you could make this a three-way contest by adding Todd English.

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                          i was thinking of rachael ray, too. a four-way? http://www.rachaelraypictures.com/rac...

                                                          have you ever seen english hawking his "green" cookware on hsn? he thinks he's the bee's knees.

                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            Nah. Rachael Ray's not a chef - she doesn't belong in that group. :-)

                                                            And I avoid HSN like the plague, and would do it even moreso if TE was on it. He's smarmy. Reminds me of a snake oil salesman most of the time I've seen him.

                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                Yeah, I dislike the home shopping networks. A LOT.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  well, i like them. but, i think we can still be friends..... ;-).

                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    LOL! As long as you don't turn them on if I ever visit.

                                                                    Oh wait - we'll be out eating anyway. No worries. ;-)

                                                        2. re: yamalam

                                                          Giada vs Sandra Lee in Battle Cleavage

                                                          1. re: dave_c

                                                            whoa nelly. you gotta add in nigella lawson!
                                                            and for sheer power boobs, lidia vs. ina.
                                                            (i'm a girl, so i can say *that*!).

                                                        3. Daniel Boulud vs. Ripert or Joel Robuchon

                                                          Gordon Ramsay vs. Marco Pierre White

                                                          Daniel Boulud vs. Jacuqes Pepin

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: melly

                                                            >>Gordon Ramsay vs. Marco Pierre White<<

                                                            That would involve pistols at ten paces, with a certain reservation book on the line.

                                                          2. Rachael Ray vs Mrs. Butterworth (I give the edge to Mrs. B)