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Iron chef - Flay vs. Smith

Just heard they will face off. My bet is with Flay - TKO.

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    1. re: sharonlouk

      Do you mean Art Smith? If so, Bobby Flay will kill him. Although I would eat at Art Smith's restaurant.

        1. re: millygirl

          Michael Smith doesn't stand a chance... oh, and does anybody think Flay's sorta like the Chen Kenichi of the new iron chefs? Not the best, but he's he's been there since the beginning and everybody wants to challenge him

    2. Just finished watching the episode. Didn't really surprise me, with regards to the winner, but I would have surely dug deep into that crab club sandwich.

      1. Lol Michael Smith had no chance whatsoever. Giada has more technique than he does lol. I have no idea how they chose him in the first place. Maybe because he's a semi-celeb chef here in Canada. He should have challenged Ted Allen, they are about on equal level imo.

        18 Replies
        1. re: Evilbanana11

          what?! Michael Smith is an actual chef, has worked at restaurants etc.
          I'll agree that I thought he wouldn't stand a chance, and I certainly thought Bobby Flay deserved to win, but many of the dishes he put out looked brilliant. That crab sandwich was amazing with those anchor cookies and he actually made a dessert too. I also thought it was really cool how he took that basic tuna snack he makes for his family and elevated it for kitchen stadium into a beautiful dish. He deserved more than 40 points.

          1. re: AndrewK512

            Yeah i know he was a chef but his techniques are jurassic and he lacks finesse. He also used that anchor thingy in an event on one of his old Chef at large episodes, I think that's the pinnacle of presentation for him. Surprised he didn't bring out his bag of baby spinach :D.

            1. re: Evilbanana11

              LOL. "Giada has more technique than he does" Ohhhh, I love it. You are EVIL banana11!

            2. re: AndrewK512

              While Smith may lack finesse he definitely is an excellent chef with high pedigree (an honours graduate of CIA New York). I took a cooking class with him once and he was incredibly interesting and knowledgable. Having said that I was surprised to see him on Iron Chef as it does not seem his style. He and Flay are sort of on different playing fields - not that one is better than another, just different. However, I was happy to see Smith was up for the challenge. It is my belief he should have received more points for plating at least. I think 44 points would have been more appropriate. But it was slightly messy serving those three guacamoles in food processor bowls. It was unfortunate Smith did not pull out all the stops and use more skill and technique - I know he is definitely capable of it.

              1. re: chefathome

                It wouldn't surprise me at all if Smith was on for cross promotion purposes for Food Network Canada and his own shows.

              2. re: AndrewK512

                I belief Smith reply after the decision was "Thanks for having me , but I have to go, I'm in charge of the 2010 Olympics....well congrats and have fun cooking on your game show.

              3. re: Evilbanana11

                OTOH, remember that in the original Japanese Iron Chef they also had some battles pitting "amateur" cooks against the Iron Chefs, and sometimes the "amateurs" even won. For example, the female cooking personality that beat Iron Chef Chin in battle potatoes, or the world champion sommelier that beat Kobe in a tuna(?) battle.

                1. re: gyc

                  Does anybody remember Booby Flea's tantrum when he LOST on the original Iron Chef?

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      I remember, he was very immature at that time.

                      1. re: ChefJune

                        Yes, he has grown up a lot over the years. His insecurity made me really dislike him initially. Years ago, when you would type Bobby Flay into google, "bobby flay asshole" came up as one of the suggestions. Today when you do that it doesn't come up anymore.

                        1. re: Miss Needle

                          Me too. Never really thought about why, up until this minute, but I actually enjoy watching him these days. Particularly his show Showdown. He comes across as very humble.

                          1. re: millygirl

                            I liked him, even when he had a bit of the edge, but I know what you all mean. He comes across more humble. Probably more comfortable with his reputation and doesn't feel the need to pump up his ego as much?

                            1. re: millygirl

                              Yes, he was SUCH an asshole. He lost the insecurity and need to prove himself all the time.

                              He has gone from my least favourite chef on FN to one of my favourites. Part of that is the decline of FN, but some of it is due to his growth/change.

                              Throwdown is good and Flay is genuinely likable. Both a good loser and a humble winner.

                            2. re: Miss Needle

                              I agree, I hated him when I first watched him, and he seemed very one dimensional, all about the grilling and spicy peppers. He has really mellowed over time and comes across as much more creative and well rounded in the newer shows like "Throwdown".
                              He mispronounces "mascarpone" all the time though - it's kind of funny. He says 'marscapone'. Lots of people do that, but it seems especially amusing coming from a professional chef.

                            3. re: ChefJune

                              yes, jumped on the table and all

                              1. re: ChefJune

                                I remember that and it really put me off him. Plus he was so humorless on his other shows. It's only been recently that he hasn't driven me nuts. I think he got some media training . . . or saw himself and decided he needed to do something.

                          2. am i the only one who thought this battle was a total snore? i wasn't inspired by the food, and i was disappointed that they didn't use more techniques. of course this was one ingredient where the ice cream machine could have been a good thing! i was hoping Bobby would try smoking some avocado, or that someone would make a less predictable dip than guac - they could have blended it with beans (i was hoping that's where Flay was going with the edamame, but no dice)...and i would have liked to see more baking.

                            and what on Earth was Antonio Sabato Jr doing there as a judge?? not a word about whether he's even a foodie or a cook himself, and he doesn't even like avocado. oy.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              No goodhealthgourmet, you were not the only one. It was terribly unexciting to say the least. Actually kind of embarrassing at times. Like someone said above, the anchor thingee and the guac in the food processor, what was he thinking. Yeesh it was all so 1980. I was thinking he most likely perfected the anchor during his days at the Inn of Bay Fortune. All in all, really lame. Even Bobby looked uncomfortable when they announced the winner.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                Sabato also doen't like oysters or raw fish. No wonder they edited most of his comments out.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Sabato was so out of place. What were they thinking? It drove me nuts when he had a bite of something on his knife and proceeded to eat off of it!

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    When was the last time Booby Flay did anything innovative or that did not include smoked habaneros?

                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                      i've actually never seen him use smoked *habaneros* ;)

                                  2. Boy Chef Smith sure didn't do anything to damper the stereotype that Canadians are super-polite. If he said "Thank you" one more time in that battle, I was going to lose it.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. A real snooze fest...and come on....avacodos? That's as bad as almonds.

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: melly

                                        funny, i was actually excited about the secret ingredient - i thought it had so much potential, but both chefs were totally uninspiring. Bobby really appeared to be dialing it in on this one.

                                        1. re: melly

                                          Avocados are not something native to well anywhere in Canada; they are however featured in alot of what Flay does iirc. I know Smith is a chef, but talk about tipping the scales in Flay's favor! I give Smith points for at least trying to make a dessert. The judging however was the worst I've seen on Iron Chef. "I don't "do" oysters...don't like avocado" omg why were these people even picked as judges exactly?

                                          1. re: maplesugar

                                            "why were these people even picked as judges exactly?"
                                            Donatella & Anya are both respectable, credible choices as judges. however, Mr. Soap Opera/Reality Show Heartthrob who apparently doesn't like food had NO business being there.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              I felt like Donatella was the only one contributing anything worth listening to. Anya seemed like she had something to prove, she never said anything nice without qualifying it with a negative, and more than once Donatella had to disagree openly because something she said was apparently not entirely correct.

                                              The soap star, though, was unequivocally awful. Even "Bone Crusher" was better when he was on, and he had to contend with Jeffrey Steingarten. I would have loved to see what Steingarten would have had to say whenever Sabato spoke up.

                                              1. re: stet

                                                you know, now that you mention it, i think it almost seemed like there was an undercurrent of tension between Donatella and Anya. maybe there's some sort of "issue" between the two of them from when they judged The Next Iron Chef...?

                                                for the record, Bonecrusher is still my all-time favorite guest judge on a panel that also includes Jeffrey :)

                                            2. re: maplesugar

                                              I was disappointed in this episode as well. I expected that Flay would win but I was surprised at the point differential. I haven't seen many final scores that have been that far apart. I agree that the judging was awful, although I don't know if the more experienced judges would have been any more forgiving. And really - guacamole? Tuna with avocado? Not exactly cutting edge creative. Although attempting a dessert was a nice effort and I thought the crab club looked like it might be tasty.

                                                1. re: millygirl

                                                  The original Iron Chef had judges that were not food industry people, the one actress was on quite a bit. I don't have an issue with non-expert judges.
                                                  I was surprised by Flay's score of 54. That's a pretty high score for food that didn't look that great and didn't seem that well received. I wish they would show how each of the judges scored.

                                                  1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                    Perhaps they edited out the good comments from Flay's dish and put a lot of nit picks in it to make it seem closer than it would be.

                                                    1. re: Blueicus

                                                      Ya think/ I just watched this one last night and when the judging was over I had no doubt Flay would win handily. There were at least two dishes of Smith's that the judges did not like at all. And if you notice, instead of the chairman saying to Smith, "Thank you for a wonderful meal," he said, "Thank you for taking us on a wonderful journey." Too bad for Smith that journey apparently was not to flavortown.

                                                      Still, I hear you on the nitpicks regarding Flay. I didn't expect him to get 28 pts for taste.

                                                  2. re: millygirl

                                                    Exactly. I cringed when I saw that-and actually felt embarrassed and sorry for him at the same time. I mean really, canned tuna??? I have nothing against canned tuna per se, but as a professional chef, surely he could of thought of something better.

                                            3. There was an article in The Globe and Mail this morning about the challenge. Smith calls Antonio Sabato Jr. a 'knob' who "didn't know food at all". He also feels that his team was robbed.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: ms. clicquot

                                                He is a complete knob. Why would you put a judge on a cooking show that doesn't like the main ingredient. The producers should do a better job screening. The fix is always in on that show. At least Michael provided something interesting with 5 completely different dishes. The judges obviously don't do much in the way of sushi eating where avacado is paired with tuna and they combine nicely.

                                                1. re: texasroy

                                                  "The judges obviously don't do much in the way of sushi eating where avacado is paired with tuna "
                                                  actually, i'm pretty sure both Donatella and Anya commented that the avo/tuna combination was rather ordinary & predictable.

                                                2. re: ms. clicquot

                                                  Just read the article. I think it's funny that Smith says he was thinking of his Chef at Home audience when he did the guac in the food processors. I would never make guac in a food processor. It would make it way too runny. I like my guac with some texture.

                                                  1. re: pescatarian

                                                    agreed. i can't stand guac that's been processed to the point of baby food mush - leave me some chunks! yes, you can use the "pulse" function, but the avocado still gets too "processed." i'll stick to mashing it by hand. and that comment about the food processors was odd. in the article he specifically said *serving* it in the bases was the way you'd do it at home. huh? maybe that's the way he does it, but i'd NEVER just plunk the FP bowl down on the table and tell my guests to have at it. it's clunky, sloppy and amateurish. besides, who says everyone even has a FP at home? they're not exactly cheap.

                                                    i'm also guessing the ICA producers weren't so thrilled that he called the show "silly."

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      To me the whole episode was puzzling...

                                                      I don't think I've seen him make guac on CAH nor have I seen him serve anything in the fp bowl....didn't strike me as his style when I saw the episode either especially given the way the tuna snack was presented. As for the article...the "silly" comment sounds like he's off his game/upset about the result?

                                                      1. re: maplesugar

                                                        i've never seen his show since we don't get it here in the States, so i don't know anything about his typical demeanor or personality, but he did sound a little pissy in the article. he also contradicted himself. he says it's a silly show, and then follows that with "The thing looms large in the world of chefs. You make or break a restaurant in the States with a win on this show. "

                                                        i understand that he feels they were "robbed," but he's had enough media experience to know that you should watch what you say when your words are slated to end up in print ;)

                                                3. Man, Michael Smith failed HARD! Is this the worst taste record in Iron Chef history? I heard Michael Smith is a really mediocre chef, and what's with the crazy eyes?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Bobby Wham

                                                    OMG-totally. I cracked up hard after reading your crazy eyes comment-I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that!

                                                  2. Just happened to catch this show (I don't watch Iron Chef) and immediately thought of two things: 1) is that *the* Michael Smith? (I used to enjoy his show when it was on, though that horrible theme song will haunt me for eternity) and 2) what happend to his hair? Also, he looked kind of feral.

                                                    I did not stick around to watch the rest of the show.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: gloriousfood

                                                      I just have to say how entertaining this thread is! I love it!!!!

                                                      I'm not one to laugh at other people's misfortunes but seriously! It seems that we all share similar thoughts about him (the eyes, the voice, the hair) makes me wonder who exactly is watching his show??

                                                      1. re: millygirl

                                                        um, I watch his show, maybe not as much as I used to but still do when it's convenient. I thought he had some interesting cooking tips and insights and I enjoyed that he encouraged viewers to be adventurous and creative. I loved his premise about cooking without recipes because it meant he would talk about the how and why and background of the making of a dish.

                                                        I became comfortable about cooking without recipes a long time ago, so it was interesting to hear his take on the process.

                                                        btw, I didn't see the Flay show but did read about it in the newspaper. I think Michael is a bit of a scrapper when it comes down to it.

                                                        1. re: millygirl

                                                          I too watch the show. When I first started cooking it was a great help and full of excellent tips. Now I just watch cause I find it relaxing and enjoyable.

                                                          1. re: AndrewK512

                                                            His show is no longer shown in my neck of the woods, but I used to enjoy it v. much. I liked that his food was not fussy and looked tasty and something that I would--and could--make w/o much effort. Plus, he has a cute son!

                                                            The show had (has?) such a calm, easygoing vibe to it that I was especially taken aback by his appearance and demeanor on Iron Chef. I realize it's a different type of show, but what can I say, I don't think it did Smith justice

                                                            1. re: gloriousfood

                                                              It's not too hard to create an on screen television persona that is quite different from who the person actually is...

                                                      2. Chef Smith mayhave lost but Bobby sure looked like little David with Goliath, that guy appears big?

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: dolly52

                                                          Smith is 6'6"! Although I defended him earlier I still agree that it was a very strange episode to watch - almost painful. I did not know whether to laugh or cry!

                                                        2. Some comments:

                                                          1. The ingredient was an obvious advantage for Flay.

                                                          2. The whole thing was very boring. No baking? No ice cream? Very little cooked avocado. How about an avocado sauce? Totally uninspired.

                                                          3. Chef Smith has been doing that anchor forever. I ate at Maple once about a decade and a bit ago and it was used as a garnish back then.

                                                          4. Have these people never had sweeter avocado applications? They really disliked all of Chef Smith's sweeter elements, but, avocado milk-shakes and avocado desserts are pretty common in a number of different cuisines. I rather enjoy an avocado milkshake with my Pho.

                                                          I can totally believe that the avocado-white chocolate mousse was good, maybe really good.

                                                          5. I completely agree with all the comments on Michael Smith's look these days. I think he has some sort of Jesus complex. The hair and wild eyes seems pseudo-messianic.

                                                          I used to like his first show (with assistants and in a restaurant-style kitchen set). On that show he wore chef whites and cooked slightly challenging food. At the time he reminded me of Ming Tsai in both his delivery and the type of recipes he gave (not the ingredients but the restaurant-like nature of the finished dishes).

                                                          I do not currently watch Smith and can't stand him when I stumble across the show (which airs WAY too much during the day here in Canada).

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Atahualpa

                                                            Yes and I believe he did the potato anchor on that show too . I can't stand him either and have no idea how he's come to have more of a prominent presence in Canada than he should. There are far more talented people and it's not as though he's particularly charismatic. How'd he even get the Iron Chef invite? I'm guessing a lot of lobbying by his PR person. That said, I do believe he was the victim of bad judging. He should have lost but not by that margin.

                                                            The Globe and Mail article says it all about his skills. He stipulated that he couldn't have a very out-there secret ingredient b/c his "fan base" (!!?!) wouldn't be able to relate to it. How to hide behind your mythical "fan base" ... how to insult your "fan base's" intelligence, and who refers to their viewers as their "fan base" other than presumptious low brow, new b-listers. It's up to the viewer/audience (whatever) to decide if they're a "fan" (aka fanatic), not the low brow b-lister.

                                                            I race for the remote if I'm watching something that ends just before his show starts. He's endlessly condescending. Yes the wild eyes - I'm glad you and others have mentioned it bc I thought it was just me who was creeped out. LOL - messianic Jesus complex: you could be on to something there Atahualpa.

                                                            1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                              Iron Chef may invite chef's not as "proficient" (not sure if that is the right word) so that the reigning Iron Chefs maintain their winning scores.

                                                          2. On the At the table episode about Smith, his mom and some of his colleagues call him arrogant and cocky. That globe and mail article just reinforces that imo. His friendly giant persona we see on TV is all for show me thinks.

                                                            ps these are some food tv Canada chefs I would send to ICA ahead of him: Chuck, all the chefs from restaurant makeover, Martin Picard, Anna Olson, the Main guy, maybe even Bob Bloomer rofl.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                              Oh ya, I remember that show - his own brother said he was self-absorbed and uninterested in anyone other than himself and his life. Brutal . . . his own brother.

                                                              Yes, any of those people would have been better. It's kind of funny how his Foodtv bio avoids saying where he's from. He must be a naturalized Cdn. Not that I care or it matters, but why manufacture a facade? Why not just offer his real history - it's more authentic. It's likely part of trying to look so "of the region" and hence some kind of national spokesman . . . of wanting to be a big fish in a small pond. Doesn't he get it yet that, here, it's not a liability to be from somewhere else?

                                                              1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                Martin Picard would be nuts. I would love to see some of the judges eat the stuff he makes on his show, and would be entertained by the "presentation" score he receives with his modus operandi of reinforcing where the food came from by often including the head. He has charisma too that would play off of the show's more surreal qualities.

                                                              2. This piece from the Village Voice gives an amusing view of what really happens on Iron Chef: http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-02-1...

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: itsonlyfood

                                                                  Interesting stuff. We all knew it was phony, but THAT phony?

                                                                  1. re: jackbauer

                                                                    The Globe and Mail did an article on IC a few years ago when when a Cdn competed. Another thing that wasn't in the Voice article was that they are allowed to take a certain number of their own ingredients with them. Which is how some of them can be showering everything with white truffles while his/her competitor is not. That article also mentioned that it was 5 hours, not 1 and that they had a very short list of the potential secret ingreds . . . and, of course, that they had time to practise like mad. Funny, about the iron chef doubles posing at the beginning - I just always assumed it was a tape since it beggared credulity to think they were all there, hanging around. Schedules alone would dictate that everyone knew ahead of time who the iron chef would be. I was surprised they even bothered trying to fake that . . . who would care?

                                                                    1. re: jackbauer

                                                                      i'm actually surprised that anyone still thinks it's real - Alton Brown hosted an episode of "Food Network Unwrapped" several years ago (i think it was in 2006, long before the Village Voice piece) that revealed the inner workings of the show.

                                                                      there are some other articles floating around on the web if anyone's interested. here are a couple of them:

                                                                      i don't watch it for the authenticity anyway. fortunately the editing still adds a bit of excitement, the judging is usually worth a chuckle or two, and i like to see how the chefs choose to manipulate and accent the secret ingredient. i play a little game with myself and predict what they're making and what Alton will say before he says it...i've gotten pretty darned good at it! ;)

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        It's hard to imagine anyone assuming it's real or authentic. I only tune in for the judging to see what they've made. And then I often I forget.

                                                                    2. re: itsonlyfood

                                                                      Another amusing account of an ICA taping was by the amateur gourmet (who I believe saw the Susur Lee battle)


                                                                      And frankly the judging is so stacked in favour of the Iron Chefs that the outcomes are very seldom a surprise. Let's try a simple blind taste test - results would probably be a heck of a lot different.

                                                                      1. re: Pizza Lover

                                                                        Yes they have to constantly reaffirm that they're iron chefs by making them impossible to beat. When there's a tie it's clear to me that the challenger should have won.

                                                                        1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                          I wholeheartedly agree. ICA is like the WWF of food. Little Bobby (hoe down) Flay still has an attitude and big Michael "crazy eyes" Smith should have stomped on him. As a Maritimer, he was just too nice to do that...lol. The main ingredient was definitely an advantage to Flay even though "crazy eyes" gave a good representation of himself under the cirumstances .

                                                                          A lot of FN stars look lost out there against some of the more culinary gifted and more sophisticated iron chef's. Rachel, Giada and even my favorite Guy Fieri all looked overwhelmed and lost on episodes of ICA.