Iron Chef Showdown battle Symon says: Where’s the Holstein beef?


On this episode of Iron Chef Showdown, battle Symon says is about the perfect protein. Both chefs had to answer, where’s the Holstein beef?

The second episode of Iron Chef Showdown has Kitchen Stadium answering the question, where’s the beef? Who knew that Holstein beef could be considered the perfect protein? The Food Network preview mentioned a perfect protein secret ingredient. Instead of the incredible, edible egg, beef was on the altar.

Before the Iron Chef Showdown Holstein beef battle, two challenger chefs had to showcase their culinary talent in the Chairman’s challenge. With Alton Brown as the ultimate decision maker, the two chefs must create a delicious dish highlighting mushrooms.

A variety of mushrooms lined the altar for the two challenger chefs. Often mushrooms are considered a side dish to a main protein. Making mushrooms the star isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Iron Chef Showdown battle Symon says: Where’s the Holstein beef?, photo from Food Network

The two mushroom dishes were vastly different. For Chef Hagahara, the mushrooms were used in different ways. The quick pickled mushrooms were a smart component. The brightness played off the tempura fried mushroom and it was a great contrast. Unfortunately, the scallops took away from the mushrooms.

Chef Schlosser took a very different approach to the mushroom battle. By grilling all the mushrooms, the earthy flavor really shined. His dish had a spin on the popular toast dishes. Using potato as “toast,” the mushrooms were piled high on top of it. Although the miso was a little strong, the mushrooms were clearly the star of this dish.

After consideration, Alton chose Chef Schlosser as the winner of the secret ingredient challenge. His win sent him into battle against Iron Chef Michael Symon. This secret ingredient challenge would be a huge task for Chef Schlosser to overcome.

Iron Chef Showdown battle Symon says: Where’s the Holstein beef?, photo from Food Network

When the altar was revealed, the secret ingredient revealed was Holstein beef. This particular beef is quite rich in beef flavor. The chefs had all cuts and parts of the Holstein beef to use. From beef tongue and cheeks to succulent rib-eye, beef was for dinner.

The key to winning this particular Iron Chef Showdown battle was creativity. Both chefs can and did create delicious Holstein beef dishes. Starting with raw preparations, the two dishes focuses on the chefs’ culinary preferences. Chef Schlosser dish was a Japanese inspired raw preparation. The beef flavor wasn’t as predominant as it needed to be.

Chef Symon’s tartare was a bigger on the beef flavor. The textures, colors and beef flavor were bolder. More importantly, Chef Symon understood that creativity needed to be shown. His presentation was better. Chef Symon won the first dish challenge.

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Moving onto the remaining four dishes, the battle was heating up. Again, creativity is key in an Iron Chef Showdown battle. Any chef in Kitchen Stadium should be able to create a delicious, well-cooked Holstein beef dish. Whether the dish is Japanese inspired, European or something in between, the food should, and will, taste good. But, the chef that can find an inspiring way to use the Holstein beef will have an advantage.

Chef Symon understands the Iron Chef Showdown game. With experience being an Iron Chef, he knew that a sliced rib eye steak isn’t going to get him a win. His dishes used the Holstein beef in many ways. The variety of uses set him apart.

His most impressive dishes were the flaming standing rib roast and his dessert. The standing rib roast, set a flame at the table, was an impressive site. Who would have thought that flambé hay on top of a rib roast could add a layered depth of flavor?

Iron Chef Showdown battle Symon says: Where’s the Holstein beef?, photo from Food Network

The biggest creative dish was Chef Symon’s dessert. The chocolate cake, made with beef fat, was served in the actual beef bone. A huge presentation winner, the cake was also quite tasty. While not many people would be able to recreate this dessert at home, the dessert made a great photo op.

Chef Schlosser had some great dishes. All of this dishes were Japanese inspired. Overall, the plates were nice, but nothing could compare to Chef Symon’s big, bold dishes. Chef Schlosser didn’t get enough beef flavor in his creations. Even though Japanese cuisine can have delicate flavors, the Holstein beef needs to be the star.

Needless to say, Chef Symon won the battle convincingly. Chef Schlosser didn’t do anything terribly wrong. He just didn’t play the game well enough.

Iron Chef Showdown battle Symon says: Where’s the Holstein beef?, photo from Food Network

After watching two episodes of Iron Chef Showdown, the competition seems like a daunting task for any challenger. Chef Symon, and last week’s Chef Bobby Flay, has a lot of experience in these cooking competitions. The Iron Chefs understand that plating and creativity must be a key ingredient in each dish. Without them, the dish isn’t a successful one.

Going into the next couple of episodes, it will be interesting to see if the less experienced Iron Chefs can handily reign supreme over the challengers. If a challenger has cooking competition show experience, that situation could be quite beneficial. Cooking competitions aren’t the same as cooking in restaurant.

Also, the secret ingredient plays a big role in a challenger’s success. As a Japanese inspired chef, Holstein beef might not have been Chef Schlosser’s top choice. Still, Chef Symon probably could have prevailed in almost any challenge, except tofu or maybe raspberries. It could be interesting to watch how a secret ingredient could give one chef an advantage.

Kitchen Stadium is closed for another day. The Iron Chefs have been dominate in the first two episodes of Iron Chef Showdown. Will the trend continue for the rest of the season? Check back next week for another recap.