Iron Chef Showdown recap: Fowl filled feast reigns supreme


A favorite chef ingredient turns this week’s Iron Chef Showdown recap into a fowl filled feast. But would the Iron Chef be goosed or live to cook another day?

The first season of Iron Chef Showdown has been a little lackluster. While the Iron Chefs have dominated the Kitchen Stadium battles, the show is a little weak. The challengers have fought valiantly, but the secret ingredients haven’t been exciting. Would this week’s Iron Chef Showdown recap be a feast for viewers?

In this week’s Iron Chef Showdown recap, the two challengers, Chef Gourdet and Chef Redzikowski faced off in the Secret Ingredient Challenge. Grapes were the secret ingredient. While Alton inferred that he wanted a grape popsicle, neither chef presented Alton with the childhood frozen treat.

Iron Chef Showdown recap, episode fruit & fowl, photo from Food Network

Grapes are an interesting choice for a secret ingredient. At first thought, grapes are favorite kid snacks or the basis for wine. Still, grapes can offer robust flavors when treated in different ways. In the Secret Ingredient Challenge, both chefs went with savory dishes to highlight the grape.

Even though Chef Redzikowski offered a frozen grape component in his dish, the nod to the popsicle didn’t earn him a victory. Chef Gourdet’s dish highlighted grapes in various ways. The depth of flavors, especially from the roasted grapes, earned him the right to battle an Iron Chef.

Awaiting Chef Gourdet in the Chairman’s Challenge was Iron Chef Symon. The Iron Chef veteran is very difficult to beat in Kitchen Stadium. Iron Chef Symon knows how to play the competition. From the innovative plating to the dishes’ originality, the challenger had a tough road ahead.

Iron Chef Showdown recap, episode fruit & fowl, photo from Food Network

As the episode title eluded, the Chairman’s Challenge secret ingredient would be fowl. Until the altar reveal, no one could guess which fowl would be featured. To the delight of both chefs, duck would be the fowl feast.

Duck is a favorite ingredient of many chefs. The high fat content and hearty flavor make it a popular choice with chefs. From the succulent duck breast to the earthy offal pieces, this Iron Chef battle was shaping up to be a good one.

Iron Chef Showdown recap, episode fruit & fowl, photo from Food Network

The first dish presented to the judges was on point for both chefs. While Iron Chef Symon went with a safer route with a play on breakfast, the dish was quite successful. The presentation was visually appealing. Chef Gourdet’s dish offered bolder flavors.

When the first dish scores were announced, the two chefs were tied. Based on the judges’ commentary, it wasn’t clear that the first dishes were equals. They were very different first courses. How these dishes would be incorporated into the meal progression would sway the final results.

Looking at the final dishes, Iron Chef Symon played the game better. He offered a true flavor progression in his presentation. Each dish stood on its own but worked in tandem with the other dishes.

Iron Chef Showdown recap, episode fruit & fowl, photo from Food Network

More importantly, each dish had a wow factor. From a flambé whole duck to a spot on duck-forward dessert, Iron Chef Symon easily won this Iron Chef Showdown battle.

Some of the key components missing from Iron Chef Showdown are the interesting facts. Previously, Alton would incorporate random, erudite facts about the secret ingredients, cooking methods or just cooking in general. These fun facts aren’t as prevalent.

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The majority of people who tune into Iron Chef Showdown want more than just a cooking show. Food television has numerous cooking shows, and even food competition shows. In Iron Chef Showdown, people want to see the how the professional chefs cook these secret ingredients in the limited time. The tips or facts learned during these shows can be applied to the home cook.

Iron Chef Showdown recap, episode fruit & fowl, photo from Food Network

At least in this Iron Chef Showdown recap, Iron Chef Symon made the show entertaining. His commentary throughout the competition engages the audience. Granted Symon cooks/appears on The Chew. That extra camera time helps to make his episodes more entertaining.

If Iron Chef Showdown returns for more episodes, the show’s feel needs more excitement. Maybe the challenger chefs need bigger personalities. Or, the ingredients need to be more out of the box. Something needs to change slightly to get the foodies watching more engaged.

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Another Iron Chef Showdown recap comes to a close. Do you think that Iron Chef fans are still watching? Will you keep watching this Food Network show?