Theme Ingredient: Pike Eel (Hamo), twenty live eels from waters near Akashi
Iron Chef: Morimoto
Challenger: Yoshimi Tanigawa, owner/chef of Kichi-sen, Shimogamo, Kyoto
Remarks: I'm posting this today in recognition of the Gion festival that starts each July 2 in Kyoto, since the festival is a major theme in this battle. This post is based on the 3 February 2001 airing of this battle on Food Network.
Kyoto-style Japanese cuisine has a 1000-year tradition that in recent years has gone a little overboard in the decoration department. To coincide with the annual Gion festival in Kyoto, Kaga invited Yoshimi Tanigawa, a Kyoto-style traditionalist, to battle in Kitchen Stadium. Tanigawa is trying to revive traditional Kyoto cuisine: style without over-decoration. He started cooking at age 15 and opened Kichi-sen in the Shimogamo district of Kyoto at 31. He entered Kitchen Stadium in traditional kimono and sandals--you know, the wooden platform jobs. He brought with him a group of Miko girls, who in my ignorance I could not distinguish from geisha, to cheer him on from the Royal Box. He challenged Morimoto. Guest commentators were actress Yukio Toake and actor Tsutaro Kataoka; the other judges were photographer Tenmei Kanoh and chanson singer Yoshiko Ishii.
The theme ingredient was a traditional Kyoto summer dish--Pike Eel (Hamo), twenty live eels from waters near Akashi. Tanigawa beheaded his eels right on the ingredient stand to keep them from thrashing and affecting the taste; he also cut the tails halfway through to drain the blood quicker. Morimoto killed his eels by spiking the head and running a metal rod down the spine to kill them quickly. Tanigawa's method may have been better, as one of Morimoto's eels briefly escaped.
Tanigawa chose the Star Festival (a particular part of the Gion Festival) as his theme and presented these six dishes:
Morimoto's theme was "The Silk Road," designed to represent a 'cuisine path' ranging from Italy through India and China, and comprised these six dishes:
In this battle, tradition won out over Italian-pan-Indian-Korean neofusion, as Tanigawa took it in a sweep: Kanoh 19-17, Toake 17-16, Kataoka 20-19, and Ishii 18-17.Posted by Chris at July 2, 2006 12:43 AM