[Cool Thing Alert: This is a simul-post with Secret Agent Mama. Visit her site for concurrent play-by-play commentary of her two culinary dynamos as our teams do battle today in Kitchen Stadium.]
If memory serves me right, my mother always said to me, “little chairman, the kitchen is no place for children.” I would then look at her inquisitively and ask “why mama-san, why is that?” and she would say, “because you come in here with your dirty little hands, grab my produce, gaze at it admiringly, take a bite and smile. It creeps me out, little chairman.”
While she was correct about my produce fetish, it seems she misjudged the influence of children on the culinary landscape. Just a few months ago, my newest Iron Chef, Iron Chef Fury, impressed the judges with his schoolyard interpretation of classic fare. Since his debut in Kitchen Stadium, kid chefs from all over the country have been clamoring to do culinary battle with this phenom. I searched far and wide for a worthy team to take on Iron Chef Fury, and my journey led me to Atlanta, where “Secret Agent” chefs Mikey and Livey have been dazzling critics with bold dishes inspired by a fusion of Macedonian culture, southern roots and peanut butter. I’m honored to welcome them to Kitchen Stadium today.
To mark this momentous occasion, I have chosen a theme ingredient truly worthy of our young chefs’ talents. Something that is as much at home in a Blues Clues lunchbox as it is on a prix fixe menu...
The Iron Chefs
Fukui: Oh! Cheese. What a smart move by the Chairman! Who doesn’t love cheese? Let’s go to the floor.
Ohta: Iron Chef Fury just flashed a “rock on” to the audience and is headed for the pantry. No! Wait, he’s going into the audience and getting something from his mom. It looks like... could it be?
Fukui: Ohhh, from here it looks like... Bada??
Ohta: Yes! Yes, Fukui-san. Iron Chef Fury tells me that his friend and mentor Bada came out of retirement just for today to lend him some much needed moral support.
Fukui: Well it looks like this put Iron Chef Fury in good spirits for today’s throwdown.
Ohta: And a-throwin’ he is, Fukui-san! Taking a page from his last battle, he’s hand tossing some pizza dough. He says to me that he knows he did this last time, but the chicks dig it. Can’t argue with success!
Japanese female star of stage and screen: hee hee hee throw Fury throw! I used to throw things when I was young hee hee hee. It was soo fun.
Fukui: *sigh* Hey - let’s listen in on Iron Chef Fury as he discusses strategy with his coach Iron Chef BusyDad.
IC BusyDad: Ok Fury, what do you like that’s made with cheese?
IC Fury: Pizza!
IC BusyDad: Ok, but for this battle, you need to make something that’s different. Like you don’t eat it everyday. Can you think of something else that’s made with cheese?
IC Fury: Mac ‘n Cheese!
IC BusyDad: Can you do something different with Mac ‘n Cheese?
IC Fury: I can put it on pizza!
IC BusyDad: You will go far, my son.
Fukui: Ohta, did I hear that correctly? Is he making a Mac ‘n Cheese Pizza?
Ohta: Oh yes. And not only that, Iron Chef Fury just informed me that he’s putting two of his favorite things on this pizza: bacon and mushrooms.
Fukui: It doesn’t look like anything’s actually making it onto the pizza itself.
Ohta: You would be right on that too, Fukui-san.
Fukui: Ok, it looks like that one’s ready for the oven. I wonder what they have in store for us next! Let’s listen...
IC BusyDad: Ok Fury, what other fun stuff can we make with cheese?
IC Fury: A grilled cheese!
IC BusyDad: I love grilled cheese... but that’s not too different.
IC Fury: What about a backwards grilled cheese!
IC BusyDad: Um... what?
IC Fury: A grilled cheese with cheese on the outside!
IC BusyDad: That’s a great idea, but that will make the pan really messy because the cheese would melt on the pan and then it would stick and then... OH. Wait one minute. I will be right back.
Fukui: Yes Ohta, go ahead.
Ohta: It seems as if Iron Chef BusyDad ran off the stage and is now running back with... safety goggles? And what’s this? A brulee torch??
Fukui: I hope the Department of Children and Family Services is not watching this broadcast.
Japanese female star of stage and screen: hee hee hee social workers took my kids away hee hee hee. It was sooo funny!
Ohta: Where did we get her? Oh – Iron Chef BusyDad informs me that they intend to attempt Iron Chef Fury’s "Backwards Grilled Cheese" by wrapping baguette slices in provolone and then torching them to melt the cheese on the outside.
Fukui: I see Iron Chef is testing ingredients again. What dedication to his craft!
Fukui: I think this is the part where we’re supposed to say “kids, don’t try this at home. These are trained professionals.”
Ohta: Indeed they are. Fukui-San?
Fukui: Yes Ohta, go ahead.
Ohta: Iron Chef BusyDad informs me that they need time to regroup.
Fukui: Whatever could that mean?
Ohta: Well it looks like they have time for one more dish. I hear Iron Chef Fury discussing it right now. Let’s listen in.
IC BusyDad: Ok, we have time for one more dish. Maybe a dessert? What dessert can you make with cheese? Let’s see, you have cheesecake, you have danishes, you have cannolis...
IC Fury: Cannolis! I want to make Cannolis!
IC BusyDad: Ohhh that’s a tough one, son. The shells are hard to come by here, and we don’t have time to make them by hand...
IC Fury: Make it a smoothie!
IC BusyDad: A WHAT??
IC Fury: A cannoli smoothie!
IC BusyDad: Oh boy, this is the wild card item for sure.
Ohta: It seems like the Iron Chefs are going to attempt to make a cannoli smoothie... whatever that means. I see some vanilla ice cream, mascarpone cheese, ice, milk, cinnamon and cookies.
Fukui: Now that looks different. And good! And just in time too. Because in 5-4-3-2-1... the cheese battle iiiis ooooovvvvvaaaaa!!
Ohta: So, Iron Chef Busy Dad, how do you feel about your showing in today’s cheese battle?
IC BusyDad: Yes, yes. I did my best. Yes, yes. It was tough, yes, yes. I hope for the best, yes, yes. The judges, yes yes... I hope they see it the same, yes, yes.
IC Fury: Dad, why are you talking like that?
IC BusyDad: I have no idea. I thought that’s how all Iron Chefs were supposed to talk.
Plated and ready-to-go