On this week’s Knife Fight: from Seattle, it’s Chef Jason Wilson. He has come to destroy! Woot, destruction! And from nowhere in particular, it’s Greg Denton who currently cooks in Oregon. So it’s a northwest challenge, and it’s game granola hippie dippie on.
The three super duper secret ingredients are:
- Juniper. Hmm.
- Chicken gizzards. Yum, but I don’t want to see them raw.
- Conger eel. Squishy!
The chefs must use all of the ingredients and anything in Ilan’s pantry to make at least two dishes in one hour. Ready…fight!
Eel, eel, bo-beel, banana-fanna fo-feel, fee-fi-mo-meel, eeeeeel. Oh, sorry. Had to get that out of my system. The first dish for both chefs is the gizzards. Ooh! Watermelon radish! Those are pretty. Jason Wilson has the first dish out. It’s juniper and rice crusted chicken gizzards with a radish salad. “Flava bomb, flava bomb, boom.” Yeah. This show gets like that sometimes.
Greg decides that gizzards are best cooked raw. With thirty minutes remaining, Jason smokes some juniper and breaks down his eel while Greg serves his gizzard tataki. In case the meat wasn’t slimy enough, he added sea beans. I don’t know why the judges like it, but whatever.
To one-up his own raw chicken gizzards, Greg prepares an eel chowder. Jason, however, decides to prepare delicious foods. He serves the judges juniper smoked eel with a pea stew and pistachio. It’s a hit. And then, eel liver. Don’t do it, Greg. Please, just no. I may vomit. His eel chowder looks like a pile of beige, but the judges love it nonetheless.
To make up for his disgusting menu, Greg prepares a juniper hot chocolate and resists the urge to add chicken liver or eel. With one minute left, Jason smashes pistachios with a pan to try to give his gross pile of raw chicken gizzard a texture other than salmonella. Seriously, yes, both chefs prepared raw chicken gizzard. The judges just finished a deliciously spiced hot chocolate, and then the last flavor they’re left with is a trip to the emergency room.
And the winner by a long-lost hair is…Greg Denton.
And on last night’s second Knife Fight episode…
Kelly English is a Memphis-based chef battling against his buddy Tandy Wilson from Nashville in Ilan Hall’s Los Angeles kitchen to see which one of them has to shave off his beard.
The three secret ingredients are:
- Heirloom carrots. They look…stubby.
- Goose! Talk to me, Goose.
- Beef tendon. Uh, is this supposed to be delicious? Because it sounds disgusting.
One hour, at least two dishes, and good luck with those beef tendons, boys. Did you notice that it’s always boys in the kitchen? Perhaps they’ll wheel out the Easy-Bake Oven for one of these challenges and we’ll get to see some ladies in action.
We’ve got cracklin’ happening on Tandy’s side of the kitchen but, like every chef before him, he is befuddled by the pressure cooker. How does a chef not understand how a pressure cooker works? Yeesh. Kelly is preparing “good grits.” A complete tool starts in with his worst My Cousin Vinny impression.
Oh noooo! Kelly’s goose lands breast-down on the grubby, gross kitchen floor. He rinses it off and pretends like that’s okay. Is that a salad? Kelly puts his dusty goose aside and prepares a pan roasted carrots with turnips and an amandine sauce.
The first plate is from Tandy, and it’s pan-roasted goose breast with carrot salad. “I love the salad, I like the goose.” Let’s see if Kelly can do better. His roasted carrots and turnips are a huge hit. Point, Kelly.
Next, tendon chips from Tandy. It is “not functioning properly,” probably because it’s “no longer attached to a living animal.” When in doubt, toss it in the deep fryer and toss them over a celery salad. The judges look like they’re fishing for something good to say. “Crunchy. Food. Words.”
Kelly’s strategy is to figure out the pressure cooker and make a beef tendon gumbo. Basically, nobody wants to eat tendon. Stop trying to make tendon happen. Then, he cooks something delightful. It’s a pan roasted goose breast with grits. Yum. Tandy’s final offering is a goose skin BLT. Hmm. I could gnaw on that sandwich right now.
There can only be one winner, and the loser shaves his hipster facial hair. And the winner is Kelly English. Because shaving is a totally reasonable and sanitary thing to do in a restaurant, Tandy’s beard is removed on the spot.