Jen gave us a Caribbean inspired chili of pork, chorizo, and bacon seasoned with traditional jerk spices and served with fried plantains.
Pete presented a more traditional New Mexican green chili built around genuine Hatch peppers and rattlesnake, garnished with a fan of roasted red bell pepper slices.
Michael returned with a last minute entry of wine-dark seafood chili made with swordfish, mussels, scallops and squid.
Tricia made a fruit chili seasoned with an array of spices and topped with a banana honey cream.
Joe broke out his ice cream maker in his first IC appearance, and confounded the judges with what can only be described as a chili-stuffed cupcake. Traditional Texas red was served cold in a hollowed corn muffin, which was topped with a "frosting" of jalepeno ice cream and garnished with a "cherry" tomato.
Joe won top honors in a remarkable and intriguing field, and becomes the next chef to attempt to defend the title. Hopefully, we’ll have access to Ry’s event photos before too long.
The next Iron Chef is tentatively scheduled for May 6, 2007. As yet I do not have a theme for this battle, but I will happily entertain requests for competitor and judging slots.
In addition, in the aftermath of this battle, it was suggested that the Iron Chef format with its perceived emphasis on interpretive cuisine may not be the best way to find our most delicious chili. As a result, we will continue our quest in August with a proper chili cook-off. For the time being, I am considering using a modified version of the ICS rules while allowing cooking offsite and doing away with the prohibition of the use of beans. For that event, I'd like to again name four judges, but am leaning towards giving anyone who has the inclination the opportunity to enter the competition. Any input is welcome and appreciated.