"He is not a Chef! He stood on his cutting board. Knives, cutting boards, these things are sacred to Chefs. Bobby Flay is not a Chef!" -- Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto Upon conclusion of the first Flay/Morimoto battle.

Yeah! You tell him Morimoto! Wipe that stupid smug grin off his floury white gaijin face.

When it was all over, it seemed that justice had been done. The Food Ruinator had been outclassed, despite his bold and arrogant American style. His dishes lacked refinement and the combinations were nearly vulgar in their lack of subtlety. Flay is an arrogant and terribly typical American chef and I shudder to think what conclusions the Japanese, or indeed, anyone who watched his performance would draw about the rest of America and our culinary traditions. Flay, in his arrogance, could not accept his defeat with humility for himself and respect for his opponent. He blamed his loss on poor equipment, poor assistance and seemed to imply that the production team was deliberately out to get him. In all the episodes of Iron Chef that I have witnessed, I have never seen the defeated chef carry on like the child that Flay pretended to be.


It was not enough that his disrespectful behavior cast shame upon America, but his blatant disregard for the tools of his craft cast shame upon himself and his art. His near constant complaints did not go on deaf ears and so, less than a year after the first battle Bobby Flay got his chance and won a rematch with Morimoto in a tremendous lobster battle. Anyone who watched the rematch and heard the judges responses knows the fix was on. Two of the judges fairly dropped into orgasm while tasting Morimoto's dishes.

Had he learned anything from his previous errors? Apparently not. His attitude was still unreserved and disrespectful. This time he threw his cutting board on the floor and stood on the counter. I expected Morimoto to knife him. Throughout the broadcast the judges and narrator constantly used phrases like "so American!" as insults. Even in smug victory he took opportunity to complain about conditions again as if to imply that perhaps he would have won MORE if all those serious killjoy Japanese would just stop bothering him with their dour expressions.

I suspect that he still has no idea how much harm his antics may have caused, and likely never will. For some reason that I find personally incomprehensible, food critics, book publishers and TV executives love Bobby. His first restaurant, Mesa Grill was voted the best restaurant in New York and his first book Bobby Flay's Bold American Food won an award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and prompted him to write three more From My Kitchen to Your Table, Boy Meets Grill, and Bobby Flay Cooks American.

As if all that wasn't enough he's also the host of three popular television shows on the basic cable channel, Food Network. Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay, FoodNation, and Boy Meets Grill are all in frequent rotation on the Food Network despite the fact that the food he creates is mostly unimaginative and his attitude towards other members of the culinary profession is appallingly smug.

It just goes to show you, life ain't fair.

It is with a heavy heart that I report the results of the Bobby Flay/Masaharu Morimoto rematch.

I was so sure all along that Flay would have an even worse time of it with Japanese judges. As I watched him preparing the food, I kept feeling impressed with his choice of ingredients, then watching him add more and thinking he ruined it. I mean, lobster and pomegranate? It sounded amazing! Then he threw in mango and a bunch of Southwest spices. Surely he would lose again?

Alas, it was not to be. Six judges, and five of them chose him over the Iron Chef. For that matter, the only judge that gave either of them above an 18 was the Sumo wrestler, who loved all of it.

He stood on the counter again at the end of the battle, this time tossing the cutting board away before he did so. Of course, to Morimoto that wasn't any better, because he still stood in the place that he'd cut food.

But I realize what must have happened:
Flay had complained so much about how he was treated during the last battle, constantly whining to anyone who would listen that "It wasn't fair!" and "They gave me inferior equipment!" So this time Chairman Kaga gave him every possible advantage short of actually handing him the victory. Choosing lobster as the secret ingredient, however, was the last straw. I'm not sure about Morimoto's record with lobster, but in general the Iron Chefs haven't had the best of luck with it. Hiroyuki Sakai (French) lost three lobster battles in a row, and the third was even to an American, Ron Siegel.

On the plus side, Flay will shut up and stop badmouthing Iron Chef. On the minus side, Morimoto's young fan Tommy Mothershead flew all the way to Tokyo to see the rematch and was disappointed.

But those who live in or near New Jersey can go find out for themselves which chef was better, at Morimoto's restaurant in Philadelphia and Flay's in New York City.

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