ICA: Symon vs. Okuwa
An amazing match-up for this 4th of July. This week’s challenger is Chef Makoto Okuwa who ventures into the unfriendly confines of Kitchen Stadium to take on Iron Chef Michael Symon. Now generally Kitchen Stadium is a place of intimidation for a challenger but not for Okuwa-San, he ran the sushi bar at Morimoto, New York having spent years as a sous chef of Iron Chef Morimoto including 13 battles with the dean of Iron Chefs.
Chef Makoto began his career in Japan at the age of 15. After years of perfecting his art he immigrated to the US where he worked at the famed Washington DC sushi bar, Sushi Taro. It was while working in the nation’s capital that he first caught the eye of Iron Chef Morimoto who soon recruited the young chef to join him at the Morimoto flagship in Philadelphia. When his mentor opened his second restaurant in New York’s Meatpacking District he tapped Okuwa to oversee the sushi menu.
Today Makoto-San balances the traditions of Japanese cuisine with the sophistication and flash demanded from American diners at his own restaurant Sashi in Manhattan Beach, California. It is at Sashi where the apprentice has become master and asserted his independence by asking himself each morning, “What’s possible?” This Independence Day he collides head first with the bold new American flavors of Iron Chef Michael Symon. This battle has all the trappings of a culinary Rube Goldberg Machine. The episode airs tonight at 10pm/9c.
The judges for Battle: Uni (sea urchin) are Nina Griscom, Sam Haskell and Tia Carrere.
Click HERE for the outcome.