ICA: Symon vs. Mooking
Okay, ICA fans, this is going to be a good one. I’ve been waiting to see this match-up ever since I saw it on the docket about two months ago. Challenging Chef Roger Mooking is more than just a celebrated chef on the Toronto restaurant scene – he’s an R&B sensation in his native Canada. Will he rock Iron Chef Symon’s world, or will he walk away from Kitchen Stadium singing the blues?
Roger Mooking has had a very successful cooking show on Food Network: Canada for several years and when Scripps kicked off it’s new Cooking Channel last year they added it to the line-up. It didn’t take long for American audiences to take a shine to Everyday Exotic. As I opined in my review last summer I think EE is the best stand-and-stir show on TV right now.
Here is how the Cooking Channel web site describes it, “Chef and musician Roger Mooking gets bored easily. Bored of the same old everyday meals we all end up making time and time again. His mission? To give everyday weekday meals a fantastic exotic twist with one new ingredient.” Mooking calls the key element his “obedient ingredient.”
The challenger’s appearance on ICA is part of the cross-promotions between Cooking Channel and Food Network to highlight new shows like the one where Mooking teams up with long time FN star Aaron Sanchez for the new food/travel show Heat Seekers. Roger is an award winning R&B artist so don’t be surprised if he breaks out into song during the contest.
This should be a very enjoyable episode between two talented chefs in both of whom I have the utmost respect. Roger’s Caribbean with just a touch of Asian cuisine should stand in stark contrast to the Midwestern wizardry of Cleveland’s favorite chef, Michael Symon. Judges for Battle: Hot Dog were Craig Carton, Boomer Esiason, Donatella Arpaia and Andrew Zimmern.
Check below for the outcome.
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Taste: 38 Taste: 31
Plating: 17 Plating: 16
Originality: 19 Originality: 14
Total: 74 Total: 61