Next Iron Chef: Flat Foam Episode

Spoilers ahead ...

I'm sorry to see the ladies be the first ones sent home, but so it goes in the world of macho food competition. Chef Jill Davie packed her knives (oh, wait, wrong chef show) and went home, which means our man Morou is still in it to win it.

The second episode of Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef" aired last night and tested simplicity and innovation. In the first test, the contestants were asked to create a one-bite dish that represented their culinary style. Chef John Besh, who won last week's challenge, got first dibs on ingredients but confidently leveled the playing field by giving up his chance to rush the food table. In what might be the silliest part of the show, the chefs have to fight it out at the table (tiny Davie all but got trampled) leaving Michael Symon and Morou in a tug-of-war battle over a long piece of lamb.

Chef Aaron Sanchez nearly pitched a fit when time ran out and he wasn't allowed to finish his shrimp dish. The chefs judged one another, and Symon took the win with his lamb tartare. (Symon won that lamb tug-of-war.) Morou's sweet paprika cured duck breast with duck broth and duck skin salad seemed to go over well with the other contestants, for what it's worth.

Things got more interesting in the second test, which had the chefs facing the toys and tools of molecular gastronomy — like liquid nitrogen, methylcellulose, the "anti-griddle" and the smoking gun — to create two small innovative dishes. Morou (pictured above) was unfazed: "I am not scared, guys. I'm not." Symon, on the other hand, proudly admitted, "I don't know what any of this shit is." WD-50's Wylie Dufresne and PolyScience's Philip Preston coached the contestants and then set them loose.

Though his dishes (lobster sashimi, pickled plum and ginger caviar; braised beef cheeks with sweetbread puree) ultimately didn't impress the judges, Morou shined in this challenge. It's hard to tell with reality show editing — hell, Symon could be the next Ferran Adria — but most chefs seemed to be haphazardly sprinkling chemicals into purees and emulsions, creating some sadly deflated foams. Morou stood out by using a sophisticated spherification technique to create tiny rounds of ginger "caviar."

But it was Chris Cosentino, none too happy about having to work with the molecular tools, who won the challenge thanks to his playful saor "shaving cream" on a razor clam.

Host Alton Brown told Morou at the show's end, "You might turn things up a little bit, lest you be the next homeward bound." For the DC fan club, let's hope the Farrah Olivia chef brings his A-game next week.

For last week's recap, click here.

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