Last night on Iron Chef America, Vitaly Paley (of NW stalwart Paley's Place) took on Iron Chef Jose Garces, and the closely-guarded secret ingredient? Radish. Noting that he grew up in the former Soviet Union, Paley said on-camera that he felt "very comfortable around radishes... I feel right at home." And so, Paley proceeded to lay the smackdown in Kitchen Stadium.
With his dream team of current Paley's chef de cuisine Patrick McKee and six-year Paley's veteran Ben Bettinger (currently chef at Beaker and Flask), Paley churned out the following mandated-five-course menu: A four-part appetizer selection featuring preparations like kimchi-style daikon salad with tuna belly, and a refreshing radish sorbet (judge Karine Bakhoum called the latter a "stroke of genius"); gnocchi made with radish greens and served with glazed radishes; poached halibut with radish pesto; a horseradish-and-greens stuffed pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon; and a watermelon radish tarte tatin, stuffed with creme fraiche. In the end, Paley spanked Garces in the taste column, ultimately winning by a score of 51-46.
For video of the dishes and verdict, click through to Eater National (bonus points for the Chairman .gif). Paley will offer some of the featured Iron Chef dishes a la carte throughout this week (with a select few also making appearances throughout the month); for those looking for the complete experience, a tasting menu is available upon request. Congrats, Vitaly! Way to represent.
· Paley's Place [Official site]
· All Previous Paley's Place Coverage [Eater PDX]