Need your help! Iron Chef Jaden vs. Iron Chef Dr. BBQ

Iron Chef

(my apologies to Mario Batali and Michael Symon for cutting off your heads and replacing them with ours, but I really like your chef jackets with the American flag – very NASA-ish)

I have no idea what I just got myself into – did I have to open my big mouth and challenge Dr. BBQ to an “Iron Chef” event here in Florida?

I fluffed my feathers in his face and he called my bluff!

Dr. BBQ <– that’s one bad-ass mother-f*****!!!!

Who is this Dr. BBQ? He’s the big-time champion pitmaster, Big Green Egg spokesperson and Executive Chef for Justin Timberlake’s Southern Hospitality restaurant.

Yes, he’s my one degree (and he can be yours too if you want to come to the event!)

Iron Chef: Grill vs. Wok

Saturday June 14th at The Rolling Pin (only 1 seat left)

So, the event will be at the the cooking school where I teach, and while the format isn’t exactly like the real Iron Chef, it certainly be a real competition. We each get 7 participants on our team, 2 hours and we’ll have to cook 4 dishes – an appetizer, main+side and a dessert. Oh yes, we’re not just working with 1 secret ingredient…hah!…1 ingredient would have been too easy. Let’s just throw in 2 more!

I am soooo screwed!

So, I need your help – what should I cook?

No, I don’t have to use the wok – “Iron Chef: Grill vs. Wok” is just a marketing gimmick that has a nice ring to it. Very Food Network-ish, don’t you think? But I am keeping with the Asian theme.

Here are the “secret” but not-so-secret ingredients:

  • Appetizer: Corn
  • Main: Salmon
  • Dessert: Melon

Side dish is a free item. Feel free to link to recipes, throw out suggestions and bop me on the head with the stupid stick. Personally, I don’t even think Dr. BBQ even knows what “melon” is – I mean, can you even imagine a “champion pitmaster” cooking something so SISSY FROU-FROU as melon?????

And get this, earlier this week, he tried to trick me by telling me that the secret ingredients were actually apples, oranges and crab! What a goofball SHITHEAD!!!! Come see his blog, he’s taunting me!!!!

He’s sooo gonna whoop my ass unless you guys can help!!

Use the force, Jaden

But I must relax and remember, as my blog-friend GrifolaFrondosa says:


What would Martin Yan do?


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Comments 42

  1. amyjosmith

    ha ha ha
    this is SOOOO funny!!
    i’m so boring with corn, i’m just in love with cornbread with gobs of real butter and blackberry blossom honey…

    and my favorite way to eat salmon is…fresh off the boat, cleaned, head and tail removed then baked. just like it is, no seasonings or anything…but if you must bbq – then fill with lemon and onion slices (you know, in place of the guts you removed), salt, pepper…wrap in foil and bbq until done – now personally, i don’t think i have ever done the actual cooking – cousin dave does, because he is the salmon from the river fisherman and he’s picky about his fish.

    melon…that just makes me thirsty.

  2. Sowjanya

    Did you just curse Mr. BBQ? make sure he doesn’t mess with your wok;)

    I would so vote for your corn on the cob with herb butter. Wok fried corn with onions and tomatoes with cayenne is my favorite.

    Salmon – i have no clue

    Melon – will think and let you know – sorry

  3. Big Mike

    Do you get bonus points for getting salmon into the corn appetizer? –> Salmon Corn Cakes with Cilantro Vinaigrette –> Spring Roll (metric recipe, 125g corn kernels for 16 rolls. Not sure if it’s an accent or a main player) –> Vietnamese Corn and Coconut Fritters Cha Bap Ran

    That’s what I found in about 10 minutes on recipezaar. I selected course: appetizer, filtered by ingredient “corn”, deselected the options for corn oil, corn syrup, corn chips and corn tortillas, had about 332 recipes come up.

  4. kat

    what a cool event.

    I just made some 3-bean salad, with corn in it. Great for outdoors, picnics.
    and what about a melon sorbet or sherbet.

    Anywho, good luck and have fun!

  5. Vicki

    For dessert, how about green tea & honeydew melon ice cream, maybe with almond tuiles?

    For an appetizer, I’m sure you could turn Southern corn fritters (hush puppies?) into something with an Asian influence, maybe add cilantro and hot chilies, and serve with a lime, soy and fish sauce dipping sauce?


    From : Gandamora Pascal D. Siergar

    First keep the Asian Theme.

    App: Corn, burned it and put the very nice butter on earth on it.

    Main: Salmon, i usually do not like it, but a simple way bak in cream butter it with , union, salt, peper, garlic and ginger
    and alittle soy.

    Dessert: Mellon, cut it as a little block put ice on, and syrup or brown sugar

    Anyhow, good luck and it will be cool

  7. Grifola frondosa


    Ohhh, this’ll be sooo easy for you!

    Don’t let this “corporate shill for Green Egg” intimidate you.
    OK, so he’s been around for longer, but he doesn’t have your skills when it comes to inventiveness, and presentation skills.

    First, you’ve got about a million creative ways to come up with a delicious recipe that’ll look like a million bucks on the plate and according to ancient Chinese proverb, ” You eat with your eyes” (or something like that).

    And, let’s not forget your “not so secret” weapon.

    You’ll flirt relentlessly and through the big dude off his game.


    Game, Set, Match.

    Best of luck, and a tip of the toque to you.

    You’ll do just great.

  8. velops

    Appetizer: Corn and Crab Meat Soup

    Main dish: A classic southern vietnamese dish. The recipe uses catfish but a fatty fish like salmon works well. Many vietnamese restaurants offer the salmon version on their menus. It has a richness than can rival any barbecue that Dr. BBQ can come up with.

    Dessert: Parfait made with honeydew, young coconut meat, lime juice, yogurt, and puffed rice cereal for crunch.

    I hope these inspire you.

  9. Valerie

    Do you have time for a watermelon granita? cantalope salsa to go over salmon that has been carmalized slightly with an asian based marinade of lime, chili peppers, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, honey, olive oil, cilantro? I just grill corn with lime and redpepper in the foil or something like that. Just not that exciting. I signed my husband and I up for the competition. His specialty is bagels in the toaster. You might want to grease the palms of the name picker to make sure he gets on Dr. BBQ team. Haha, just kidding…I think.

    By the way, your photos have been great. when I look around on other sites, I know they are creative and try hard, but your photos are as equally as delicious as your recipes. You definately have a backup if you ever get tired of cooking.

  10. Alexander

    Wow, how much fun is this going to be for you?!! Plus a great PR move.. kudos!!

    Sounds like he will probably do Southern Style.. would be fun to match him at his own game with your own deliciousness!

    Corn.. found a recipe for Thai style corn fritters..

    Salmon.. I LOVE the clay pot idea from velops! I’m guessing you have a time limit.. clay pots sound like they take some time to prepare. Wish I had some ideas for salmon.. looks like you’ll need something new and exciting.. planks and burgers have been done to death! LOL!

    I consulted my hubby who is a pastry chef for the dessert.. chilled melon soup with Thai basil ice cream.. well thats IF you have a freezer and ice cream maker at your disposal.. or a blast freezer and a pocojet.. he wants to know the time limit on this event.. he’s done these before for his work.. always was in good fun!

  11. courtney

    Ok this one is corny( no pun intended). But you know how they have crab rangoon? How about a mixture of corn and cream cheese deep fired in a wonton packett? Served with a spicy sweet chili sauce.
    Abd the melon soup I metioned before would be a dessert soup so it would be sweeter. I had a sweet dessert soup made of beans once at a Chinese restaurant.It was pretty good!

  12. Natasha bout a salad with corn and prawns inside? with a citrus-y type dressing for contrast between sweet and sour? maybe a bit of chilli for spice would be nice too… =) bout a terriyaki marinade? complemented with chilled soba noodles..or would it be too obvious? haha..

    and for bout melon margarita ice cream? if it has alcohol, it’s a sure winner right? =p

  13. John C

    I just got “660 Curries’ by Raghavan Iyer. If you are looking for inspiration, look at the salmon recipes. What really caught my eye was the watermelon curry. Probably not a desert, but looks really good!! Corn curries in the book as well…what else would you expect?

    Good luck

  14. argus

    Good for you, Mrs Steamy. How exciting and fun!
    As for the melon dessert, how about boiled sago with honeydew melon in sweetish coconut sauce/soup? It’s a cold dessert. For a special touch, add a tablespoon of melted palm sugar — and it’s good to melt your tastebuds.

  15. Cakebrain

    Hey Jaden,
    Let’s start with dessert because that’s the way meals ought to start in my books.
    Do stick with the Asian theme ’cause that’s your forte.
    Melon: Make a refreshing cold coconut milk tapioca melon soup. You know the kind, with the itty bitty cubes of melon: I’d like honeydew and cantaloupe in mine please…
    Main: Do something with a miso/teriyaki type glaze with sockeye salmon (add some heat with thai chili peppers!) and that should rest on a bed of cold soba noodles tossed with slivered scallions.
    You should have an asian slaw on the side btw.
    Appetizer: Corn? Cream of corn soup with real crab. But of course, don’t used the canned creamed corn. Use fresh. And add your zingy fusion flare to your dishes to kick ’em up.

  16. Miss T

    Corn fritters, perhaps? I’m positive I’ve seen an Asian-inspired recipe for those…um, somewhere.

  17. Valerie, CA

    You can do corn patties (with BBQ grilled corn), maybe with crab or shrimp, green onions, and some spicy chili peppers. Top them with a grilled citrus, cilantro and avocado salsa?

    Watermelon, mint, and balsamic vinegar goes nicely together and makes a refreshing desert. You could use that a base for something, and expand on it.

    Salmon…how about a marinated tandoori version, with a spicy mint and yogurt sauce, on a bed of cilantro basmati rice?

  18. Mike

    Cut the watermelon to resemble a steak and grill it. Beat him at BBQ with a bizarre looking dessert, lol!

  19. Dave Harralson

    Jaden, Jaden !! I can tell when you cut out your head to Photoshop into that pic, you purposefully left a little edge around your head. Your nefarious purpose: it looks like a halo, you Devil you! You didn’t leave a halo on Dr.BBQ. Shake your pitchfork, halo, or whatever at Dr. BBQ and whup his you-know-what.

  20. Jescel

    Your pic is funny, I’m sure Mario and Bobby wouldn’t mind.. but this event sounds so much fun. Wish I can witness it.. hahhaha… I’m sure you can do it, Jaden.. Just channel the Martin Yan energy, lol… Keep the Asian theme, indeed. Mix all the culture – curry from India, coconut milk ala-Thai, noodles from China, etc… I’m sure you will come up with something special. I’ll be sure to let you know if I think of something special enough for you to do.

  21. Asianmommy

    I don’t know anything about cooking, so no advice here. Just wanted to say, “Good luck!!”

  22. The Survival Gourmet

    Hey Jaden!

    Ray Lampe is a friend of mine and a fellow BBQ Brethren. He is a great cook and a seriously funny guy. Have fun with him and good luck!

    Tell him Bigmista in California says Hey!

  23. Diana

    Oh fun! I love, love, love, salmon and my favorite way to make it lately has been with kabayaki sauce. I know it’s normally used for unagi, but I think it’s great with lots of different seafood. I love a mound of sticky rice topped with steamed veggies then salmon (marinated in kabayaki), then drizzle the last of the sauce over it all. Man, that stuff’s so good I could drink it!

  24. Nita

    hi there! not sure what to do with the corn…main.. how about salmon wrapped in a banana leaf with a thai red curry sauce then cooked on the grill — similar to hor mok (a minced fish curry cake, usually steamed). Serve with jasmine rice — maybe jazz that up as well, infuse it with something, maybe pandan leaf if you can get it.

  25. Mal Carne

    You know that I don’t know a damn thing about Asian cooking, but for your main, why not go for style points and combine all 3? Do the salmon with a corn emulsion spiked with lime and fish sauce and some type of melon/radish/something salad?
    Could be good, could be setting you up for disaster. I guess we’ll never know.

  26. Chacha

    Since you want to stick w/ an Asian theme here are my suggestions. I’m no culinary expert but I enjoy the following dishes:

    Appetizer: Juk (sp?) know the chinese style porridge soup with corn kernels maybe even jazzed up w/ some bacon bits and drippings?

    Main: Salmon crusted w/ black and white seasame seeds w/ a teryaki style or oyster sauce based glaze or salmon crusted w/ crushed nuts and a a thai style peanut sauce or deep fried salmon (def. w/ skin) w/ vietnamese fish sauce.

    Dessert: Melon (honey dew) ice cream. Have you tried the korean melon bar? I can eat a 100 of them during the summer.

  27. betty q.

    Grill your salmon with your top secret Asian marinade…really quickly like more on the rare side….then remove the corn leaving the husk intact…soak husk in water for a few minutes, then put the salmon in the center, reshape the husk and tie the tip with a strip of husk…finish cooking by grilling the HUSK till slighly charred…

    To serve, tuck the top half of the husk underneath…nap with corn-melon salsa?…

    Dessert…how about in your dessert bowl…a thin layer of chilled almond ivory (like an almond jello with tapioca), then top with a cantaloupe and honeydew puree side by side so it looks like yin-yang thingy…

  28. Ric

    I say you “hit em where he ain’t” and go all Morimoto on his ass. Elegant simplicity is the way to redirect his blunt force to futility (??). I’m reminded of a Ming Tsai episode that included Chef Morimoto. Food Network website says they did Salmon Carpaccio with Warm Maitake-Thai Basil Salad; Panko Crusted Salmon Roll with Avocado and Grilled Maitake Sauce. (,1976,FOOD_9984_17196,00.html)

    For the appetizer, maybe you can turn the corn into a sauce, blend with cream and strain so its nice and velvety. Or you could extract corn flavor, and add it to pop rocks ( for “pop corn”. Or a sweet drink made with crushed corn-flavor-infused ice, or “corn chips”. Freeze-dry the corn, make a panko-like breading for a white fish, and you have “corn-on-the-cod”! OK, I’ll stop now.

    I think the previous dessert ice-cream/puree comments are good, but add that ginger would go really well with the melon. In fact, I think maybe I’ll try to make a ginger/melon sorbet this weekend.

  29. betty q.

    Oh, I forgot about the appetizer…I saw this episode on Oprah…I forgot which year though…her guest made corn soup by passing the kernels through a juicer. Now, using the same idea of extracting the corn liquor, instead of making it into soup…maybe turn it into a corn custard (in ramekins) like the way they make this silky Japanese savoury custard….too bad you’re a thousand miles away…I would have supplied you with dehydrated mushrooms..I have KING BOLETE, lobster, chanterelle, a few morels …

  30. Wookie

    LOL, that Ray is a hoot. I visited his blog and he seems like a lot of fun. I wish I lived in Tampa so that I could register for that class.

    I know you’ll be great. Show him how strong your kung-fu is, grasshopper.

    Represent girl!

  31. Hillary

    Hehe wow, this sounds like it would be fun to watch! That Dr. BBQ is a character. And how do you know this list of ingredients is in fact the correct one? πŸ™‚

    It sounds like a true challenge because the ingredients aren’t classically Asian. I’ll leave the creativity to the master…I’m no expert on Asian cooking. Good luck! I hope you smite him!

  32. Nate

    What a great contest to showcase both cuisines. You’re in for a real battle.

    Those Thai corn fritters sound good. The julienned Thai lime leaves will be a big flavor advantage.

    Do you know if you are getting the whole salmon, or just fillets? If just fillets, you could do like a sweet-sour fish dish or a lomi lomi salmon (depending on whether you think the judges would go for raw fish). If you can get the salmon collars, broil ’em with some of your Sichuan peppercorn-flavored sea salt.

    I think Dr. BBQ could be at a disadvantage with melon. You can’t really barbecue it, although you might be able to grill it. Maybe he’d turn it into kabobs or something. Your very own Tapioca Pearls with Sweet Coconut and Cantelope will smother him.

    Allez Cuisine!

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