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Amanda Cohen and Morimoto Vegetarian Battle on Iron Chef

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"It's not just a vegetarian restaurant," Amanda Cohen corrected host Alton Brown last night on Iron Chef America, referring to her New York City restaurant Dirt Candy. "It's a vegetable restaurant." Facing off against Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in kitchen stadium for a purely vegetarian battle — the secret ingredient was broccoli — Cohen had her hands full.

She even had to handle Brown's taunting (all in good fun?) when the camera focused on two pounds of butter cubed up for a beurre blanc sauce (see the above slideshow). "I don't even know what to say," said Brown. "I've estimated that 20 pounds of butter have been used on chef Cohen's side. So we see how they roll down at Dirt Candy." "Yeah we roll fun," she replied. At the end Alton further derided the excessive butter usage and said, "I've learned so much about healthy, vegetarian cuisine," sticking a broccoli stalk in an enormous block of butter, calling it "dinner."

Cohen documented her Iron Chef experience on the restaurant's blog (see part one, part two, and part three). And we learn a few things! The episode was shot over a year ago: "About five months ago I just started assuming that my episode was so bad it would never air," she wrote. Cohen took her appearance on Iron Chef very seriously, so much so that she sacrificed income in order to prepare, closing the restaurant "every Tuesday for four weeks so we could practice."

Also the Chairman, aka Mark Dacascos, flirted with and entertained her mom who was in the audience, and eventually was goaded into doing a back flip at the disapproval of producers. Other things we learn: Cohen was paid "$1000 and car service round trip to the restaurant and back," and amazingly turned down being a contestant on the Next Iron Chef.

Cohen followed up this morning on her blog and wrote: "I wanted to take this victory for the vegetarian community... and I wanted to take it because Mark Dacascos said if I won I could cut off Morimoto’s ponytail. I wanted to cut that ponytail off so badly."

Video: Amanda Cohen's Dishes

Video: Morimoto's Dishes

Video: The Judgment

· All Morimoto Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Amanda Cohen Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Iron Chef Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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