It was a battle royal (duck) in this repeat of an epic battle. I have been to Tsai's restuarant in Mass last March and loved it and his fusion cooking. I even bought one of his cookbooks to try more. But I wanted to see it again. Lately FN has been replaying the best battles so I taped this one. I could disssect it further. Southwestern vs fusion.
Tsai has tea smoked duck (I had tried some of the dust that someone sent me). Subtle but good, duck a la range and focusing on techniques versatility. The judges did not seem disappointed at all with anything (I listen for any hint of grumbling or dislike) .
Flay countered with flavors from cultures. red chili, c itrus, and ancho that I have find some recipes . Sweet potato hash with duck and poblano. He also had a mango, rice wine and online mixture with duck breast in a tortilla.
I was pretty confident Tsai would win but was not sure by how much. I think I said +4 and he won +5 so I was there.
Tsai won 48 to 43. He beat him mostly on tste.
Taste 26 21
Plating 10 11
Originality 12 11