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Iron Chef Lange 2009

A Tie to be Unbroken:

Steven and Christine Share Iron Chef in Texas Battle for Best Chili

 Here is a recap of the 2009 competition and of the DECADE!!!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


(Dallas, Texas) – Chili was the perfect theme for a competition based in Texas.  In 2009, the Lange family spent the holidays in Dallas with Steven.  Jennifer, Greg, Sage and Lucy came in from Columbia, MO, Christine, Robby and Archibald from Long Beach, CA, and Mom & Dad from St. Louis, MO.


To set the holiday tone, Dallas had its first White Christmas since 1926, as snow fell on December 24th and was around for Christmas Day.  The festive mood carried into the day of the competition, December 30th, and the three siblings were ready for battle.  Christine, the reigning Iron Chef, was certain going into the competition that she had planned the perfect chili for a Texas cook-off.


When the chili offerings were unveiled for presentation and tasting, it was clear that is was going to be another interesting year of judging.  The three chili offerings were truly positioned at different points on the spectrum of taste.  Jennifer’s New World Chili was an eclectic mix of butternut squash, cranberries, corn, turkey, black beans and jalapeno and slightly on the sweet side.  Steven’s chili was positioned in the middle with a complex set of flavors based on guajillo, ancho and New Mexico chiles, hominy, and ground beef, pork and lamb.  Christine’s chili topped the spice scale as her chipotle, Anaheim and jalapeno peppers set the mouth on fire, while delivering bites of soft roasted tri-tip.


A judging panel of six, including Mike and Susan Morales, Nicholas Tarkany, Robby and Mom & Dad decided the winners. Christine and Steven both scored 51 points, and Jennifer 47 points. In 2002 Jennifer and Christine had to share the Iron Chef Award when they tied on points.  This year there was controversy as the concept of sharing the Iron Chef Award seemed to have worn off, especially in Christine’s eyes as she had actually scored higher in the area of taste than Steven had.  Steven scored higher in presentation, and with his combined “presentation and taste” score total he pulled even on points.  Due to no rule or precedent having been set (and plenty of lobbying by Steven), the results remained as announced and the two siblings will share the glory for the year. 


As a result of the discussions about the tie, it was decided that in the future there will no longer be any sharing of the Iron Chef Award, and that tie breakers would be decided on higher taste scores or by additional means. 


Happy New Year to all and we look forward to another great year and competition in 2010!



The following are the descriptions of the chili offerings:


2009  Iron Chef – Christine (51 Points)


Item: Texas Style Tri-Tip Chili – “Packed with flavors as big as the state of Texas.”

Featured Ingredients:  Tri-tip roast, chipotle, anaheim and jalapeno peppers, white onion, beef broth, fresh tomatoes, pinto beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper.

Garnish/Presentation: Cilantro, sour cream, white onion and cheddar cheese with Texas Select Beer.


2009 Iron Chef – Steven (51 Points)


Item: Guajillo, Ancho and New Mexico Chili with Hominy – “The true roots of chili.”

Featured Ingredients:  Guajillo, Ancho and New Mexico Chilies, Cumin, Onions, Garlic, Ground beef, pork and lamb, hominy, corn meal, salt, and pepper.

Garnish/Presentation: Avocado, sour cream, cilantro, tortilla chips and paired with a Sonoma County Zinfandel.


2009 Runner Up – Jennifer (47 Points)


Item: New World Chili – “A unique chili full of bold flavors.”

Featured Ingredients: Turkey breast tenderloin, tomatoes, black beans, tomato sauce, butternut squash, onion, chicken broth, corn, cranberries, jalapeno peppers, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper.

Garnish/Presentation: Fresh spinach and Monterey jack cheese with mini corn bread muffin.


Competition History:


Inspired by the famous Japanese TV cooking show, “Ryori no Tetsujin” or “Iron Chef”, the Lange family held the inaugural Iron Chef Competition in the year 2000.  The competition was created as a means for bringing the family together over the holidays, and as a way to foster competition in the art of cooking.  It is an ever-evolving competition between the three Lange siblings, Steven, Christine and Jennifer, and typically falls around the Christmas holiday.



Competition Results


2009 – Chili


 Christine – Iron Chef Award – Texas Style Tri-Tip Chili (51 pts)

Steven – Iron Chef Award – Guajillo, Ancho and New Mexico Chili with Hominy (51 pts)

Jennifer – Runner-up – New World Chili (47 pts)

 2008 – Panini


Christine – Iron Chef Award - Roast Beef and Sun Dried Tomato Mayo Panini (130 pts.)

Jennifer – Runner-up – Pork Tenderloin and Apple Panini with Crème Fraiche (121 pts.)

Steven – Third Place – Gruyere Panini with Parsley-Cornichon Tapenade (110 pts.)


2007 - Soup


Steven - Iron Chef Award – Tuscan Bread, Bean, and Vegetable Soup

Jennifer – Runner-up – Chicken and Chorizo Soup

Christine – Third Place – Vietnamese Pineapple and Chicken Soup


2006 - Pizza


 Steven - Iron Chef Award  (181 pts.)

            Steven – “Mattie’s Choice Award”

Jennifer – Runner-up  (171 pts.)

Christine – Third Place (168 pts.)


2005 - Appetizers


Jennifer – Iron Chef Award - Crab Stuffed Mushrooms En Croute   (143 pts.)

Steven – Runner-up – Porcini Mushroom Toasts (116 pts.)

Christine – Third Place – Hundred Corner Shrimp Balls with Apricot Dipping Sauce (115 pts.)


2004 – Dessert


Steven – Iron Chef Award – Chocolate Cake with Sicilian Sabayon (232 pts.)

Jennifer – Runner-up – Birch de Noel Yule Log (213 pts.)

Christine– Third Place – Crushed-Peppermint Cheesecake (205 pts.)


2003 – “Bye Year” for Christine’s Wedding


2002 – Entree


Christine – Iron Chef Award – Beef Tenderloin Stuffed with Walnut Goat Cheese (71 pts)

Jennifer – Iron Chef Award – French Onion Soup with Baguette Bread and Swiss cheese (71 pts)

Steven – Runner-up – Beef Olives on Bed of Zucchini and Yellow squash (64 pts)


2001 – Entree


 Christine – Iron Chef Award – Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Sauce

            Steven – Runner-up – Risotto with Lobster

            Jennifer – Out of town


2000 – Entree


Steven – Iron Chef Award – Robust Chianti Beef Stew

            Christine – Runner-up – Wild Mushroom Pasta

            Jennifer – Did not compete


Overall Rankings for the Iron Chef Award



Iron Chef Award


Third Place


















Iron Chef Award = 3 pts., Runner-up = 2 pts., Third Place = 1 pt.

                    * = Reigning Lange Iron Chef (2009)