New details emerge about why Susur Lee only tied Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America

New details emerge about why Susur Lee only tied Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America

Tie land: Bobby Flay and Susur Lee (Flay by tomcensani; Lee from Food Network) 

As Canadians try to heal the national wounds suffered after Bobby Flay trounced Michael Smith on Iron Chef America, Susur Lee—who tied Flay back in 2006—recalls the encounter with airport authorities that scuppered his chances against his American opponent. In a New York Times memoir about the ups and downs of being a frequent flier, Lee recounts being en route to Kitchen Stadium when his luggage, packed with secret-weapon ingredients, was inspected by immigration authorities. Suspicious of his bag of special cornstarch and collection of herbs (reminiscent of powdery narcotics and plant narcotics, respectively), the ingredients were manhandled by guards. Some of them were ruined. To top it off, Lee’s royalty-worthy beef and pork stock, his “pride and joy,” was confiscated due to fears about mad cow disease. “To this day, I believe I could have beaten him,” Lee tells the Times. “If only I’d had my stock.”

Many seem to believe Smith’s loss was something of a conspiracy. Well, why not Susur’s delay? Apparently the airport officials knew who Lee was the whole time, asking afterwards if they could snap a photo with him. All excuses aside, the question remains: will a Canadian ever prevail over Flay? Jamie Kennedy, we’re looking at you.

• A Chef’s Ingredients, and His Hopes, Run Afoul of a Border Inspection [New York Times]