Will we ever see a true Bobby Flay vs. Gordon Ramsay Pay-Per-View showdown? When we asked Bobby Flay about it last night at a Naked Juice event kicking off its #DrinkGoodDoGood campaign, he laughed off the idea. “We talked about that 3 or 4 years ago, as a joke, and someone just brought it up two months ago,” he said, presumably referring to the Foodbeast interview that reignited the speculation most recently.
So while a true Master Chef/Iron Chef square-off might never happen, we did offer Flay the opportunity to help us with a more informal (and completely unofficial) contest: his scrambled eggs against Ramsay’s. He took some time off chatting about his partnership with Naked Juice and Wholesome Wave, a non-profit that donates fresh fruits and vegetables to communities in need, to tell us how it’s done.
The secret to Flay’s scrambled eggs is actually pretty similar to Chef Ramsay’s: he also uses butter, crème fraîche, and chives in his basic soft-scrambled eggs. (A more complicated, dressed-up version is one of his most popular menu items at his newest restaurant, Gato.) The difference, however, is all in the process.
Flay starts by melting equal parts crème fraîche and unsalted butter in a non-stick pan over medium, then adding eggs (that have been pre-whisked in a bowl) and pepper right as it melts. He then continuously stirs, until he gets the soft, small-curd texture of soft-scrambled eggs, and finishes it with kosher salt and chives. Ramsay, by comparison, puts butter and eggs straight into a cold pan and cooks for 3 minutes, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, and only adds the salt and pepper and crème fraîche at the very end.
I tried both methods to see which chef's scrambled eggs would reign supreme in my kitchen. As far as cooking goes, Flay’s method, of cooking continuously on medium heat, rather than moving the skillet on and off of high heat, was a lot easier. When I did move the skillet every 30 seconds, I still had a few larger curds form in Ramsay’s method, and some of the egg white never fully incorporated since the eggs aren’t pre-beaten.
As far as taste, Ramsay’s eggs have a stronger crème fraîche flavor since it’s added at the very end. Flay’s, the easier method, also came out smoother and more incorporated as a result, and seemed to have less room for user error. Adding pepper early in the cooking process did not make it “grey,” as Ramsay warns in his own tutorial. Finishing both off with good kosher salt meant that the bites with bits of salt were (surprise, surprise) the tastiest.
Trying to determine a winner, I managed to eat close to six eggs first thing in the morning. I did, however, come up with some hard-won conclusions. When I scramble eggs again, I think I’d split the difference: cook the eggs like Flay suggests, but save some of the crème fraîche for the end. If had to pick a winner for this unauthorized round of "Battle: Scrambled Eggs," I’d say Flay is the victor. We can only hope for a rematch over pancakes.