Tag: Jeffrey Steingarten (Page 1 of 2)

3 questions with Iron Chef Jose Garces

Chef Jose Garces was not new to the Iron Chef brand before he was cast as a contestant on Season 2 of “The Next Iron Chef” on Food Network. He had competed against Iron Chef Bobby Flay in an episode of “Iron Chef America” and had defeated Flay in Kitchen Stadium, something that may have spring-boarded him into his role as the newest Iron Chef after winning Season 2 last week. Garces defeated Jehangir Mehta of New York City in the battle of ribs and racks to win the crown, and he owns and operates several restaurants in both Philadelphia and Chicago.

We had the chance to ask Chef Garces a few questions after his big win last weekend….

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The Next Iron Chef is crowned

Last night’s finale of “The Next Iron Chef” on Food Network featured a battle in Kitchen Stadium akin to the real Iron Chef show…and that’s really how it should have been. It was also very close between chefs Garces and Mehta…and while each has a distinct cooking style, the judges had the difficult choice of crowning one of them the season’s champ, one to join the ranks of Flay, Batali, Cora, Morimoto, and Symon on the popular show.

The chairman began as he does every Iron Chef show..by disclosing the secret ingredient–ribs and racks…both pork and beef. Their task was to use that ingredient to create five dishes that represented America as a melting pot of cultures. It was also a daunting task because of the time usually required to break down rib meat, as they would have just 60 minutes.

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The Next Iron Chef: we have reached the finals

I admit to not loving “The Next Iron Chef” on Food Network, but yesterday’s show excited me more and I’m looking forward to the final round next Sunday. Last night, the final three were still in Japan, and were asked to show their integrity and tell a story with a Kaiseki, or multi-course meal. They would be judged on taste, creativity and presentation, and the judges would be the regulars Anya Fernald, Jeffrey Steingarten and Donatella Arpaia, as well as Dr. Hattori, the commentator of the original Iron Chef series in Japan.

After having an hour to shop at the fresh market for fish and produce, chefs Garces and Mullen were laughing at chef Mehta, who bought a crazy amount of flowers in which to use as garnishes. Say what? I hope he remembered that presentation was only a third of the points.

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The Next Iron Chef: now a boys’ club

Last night on Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef,” the final four chefs were whisked off to Japan, where they would compete in the birthplace of the Iron Chef series. For the initial challenge, Chefs Garces, Freitag, Mehta and Mullen had to first create small dishes with the UMAMI flavor profile (a savory soy-based flavor originated in Japan). Iron Chef Masumatu Morimoto would be the judge.

Each chef appeared to do a nice job with this challenge, but chef Mehta won it with his leeks with panko; soy clams; grilled beef; apples; and strawberries. Morimoto thought he did the best job of incorporating the UMAMI profile, and suddenly he is looking like a contender.

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The Next Iron Chef: double elimination brings final four

The current season of “The Next Iron Chef” on Food Network is rolling right along, and last night they accelerated things again as two aspiring chefs were eliminated. Now we are in Final Four territory.

Last night’s episode began with the chairman introducing Indian chef Suvir Saran, who then asked the chefs to create their own impression of Indian food, in small bits and strictly vegetarian. Of course, this would appear to give chef Mehta an advantage because he was of Indian heritage. But he had also won the previous challenge, so he also had a tangible advantage….which wound up being having first choice of ingredients.

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