ICA: Forgione vs. Zimmerman

forbanner ICA: Forgione vs McClain

Iron Chef Marc Forgione faces off against challenger Andrew Zimmerman, executive chef at Sepia in Chicago. Judges for Battle: Cream Cheese are Mario Rizzotti, Alison Sweeney and Jason Sobocinski.

Andrew Zimmerman SepiaGrowing up in New York in the ‘80’s, Andrew Zimmerman’s childhood goal was to be a rock star. He pursued music into his early 20’s, supporting his dream by working in local restaurant kitchens. Over the years, he realized that he was a better cook than musician, and that his true calling was in the kitchen. He worked for nearly three years under Renato Sommelia, whom he cites as one of his strongest culinary mentors, and then enrolled in the prestigious French Culinary Institute. Zimmerman graduated first in his class in 2000 and never looked back.

After three years working on the East Coast, Zimmerman was ready to make a move. Drawn to Chicago by the abundance of world-class restaurants, he accepted a position at the Park Hyatt Chicago working alongside Sandro Gamba. In 2004, he met restaurateur Terry Alexander, who hired him as Executive Chef at MOD. From there, the duo opened widely acclaimed del Toro.  Zimmerman followed that up with a stop at NoMI where he met restaurateur Emmanuel Nony, and the following year, Nony offered Zimmerman the executive chef position at Sepia.

Zimmerman’s cuisine at Sepia blends rustic and contemporary styles, with flavors influenced primarily by the Mediterranean and France. His food is direct and seasonally based, utilizing product from local and regional farms whenever possible. Under Zimmerman’s direction, Sepia received a sought-after star rating from the Michelin Guide in 2010.

Chef Zimmerman’s reputation is indeed impressive but so is Iron Chef Marc Forgione.

Check below for the outcome.

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Forgione Zimmerman
Taste 23 23
Originality 12 14
Plating 12 12
Total 47 49

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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