ICA: Forgione vs. Zimmerman
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.
Growing 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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