ICA: Symon vs. Okuwa

An amazing match-up for this 4th of July. This week’s challenger is Chef Makoto Okuwa who ventures into the unfriendly confines of Kitchen Stadium to take on Iron Chef Michael Symon.  Now generally Kitchen Stadium is a place of intimidation for a challenger but not for Okuwa-San, he ran the sushi bar at Morimoto, New York having  spent years as a sous chef of Iron Chef Morimoto including 13 battles with the dean of Iron Chefs.

makoto okuwa on wannabetvchef.comChef Makoto began his career in Japan at the age of 15.  After years of perfecting his art he immigrated to the US where he worked at the famed Washington DC sushi bar, Sushi Taro.  It was while working in the nation’s capital that he first caught the eye of Iron Chef Morimoto who soon recruited the young chef to join him at the Morimoto flagship in Philadelphia.  When his mentor opened his second restaurant in New York’s Meatpacking District he tapped Okuwa to oversee the sushi menu.

Today Makoto-San balances the traditions of Japanese cuisine with the sophistication and flash demanded from American diners at his own restaurant Sashi in Manhattan Beach, California.  It is at Sashi where the apprentice has become master and asserted his independence by asking himself each morning, “What’s possible?”  This Independence Day he collides head first with the bold new American flavors of Iron Chef Michael Symon.  This battle has all the trappings of a culinary Rube Goldberg Machine.  The episode airs tonight at 10pm/9c.

The judges for Battle: Uni (sea urchin) are Nina Griscom, Sam Haskell and Tia Carrere.

Click HERE for the outcome.

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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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