ICA: Morimoto vs. Cohen
Just two more episodes left of season 8 of Iron Chef America. Still no sign of the newest Iron Chef, Jose Garces. Perhaps that is why the Network is ready to kick off another season of the Next Iron Chef in a few weeks. But that is neither here nor there.
This week kitchen stadium is visited by New York’s Amanda Cohen. A vegetarian chef, Cohen’s motto is, “Anyone can cook a hamburger, but leave the vegetables to professionals.” She is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute. NGI is not a strictly vegetarian cooking school as they do have classes on eggs, poultry and seafood, but there are no mammals in their curriculum.
Since receiving her degree from NGI, Cohen has labored in several of New York City’s vegetarian restaurants. She has done a little time as a teaching assistant at Angelica’s Kitchen which has specialized in organically grown plant-based cuisine for over 25 years. But it was at Spanish Harlem’s DinerBar that she gained notoriety, oddly enough for her Buffalo Wings. When pop star Moby decided that he wanted to open a vegetarian tea room he picked Cohen as the first chef at Teany.
Cohen has since worked at a number of vegetarian eateries culminating with her own restaurant, Dirt Candy. Cohen’s restaurant has since been named “Best Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC” by amNew York and L Magazine, voted “Best Vegan Restaurant in NYC” by Citysearch readers and the Village Voice singled it out for “Best Grits in NYC.”
Amanda Cohen enters Kitchen Stadium having proven herself a star in the vegan counter culture. But the question that remains is can she go blow for blow with Iron Chef Morimoto armed with a menu full of side dishes?
Well, the Chairman took care of that by banning the use of meat, poultry and seafood. So the judges (Melanie Mannarino, Jeffrey Steingarten and Kelly Hu) got to sample ten said dishes.
Be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Chef Amanda Cohen.
Click HERE for the outcome.