ICA: Forgione vs. Cooper

iron chef America, wannabe tv chef

The ninth season of Iron Chef America is here and it features a battle between Chef RJ Cooper and Next Iron Chef 3 winner Marc Forgione. You’ll also notice a slight format change. After each chef presents their menu the Chairman then asks the panel for their overall opinion of the meal.

RJ Cooper of Rogue 24Chef RJ Cooper, formerly of Vidalia in Washington DC, is the chef/owner of Rogue 24 –  an ultra high end eatery in the nation’s capitol.  As it stands now, Rogue 24 is the most expensive restaurant in the Beltway but the clientele has no issues with doling out the high prices.  Let’s face it, the clientele is made up of politicians who are either putting the tab on their Congressional accounts or having it picked up by lobbyists looking to subvert the democratic process.

Cooper is a James Beard Award winner originally from Detroit.  He attended the The Culinary School at Kendall College in Illinois before moving to Atlanta to work with Daniel Schaffhauser at The Ritz Carlton.  He has also worked with Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin and he was in charge of the Crow’s Nest Restaurant in The Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska.  He eventually found himself at Vidalia in 2004 but left this past summer to open his own place.

His opponent will be Next Iron Chef 3 winner Marc Forgione who makes his first appearance in Kitchen Stadium as an Iron Chef.  To battle the newest Iron Chef, Cooper appointed Rogue 24’s chef de cuisine Harper McClure along with notable DC pastry chef and long-time friend David Guas of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery.

Cooper and Guas are long time friends as well as comrades in the kitchen at countless charitable events over the past 10 years. In celebration of this exciting event, Cooper is hosting a benefit for Chefs as Parents (a chef driven, non-profit organization that is working to improve the quality of school lunch programs) coinciding with the premiere.  With a $50 donation per person, attendees can enjoy savory hors d’oeuvres from each of the renowned chefs in addition to a mouth watering array of fresh Mid-Atlantic oysters provided by Rappahannock River Oysters, LLC at a special viewing party that will be held from 8pm -12am at Long View Gallery (1234 9th St., NW), a Blagden Alley neighbor of Rogue 24.

The judges for Battle: Bell Pepper were Karine Bakhoum, Adam Richman and Nigella Lawson

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my recent interview with the newest Iron Chef, Marc Forgione HERE.

Click HERE for the outcome.

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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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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
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2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
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