Next Iron Chef 3 Finale

Well it is finally here.  The Next Iron Chef 3 finale is this week and when the dust settles a new Iron Chef will join the “veritable pantheon” of Kitchen Stadium.  The two chefs vying for this lofty title are Marco Canora and Marc Forgione.  Both are extremely talented chefs but only one can be the Next Iron Chef.

Marco CanoraMarco Canora (Hearth, Terroir, and Terroir TriBeca all in New York) – he first hit the New York scene back in 1996 as a line cook at renowned Gramercy Tavern where he flourished under the mentoring of Tom Colicchio.  Colicchio helped Chef Marco earn a stint working with famed Italian chef Fabio Picchiand at his famous Cibreo in Florence.  Canora has since made a name for himself by creating innovative and healthy Italian cuisine.  Canora’s first cookbook Salt to Taste: The Keys To Confident, Delicious Cooking (available at amazon) was nominated for a James Beard Award.

All through the contest Marco has put out consistently innovative food that was both creative and inspired – his cooking is truly Iron Chef caliber.  The negative’s on Canora’s NIC appearance have been his dishonorable tactics and constant whining.  However, television is a fickle bitch and it is likely that the producers could have used equally unflattering footage on all of the chefs.  I can honestly say that I would love to try his food and it is likely that he is a very likable person.  I have no doubt that he’d be a fun guy to grab a beer with.  After all it is unfair to judge the whole of a person’s character based solely on a few hours of footage that may have been selected specifically to make him look like a bad guy.

Marc ForgioneMarc Forgione (Marc Forgione in New York) – the son of the “godfather of American cuisine” Chef Larry Forgione.  The younger Forgione has long been known has Larry’s son but that ended eight weeks ago when NIC began airing.  Today if you Google “Chef Forgione” the first page of results yields only one article about Larry and the rest are about his talented son.

Marc’s forte is New American cuisine of which Gael Greene says, “Not a molecular burp anywhere.  Just real food most food-obsessed New Yorkers want to eat.”  High praise from a high priestess of haute cuisine.  Though he began cooking professionally at age 16 with his famous father, Marc also did some time working with Michel Guerard in Eugenie les Bains, Patricia Yeo at AZ and Pazo, Laurent Tourondel at BLT Steak and with Puck disciple Kazuto Matsusaka .  He also graduated from the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at UMASS Amherst.

Throughout the contest Marc has offered some of the most creative dishes of the season.  Not only is his food Iron Chef worthy but he has a firm respect for what an Iron Chef should be.  The biggest complaint that people have had about Forgione is that his personality isn’t exciting but that critique comes from reality TV buffs not foodies.  That’s what is great about Iron Chef, it isn’t about personalities, it’s about food.  If you want a cooking contest where food is merely an after thought then might I suggest Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen.  An Iron Chef doesn’t need to be charismatic or controversial; an Iron Chef should be innovative with a Bushido-like sense of honor.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/crtio/status/4179639417184256″]

The judges for Battle: Ultimate Thanksgiving Feast were Donatella Arpaia and Simon Majumdar plus Iron Chefs Michael Symon, Bobby Flay, and Morimoto.

Click HERE for the outcome.

Have you missed an episode of NIC because you were caught up in an epic game of Jenga?  No problem, you can get caught up HERE.  Be sure to check out my exclusive interviews with Celina Tio (HERE), Mary Dumont (HERE) and Maneet Chauhan (HERE).  If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my recent interview with Marc Forgione HERE.

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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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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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