ICA: Forgione vs Cantrel
The holidays are behind us and with them has gone the special battles pitting network stars against one another in clever self-promotion challenges. Now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty again. Entering Kitchen Stadium is Chef Nicholas Cantrel of Bistrot Bagatelle in New York City. Waiting for him is the newest Iron Chef Marc Forgione.
Cantrel’s specialty is French cuisine with Mediterranean overtones. He seamlessly combines simplicity with playful twists and clean flavors a style he undoubtedly developed while growing up in Normandy. And as is the way in Europe he began working in restaurants at the age of 14, a system that predates culinary schools by a millennium.
Since those early days in Northern France he was compiled a pretty impressive resume. He spent nine years learning from the great Alain Decasse. Chef Nicholas also toiled in the kitchens of Daniel Boulud and Geoffrey Zakarian before being named the executive chef at Bobo in New York City. This past summer he was one of a handful of chefs selected to cook for the James Beard Organization’s summer gala Chefs & Champagne®. These days his cuisine draws on French technique as its foundation but he will incorporate any style that presents itself.
It will be interesting to see who the judges are since Cantrel’s Bistrot Bagatelle is represented by KB Network News the restaurant PR firm headed by frequent ICA judge Karine Bakhoum. For a while there had been whispers that Bakhoum was generous whenever adjudicating former client Bobby Flay’s battles. I never noticed any leniency but like I say there were whispers.
The judges for Battle: Gruyère were Laurent Tourondel, 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.
Next time Jose Garces vs. Michael Solomonov.