ICA: Garces vs. Medina

NewICAHeader ICA: Garces vs Solomonov   Outcome

After a week off for the Super Bowl, ICA is back with another new episode.  This week Mexico City native Julian Medina enters Kitchen Stadium to challenge the master of Latin food, Iron Chef Jose Garces.

chef Julian MedinaChef Julian Medina first learned to cook alongside his father and grandfather while growing up in Mexico City.  When he was 17 he apprenticed at Chef Alejandro Heredia’s Hacienda de los Morales.  But two years later he followed his growing interest in French cuisine to Les Célébrités, one of the most famous French resutaurants in Mexico.  It took him just three years to rise to sous chef.

In the mid-nineties he came to the attention of fellow Mexico City native Richard Sandoval who was just starting to build his empire of 17 restaurants in four countries.  Sandoval liked what he saw in the young chef and shipped him off to New York to be the Chef de Cuisine at Maya.

While working in the Big Apple, Medina earned his culinary degree at the French Culinary Institute.  Having mastered both Mexican and French cuisine Medina ventured into Asian fusion as the executive chef as SushiSamba, a NYC eatery blending Japanese and South American flavors.  Medina moved to Miami to open SushiSamba7 before returning to Sandoval’s employ as a corporate chef developing menus for several restaurants.

Today Medina has his own growing restaurant empire with Toloache (Maiden Lane and also W. 50th St.) and Yerbabuena (23 Ave. as well as Perry St.).  Chef Julian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Kitchen Stadium but will it be enough against Iron Chef Garces?  We shall see.

Judges for Battle: Mexican Chocolate were John O’Hurley, Karine Bakhoum, Michael and Rick Mast.  This makes the fifth time some form of chocolate was the secret ingredient.

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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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
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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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