ICA: Flay vs. Stein
After taking a few weeks off so the sugar addicts could satisfy their Jones with some mind-numbing cake bake-offs ICA is finally back for some real cooking. It’s the Windy City vs. the Big Apple when Chicago-based Chef Todd Stein enters Kitchen Stadium to take on Iron Chef Bobby Flay. Who’s cuisine will reign supreme?
Chef Todd Stein has been a mainstay of Chi-Town’s restaurant scene for several years going back to his apprentice days at Gordon Sinclair’s self-named Gordon Restaurant. From there he worked his way up the lardon ladder with stages at Le Bernardin and Moulin de la Vierge before being named Chef de Cuisine at MK the Restaurant in 2003. Two years later he was promoted to executive chef.
Stein left Chicago in 2006 to take the position of Consulting Executive Chef for Minneapolis’ B.A.N.K. and a year later he was off to Sin City to run the show at David Burke Las Vegas. In 2009 he returned to Chicago to take command of Roof, then Cibo Matto (where he was employed during taping) and ultimately to head up The Flourentine starting in 2010.
Along the way he has collected an impressive list of accolades highlighted by being named Best New Chef by Chicago magazine and making Cibo Matto a 2010 James Beard semifinalist for Best New Restaurant and Time Out Chicago’s Best Hotel Restaurant.
If you’d like to learn more about Chef Stein the good folks at Zagat sat down with him last year for a terrific interview that you can read HERE. With a back ground in New American cuisine and classic French it is the flavors of Italy where Stein’s star shines brightest. We’ll see how bright when he enters Kitchen Stadium to take on Iron Chef Bobby Flay in Battle Mussels.
Chef Flay was once again assisted by Sous Chef Rene Forsberg (who I believe oversees Flay’s Mesa Grill outpost in the Bahamas) and Christine Sanchez, Culinary Director of the Iron Chef’s company, Bold Food. The two cutest sous chefs in all of Iron Chefdom, when do we get to see Renee with her own show? The judges for this battle were Julie Chen, David Rocco and Laura Calder.
If you haven’t already be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Iron Chef Bobby Flay (HERE) or my extensive interview with judge David Rocco just before the Cooking Channel went on the air last year (HERE).
Check below for the outcome.
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Taste: 25 Taste: 25
Plating: 12 Plating: 13
Originality: 12 Originality: 10
Total: 49 Total: 48