ICA: Zakarian vs. Casanova
In his debut battle, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian takes on Challenger Chef Victor Casanova. Judges are Karine Bakhoum, Art Smith and Jill Zarin. Chef Casanova is Executive Chef at Culina, an Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills.
Over the years, Victor Casanova trained and developed his craft in some of the country’s best restaurants. Fresh out of culinary school, Casanova honed his skills at celebrated establishments such as the French-American DB Bistro Moderne and the American Gramercy Tavern. He was sous-chef at New York’s Ocean Grill and Las Vegas’ Neros at Caesars Palace and spent four years at Buca Giovanni in San Francisco, where he designed a boutique all-Italian wine list while executing a daily farmers’ market menu. He commenced his Italian training with Chef Casare Casella at New York’s renowned Beppe, then advanced it further under Chef Scott Conant at the chic, Northern Italy-influenced Alto.
After his salad days and a whirlwind culinary tour through the Big Apple, Casanova headed west to claim the post of chef de cuisine of Il Terrazzo in Scottsdale’s Phoenician Resort, where he quickly earned rave reviews. So, what’s his secret? Fuggedaboudit, he’ll never tell.
Casanova’s ongoing love affair with Italian food was ignited by Casella at Beppe, where he learned the spirit of the authentic Italian kitchen, an equally authentic passion for cooking and the flavourful secrets of Tuscan cuisine. Most of all, as Casanova conveys on each and every plate at Culina, Italian fare is only as good as the ingredients that go into it. This emphasis on seasonality, quality, simplicity and passion infuses the philosophy he brings to Culina, Modern Italian.
Chef Victor Casanova gets the honor of facing the newest Iron Chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, making his debut in Battle: Brook Trout. In Zakarian’s corner is quite the sous chef, none other than Alex Guarnaschelli.
Check below for the outcome.
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Taste: 30 Taste: 26
Plating: 15 Plating: 14
Originality: 15 Originality: 13
Total: 60 Total: 53