ICA: Garces vs. Raij
Iron Chef Jose Garces, paired with mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, faces off against Chef Alexandra Raij, paired with mixologist Charlotte Voisey. Chef Raij owns two New York City tapas restaurants, Txikito and El Quinto Pino. Judges are Michael Ruhlman, Dina Manzo and Adam Richman.
Tony Abou-Ganim was featured on the Iron Chef America competition with Mario Batali, “Battle Mango.” He parlayed that into demonstrating the art of cocktail preparation on the Fine Living Network (now the Cooking Channel) program “Raising the Bar: America’s Best Bar Chefs,” grew up in the bar business, learning the craft from his cousin Helen David at the Brass Rail Bar in Port Huron, Michigan.
Alexandra Raij along with Eder Montero are the chefs and owners of Txikito, the acclaimed Basque restaurant in Chelsea. Txikito is a love letter to a region whose cuisine is distinguished by simplicity and excellence in both ingredients and techniques. It is an unencumbered cuisine, one where humble ingredients like beans and peppers share the same value at the table as aged farmhouse cheeses, pristine fish and seafood, and unique breeds of lamb and cattle. Check out this interview with Chef Raij from GlutonForLife.com.
Charlotte Voisey has run bars in Barcelona, Buenos Aires and London. In 2002, with the Gorgeous Group, Charlotte opened classic cocktail bar Apartment 195 in London and soon after was named UK Bartender of the Year. In 2005 Charlotte was invited to guest bartend at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic and consequently fell in love with the US cocktail community, one year later Charlotte officially made the move stateside to represent her favorite spirit, Hendrick’s Gin.
The battle was Tequila and Tortillas. Check below for the outcome.
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Taste: 44 Taste: 39
Plating: 20 Plating: 13
Originality: 19 Originality: 14
Total: 83 Total: 66