David Rocco

ICA: Symon vs. Izard

symon banner ICA: Symon vs. NunezIron Chef Michael Symon faces off against challenger Stephanie Izard. Chef Izard, a James Beard Award nominee and Top Chef winner, is chef and owner of Girl & The Goat in Chicago. The Judges are Anthony Anderson, Karine Bakhoum and David Rocco (be sure to check out my exclusive interview with David HERE).

Stephanie IzardStephanie Izard is no stranger to anyone who follows cheflebrities.  She was the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef 4.  Today she is easily the most accomplished and successful TC winner.

After graduating from the Le Cordon Bleu program at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Chef Izard worked at the Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, as well as a couple other restaurants, but then made the very spur-of-the-moment decision to pack up and move to Chicago in 2001. She’s been in love with the city ever since. After landing in Chicago, Stephanie got a gig as garde manger at Jean-George Vongerichten’s Chicago outpost of Vong.

After leaving Vong, Steph worked as a roundsman at Spring under Shawn McClain and then sous chef at La Tache with Dale Levitsky. In 2006, she branched out on her own with the Bucktown restaurant Scylla, which was quickly named one of the 10 best restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit. Being both owner and chef of her own place was a huge learning experience, but she opted to close in 2008.

That’s when she appeared on Top Chef, after which Izard assembled a team to open Girl & The Goat in Chicago’s West Loop.  Food Network Star finalist and good friend Judson Allen assures me that Girl & The Goat is in his opinion the best restaurant in the Windy City.  The lady can bring it.

Top Chef vs. Iron Chef. Izard vs. Symon.  This should be one for the ages.  Be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Iron Chef Symon HERE.

Check below for the outcome.

 

Symon Izard
Taste 27 27
Originality 14 12
Plating 15 13
Total 56 52

ICA: Zakarian vs. Sawyer

Geoffrey ZakarianIron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian faces off against Challenger Jonathon Sawyer. Chef Sawyer, who previously appeared as Iron Chef Michael Symon’s sous chef on ‘Iron Chef America,’ is owner of The Greenhouse Tavern, in Cleveland, Ohio. Judges are Sophie Michell, David Rocco (be sure to check out my exclusive interview with David HERE) and Cady Huffman.

Jonathon SawyerChef Jonathon Sawyer, a Cleveland native, first learned to cook at the age of 13. He attended the University of Dayton and graduated from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts.  His post-graduate career started at The Biltmore Hotel in Miami and continued alongside renowned chef Charlie Palmer in New York at Kitchen 22.  Following his work with Charlie Palmer, Johnathon moved back to his hometown to open Lolita as Chef de Cuisine for his friend and colleague, Michael Symon.

In 2007, Jonathon moved back to his hometown to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant.  This dream was realized in the opening of Bar Cento, a modern Roman enoteca in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.  In April of 2009, Jonathon opened The Greenhouse Tavern which has been named one of the Top Ten Best New Restaurants in the United States by Bon Appetit.

When Chef Sawyer enters Kitchen Stadium waiting for him will be the newest Iron Chef Geoffrey “the Technician” Zakarian armed again with celebrity sous chef Alex Guarnaschelli in Battle: Mint.

Check below for the outcome.

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Zakarian            Sawyer
Taste: 24                Taste: 20
Plating: 13              Plating: 10
Originality: 12        Originality: 10
Total: 49                 Total: 40

Rachael Ray Leaves Her Publisher

From the WSJ:

New Recipe for Rachael Ray
Cookbook Author Switches Publishers
to Improve Reach on Digital Devices

Rachael Ray, the TV personality and best-selling cookbook author, has struck a new publishing deal she hopes will improve her reach with the growing number of people turning to digital devices for help in the kitchen.

Best known for her daytime talk show, “Rachael Ray,” as well as the magazine “Every Day with Rachael Ray,” Ms. Ray said Friday that she has left Random House imprint Clarkson Potter after publishing nine titles, and signed a new, three-book deal with Atria Books, an imprint of CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster Inc.

Rachael Ray
Clarkson Potter is the traditional publisher for Food Network/Cooking Channel stars including Ina Garten, Martha Stewart, Giada DeLaurentiis, Anne Burrell, David Rocco, Mario Batali, well you get it.  So is this a game changer?

Not really Simon & Schuster already publishes  Michael Ruhlman, Aaron Sanchez, Bobby Flay and Paula Deen.  Both of he latter also started with Clarkson Potter.  It’s just business.  But hey, Clarkson Potter, if you are looking for someone to fill RaRay’s void give me holler.

Seriously.

COOKING CHANNEL JUNE HIGHLIGHTS

Press Release from the Cooking Channel:

Ben Sargent Hosts First-Ever Seafood Series: ‘Hook, Line & Dinner’
New Episodes of ‘The Originals with Emeril’ and ‘From Spain With Love’
Season Premiere of Kelsey’s Essentialsand Summer Kicks Off with “Grilling Week”
NEW YORK – May 16, 2011 – Cooking Channel sizzles into summer with a series and season premiere along with countless new episodes of fan-favorite shows. New primetime series Hook, Line & Dinner reels viewers in on Tuesday, June 7th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT as host Ben Sargent teams up with local experts to secure the catch of the day and cook it up in the best seaside kitchens during this one-of-a-kind seafood-focused series. Emeril Lagasse highlights the country’s most iconic restaurants in new episodes of The Originals with Emeril on Thursdays at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT, and Annie Sibonney continues her culinary trip through notable Spanish regions in new episodes of From Spain with Love on Saturdays at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT. “Grilling Week”airsSunday, June 12th – Saturday, June 18th from 8pm-11pmET/5pm-8pmPT and features grilling-themed episodes of Cooking Channel favorites, while CookingChannelTV.com offers the ultimate burger guide for summer grilling. And, Kelsey Nixon returns for season two of Kelsey’s Essentials on Saturday, June 25th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT. Join the Cooking Channel conversation on Twitter and Facebook.
SERIES PREMIERE
By bike, boat, car or surfboard, Ben Sargent embarks on the ultimate coastal road trip in his primetime Cooking Channel series, Hook, Line & Dinner. From Florida and Louisiana to California and Oregon, Ben uncovers the country’s best seafood joints and regional specialties while taking viewers on the awesome journey from sea to table. Crab shacks, lobster pounds, and chowder houses – to Ben, they’re more than just places to get a hot meal. They’re hangouts for eccentrics, where locals swap stories and fishermen share tales from the sea. In each episode, Ben visits a new coastal locale where he teams up with the expert locals to secure the catch of the day, and then he follows that catch straight to the best seaside kitchens.
  • Premieres Tuesday, June 7th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT – SERIES PREMIERE! – “Bayou Country”
Ben’s first stop in Bayou Country is Bayou Sorrel to meet fisherman Carey Carline. Next, he heads to Breaux Bridge, the ‘Crawfish Capital of the World’ to visit Crazy ‘bout Crawfish and try his hand at making crawfish etouffee. Then, Ben’s off to learn how to boil purged crawfish at Cajun Claw and then finishes his trip with a visit to Café des Amis for Cajun catfish.
  • Premieres Tuesday, June 14th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT – “Miami & the Everglades”
Ben travels the Miami River aboard Lord of the Tides en route to Biscayne Bay to help harvest spiny lobster, and then he completes the ultimate sea-to-plate experience by sautéing lobster Cuban creole style at Garcia’s Seafood Grille. He whips up ‘down-home style’ frog’s legs at Coopertown Restaurant, and last on the adventure, Ben heads to sea with Lee Noble of Leebo’s Rock Bottom Bar to highlight South Florida’s other famous crustacean – the stone crab.
  • Premieres Tuesday, June 21st at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT – “Charleston, South Carolina”
Ben discovers Charleston’s current culinary renaissance with the region’s rustic Lowcountry cuisine and its seemingly timeless union with all things fresh and aquatic. He begins his journey at Bowens Island Restaurant, a local marsh-side oyster house. Then he heads to Husk in historic downtown Charleston for pan-seared sheepshead fish, and prepares stuffed blue crab at T.W. Graham & Company in nearby McClellanville.
  • Premieres Tuesday, June 28th at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT – “New Orleans”
Ben travels to New Orleans during Mardi Gras and joins shrimper Brian Drury for the catch before whisking the crustaceans into the kitchen with Leah Chase of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, where they specialize in creole gumbo. Then, Ben travels south of The Big Easy to meet Jacques Leonardi of Jack-Imo’s to blacken fish fillets New Orlean’s style. Finally, Ben journeys to the Mississippi Delta to get a first-hand look at oyster beds nearly a year after the oil spill before heading to Castnet Seafood to make a giant oyster po-boy.
FEATURED SERIES
  • Premieres Thursday, June 2nd at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT – “Atlanta”
Emeril ventures to Atlanta to visit Mary Mac’s Tea Room for spicy Cajun shrimp and grits, the Busy Bee Café for fried chicken and Horseradish Grill for char-grilled Georgia mountain trout, braised greens and fried green tomatoes.
  • Premieres Thursday, June 9th at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT – “New York”
Emeril heads to New York to visit Il Vagabondo for their world-famous Veal Parmesan, King Yum for butterfly shrimp and savory Wonton Soup and Keens Steakhouse for their popular Porterhouse steaks and timeless mutton chops.
  • Premieres Thursday, June 16th at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT“Chicago”
Emeril discovers culinary charms of the Windy City when he visits The Berghoff for a Reuben sandwich, Twin Anchors for Chicago-style ribs and creamed spinach and Gene and Georgetti’s for “garbage salad” and “Chicken Ala Joe.”
  • Premieres Thursday, June 23rd at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT – “Miami”
    Emeril explores three original establishments in Miami: Joe’s Stone Crab for tasty Key Lime Pie, Casa Larios for “fried cow,” and Tobacco Road for smoked ribs and chicken.
  • Premiering Thursday, June 30th at 10:30pmET / 7:30pm PT – “New Orleans”
Emeril returns to New Orleans to stop by Casamento’s for its fresh oysters, Café Du Monde for beignets and Antoine’s for Oysters Rockefeller and Baked Alaska.
From Spain With Love
  • Premieres Saturday, June 4th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Paella: Tradition in a Pan”
Annie explores all aspects of the traditional Spanish dish – paella. She visits a family in La Mancha to pick saffron and later talks to the “Queen of Saffron,” Chef Maria José San Román, at her restaurant in Alicante. She ends her journey in Barcelona, where everything – including paella – is done with a twist.
  • Premieres Saturday, June 11th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Madrid: Dusk ‘til Dine”
Annie starts her evening in Madrid at the historic Mercado San Miguel in the heart of downtown Madrid and later enjoys the local street food of the city. Annie savors a fantastic multi-course dinner at El Fogon de Trifon, and ends her evening with an early morning treat of hot chocolate and churros.
  • Premieres Saturday, June 18th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Preserves: Keeping the Flavor Alive”
Annie feasts on locally-sourced conservas (canned food) at Quimet y Quimet in Barcelona. She then prepares traditional dried salted cod (bacalao) in Bilbao and explores a range of meat smoking techniques in Catalonia. She also prepares chicken and vegetables in the traditional escabeche style.
  • Premieres Saturday, June 25th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Seafood To Die For”
Annie helps female clam diggers of Galicia gather clams before the tides come in and later risks the dangerous surf off of Spain’s “coast of death” in search of percebes (goose barnacles). She enjoys a Galician-style octopus party and works alongside Chef Marcelo Tejedor to cook local seafood in his restaurant in Santiago de Compostela.
SEASON PREMIERE
Kelsey’s Essentials: Season TwoPremieres Saturday, June 25th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT – “Summer Desserts”
Kelsey whips up delicious desserts including Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Icebox Cake; Sugar Cookie Crust Pizza; Watermelon, Ginger and Lime Granita; and Cucumber, Meyer Lemon and Lavender Granita.
ON-AIR “GRILLING WEEK”
Grilling Week: Sunday, June 12th – Saturday, June 18th from 8pm-11pmET/5pm-8pmPT
From healthy hamburgers and scrumptious sides to thirst-quenching libations and delicious desserts, Cooking Channel gets grilling with tasty themed episodes of fan favorite shows offering up expert tips and techniques perfect for summer entertaining.
Premiere and encore episodes of series and specials include: BBQ with Bobby Flay; BBQ Boot Camp; BBQ Circuit; Bitchin’ Kitchen; Ciao America; Eat St.; Everyday Italian; Food(ography); From Spain with Love; Giada’s Weekend Getaways; Hook, Line & Dinner; The Originals with Emeril; Two Fat Ladies; Unique Eats; and United Tastes of America.
ONLINE
From bison burgers and bacon-wrapped meatloaf burgers to crab burgers and Aussie chicken burgers, CookingChannelTV.com has the perfect patty to satisfy every craving, including exclusive recipes from Food Network Kitchens, Hungry Girl’s Lisa Lillien, Fan Fave Chef Kevin Gillespie, and Kelsey Nixon from Kelsey’s Essentials. CookingChannelTV.com also offers up a rare gem: a burger recipe from legendary chef, Julia Child.
NEW EPISODES
In addition to the above series, new episodes of hit Cooking Channel series air throughout June.
Chuck’s Day Off:June 5th, June 12th, June 19th and June 26th at 11amET/8amPT
Eat St.:June 14th, June 21st and June 28th at 8pmET/5pmPT
Unique Eats:June 5th, June 12th, June 19th and June 26th at 10pmET/7pmPT
Unique Sweets:June 19th and June 26th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT
David Rocco’s Dolce Vita:June 4th, June 11th, June 18th and June 25th at 1:30pmET/10:30amPT
From the Kitchens Of…:June 12th at 10amET/7amPT

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

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
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
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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