Esquire Magazine

ICA: Symon vs. Johnson

Iron Chef America

Challenging Chef Wayne Johnson traded in an accounting career for a life in the kitchen. Can he count on a win against Iron Chef Michael Symon, or will his record be in the red?

Wayne Johnson comes to the Emerald City (Seattle) from the Bluegrass State (Kentucky) with a stop over in Spain (Spain).  The Appalachian chef laid the Chef Wayne Johnsonfoundation for his Andalusian cuisine first by studying at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.  After matriculating in Napa Vally he was off for a year in Spain honing those skills.

Today he is the executive chef at Andaluca in Seattle’s Mayflower Hotel.  Prior to that Chef Johnson served the same position at San Francisco’s Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel.  Under Johnson Andaluca has flourished receiving countless honors and features in monthlies like Seattle Magazine, Esquire Magazine and of course Zagat’s.

Waiting for Johnson is Iron Chef Michael Symon, who has passed Mario Batali for the third most battles of any American Iron Chef.  Symon still sports in astonishing 82% winning percentage.  Day-yum!

The judges for Battle: Cucumber were Alison Sweeney, Michael Ruhlman and Cady Huffman.

Check below for the outcome.

AWCbanner Food Network Star 7 EP5 Recap

Symon                Johnson
Taste: 25                Taste: 20
Plating: 10              Plating: 10
Originality: 10       Originality: 8
Total: 45                Total: 38

ICA: Cora vs. Smith – Outcome

SPOILER ALERT: The following information is the outcome of Cora vs. Smith.  If you want information on the combatants click HERE.  If you are only interested in the outcome read on.

Battle: Grapes

Cora                             Smith

Taste: 24                     Taste: 25
Plating: 14                  Plating:  12
Originality: 11            Originality: 13
Total: 49                      Total: 50

Winner: Chef Smith

Judges:  Donatella Arpaia, Eva La Rue and Anya Fernald.

ICA: Cora vs. Smith

When Holly Smith first entered Kitchen Stadium it was not how she had envisioned it.  She was never supposed to enter from the challenger’s side.  She was supposed to enter as an Iron Chef.  That was the plan anyhow.  Last summer Smith joined a gaggle of would-be’s vying to be the Next Iron Chef.  Alas it was not to be.  Jose Garces went home with the coveted title that has been held by less people than have walked on the moon.

So here she is finally entering Kitchen Stadium and even though it is a compromised dream it is still a dream fulfilled.  The opportunity for redemption at hand.  On the other side awaits Cat Cora.  Though she sports the lowest winning percentage of any Iron Chef she has been on a tare since she and life partner Jennifer completed their dueling pregnancies.

Holly Smith’s road to Iron Chef America started in Monkton, Maryland where she grew up in a family of foodies.  That early love of food eventually lead her to attend the Baltimore International Culinary College.  Holly completed an externship in Ireland with Master Chef Peter Timmins while at BICC.

After culinary school Smith took a position with Tom Douglas at the Dahlia Lounge in Seattle.  Next she helped Chef Tamara Murphy open Brasa.  A year later Holly opened Cafe Juanita in the Emerald City and the accolades have been pilling up for the better part of a decade.  Esquire Magazine’s “The Top 22″ 2000, Bon Appetit “Best New Casual Restaurant” 2001, Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” 2000-2008, James Beard Nominations 2007, 2008 and 2009 and a James Beard Awards Winner for Best Chef Northwest in 2008.  Those are only a few of the roughly three dozen awards Smith has brought to Cafe Juanita.

Chef Smith brings her Northern Italian cuisine with it’s sauces rich with butter and cream to challenge the light Mediterranean fare preferred by Iron Chef Cora.  Donatella Arpaia, Eva La Rue and Anya Fernald are seated at the judge’s table, forks at the ready, Alton Brown is perched upon his observation tower, Kevin Brach wanders the floor and the Chairman has his metallic-toned shirt meticulously pressed.  Let Battle: Grapes begin.

SPOILER ALERT: Click HERE for the outcome.

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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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