flay

ICA: Flay vs. Allegretti

flay banner ICA: Flay vs. HastingsIron Chef Bobby Flay faces off against challenger Alain Allegretti, executive chef at La Promenade des Anglais in New York City. Judges are Simon Majumdar, Cady Huffman and Candice Kumai.

Alain Allegretti hails from a prominent culinary background developed in kitchens across France and the United States. His cooking style pairs cultural influences from his home city of Nice with the guidance culled from famed chefs including Jacques Maximin and Alain Ducasse.

Alain AllegrettiAllegretti’s career, in both France and New York, stretches from helming the kitchen at legendary restaurants to his own eponymous restaurant. He was the executive chef at the New York Ritz-Carlton’s highly acclaimed restaurant, Atelier, where he was instrumental in aiding the restaurant to achieve multi-star reviews by prominent publications. Allegretti honed his culinary skills at several Michelin star rated restaurants including the two-star Restaurant Le Chantecler, three-star rated Chez Chapel in Mionnay and three-star rated Restaurant Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo.

Allegretti arrived on the New York restaurant scene in 2001 as Co-Executive Chef at Sirio Maccioni’s Le Cirque 2000. In 2008 Allegretti opened his eponymous restaurant Allegretti in the Flatiron District and earned a rave 2 star review by Frank Bruni in the New York Times, along with glowing critique from the New York Post, Time Out New York, Insatiable Critic, among other outlets. Allegretti’s newest flagship restaurant, La Promenade des Anglais, features cuisine inspired by the French Riviera with subtle influences from various regions of Italy as well, bringing the glamour, the romance and the food of the French Riviera to the fashionable Chelsea district.

Allegretti’s résumé is world class but there is no venue in the world like Kitchen Stadium especially when Iron Chef Bobby Flay is waiting for you.  Saddle up for Battle: Canned Tuna.

Check below for the outcome.

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Flay                   Allegretti
Taste: 25                Taste: 20
Plating: 13              Plating: 12
Originality: 13        Originality: 9
Total: 51                 Total: 41

ICA: Flay vs. Hastings

Iron Chef Bobby FlayIron Chef Bobby Flay faces off against Challenger Chris Hastings, chef and owner at Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Judges are Anthony Anderson, Donatella Arpaia Stewart and Simon Majumdar.

It has taken 12 years but there is finally a chef from Alabama battling in Kitchen Stadium.  Why is this a big deal?  Alabama has one of the richest food traditions in the country – West Indies Salad, Fried Green Tomatoes, White BBQ Sauce, et al.  And what a chef they have chosen.

Christopher (along with wife Idie Hastings) is the chef and co-owner of the nationally celebrated Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama.  Located in a historic Chef Chris Hastings Hot and Hot Fish Clubbuilding on Birmingham’s Southside, the award-winning restaurant has earned a reputation for serving some of the finest, freshest dishes in the region.

Hastings graduated from the Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Providence, Rhode Island and then returned to the South in 1984 to work at the Atlanta Ritz Carlton.  After stints at Highlands Bar and Grill and Botega, Chef Chris moved to San Francisco, where he helped Bradley Ogden open the Lark Creek Inn.

In 1995, the Hastings returned to Birmingham to open the Hot and Hot Fish Club where Chris focused on the dinner menu and Idie used her pastry experience (earned in the kitchens of Jeremiah Towers’ Stars Café and Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio) to develop the dessert menu. Today, although the menus change daily to highlight the best possible products available, several signature items remain: the Hot and Hot Shrimp and Grits made with Country Ham, Fresh Thyme, Tomatoes and Ver Jus is always a favorite among the locals.

For more on Chef Christopher Hastings and the Hot and Hot Fish Club check out this great article from the Year of Alabama Food web site.

To see what happen when Hastings takes on Iron Chef Bobby Flay in Battle: Sausage tune into the Food Network this Sunday at 10/9 CT.  If you haven’t already be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Iron Chef Bobby Flay (HERE).

For the outcome check below.

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Flay                   Hastings
Taste: 29                Taste: 15
Plating: 12              Plating: 14
Originality: 11         Originality: 14
Total: 52                 Total: 53

ICA: Flay/Vallodolid vs. Morimoto/Zimmern

ICABanner ICA: Zakarian vs. Casanova

Two Iron Chefs are teamed up with special guests in this All-Star Kitchen Stadium battle. Marcela Valladolid, who appears on Food Network’s ‘Mexican Made Easy’ is paired with Iron Chef Bobby Flay; and Andrew Zimmern, of Travel Channel’s ‘Bizarre Foods,’ joins Iron Chef Masuhara Morimoto. Judges are Penn Jillette, Donatella Arpaia Stewart and Simon Majumdar.

Marcela ValladolidGrowing up around expert and traditional cooks in Tijuana, Mexico, Marcela was raised to be passionate about food. She jumped straight into a culinary life by working her first job at her aunt’s cooking school in Baja, Mexico. She realized she too wanted to pursue this growing love for food full time and enrolled in the Los Angeles Culinary Institute, and later graduated from the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School in Paris as a classical French pastry chef.

Marcela went on to run a catering company and teach children about the culinary arts in Tijuana. She collected recipes and applied her knowledge and skills (of her family’s cooking traditions) to map out her dreams. Marcela eventually parlayed her classical training and ability to become a food editor at Bon Appétit magazine.

Andrew Zimmern is a James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, food writer, teacher and is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, host and co-executive Andrew Zimmernproducer of Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, he travels the globe, exploring food in its own terroir.

In May 2010, Zimmern won the prestigious James Beard Award for ‘Outstanding Television Food Personality.’ He is a three-time Beard Award nominee.  Zimmern is a contributing editor at Food & Wine Magazine, an award-winning monthly columnist at Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine and a senior editor at Delta Sky Magazine. As a freelance journalist, his work has appeared in numerous national and international publications.

Bobby’s faithful (and scorching hot) sous chef Renee Forsberg joined him.  Renee and Marcella on his team?  Bobby Flay is one lucky man.  Battle: Sea Whistle Salmon should be fun.

Check below for the outcome.

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Flay/Vallodolid            Morimoto/Zimmern
Taste: 27                          Taste: 25
Plating: 11                        Plating: 14
Originality: 13                   Originality: 11
Total: 51                           Total: 50

ICA: Flay vs. Knibb

Iron Chef Bobby FlayWest coast chef, Jason Knibb challenges Bobby Flay to a special seafood showdown. Whose cuisine will reign supreme?

Chef Jason KnibbJason Knibb is the executive chef at NINE-TEN in La Jolla, CA and has been since 2003.  Prior to that the Jamaican born chef was the executive chef at Robert Redford’s Sundance Village where he oversaw all food & beverage operations located on the resort property, including the Foundry Grill and the renowned Tree Room restaurant. Knibb started his career working with Wolfgang Puck at L.A.‘s Eureka restaurant.

Chef Knibb has also logged time in the kitchens of Yamaguchi, Tournant and Rockenwagner.  His career has seen him work in Hawaii, Poland, Southern California and he was even profiled on Bobby Flay’s “Food Nation – Best of Utah” episode.  In 2009 Knibb was inducted into the San Diego Chef Hall of Fame – he was one of the first three chefs to be inducted.

Waiting for Knibb in Kitchen Stadium is Iron Chef Bobby Flay and his team of haute hotties Rene Forsberg and Christine Sanchez.  In 2007 I interviewed Bobby for ‘Zalea Magazine.  You probably can’find a copy of that issue anymore but you can enjoy the interview in my Kindle single Dinner Conversations: 39 Interviews with America’s Favorite Culinary Movers and Shakers.

The judges for Battle: Caviar were Cady Huffman, Simon Majumdar and Laura Calder.

Check below for the outcome.

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Flay                   Knibb
Taste: 19                Taste: 14
Plating: 12              Plating: 12
Originality: 13        Originality: 11
Total: 44                 Total: 38

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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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