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ICA: Garces vs. Pomeroy

Someone call the FBI and cancel the APB on Jose Garces!  Last year’s Next Iron Chef winner makes an appearance with just his third battle as an Iron Chef.

Naomi Pomeroy on WannabeTVchef.comChef Naomi Pomeroy comes to town to do battle from her acclaimed restaurant Beast in Portland, Oregon.  Beast is a six-course prix-fixe restaurant that celebrates the glories of meat.  The menu changes based on what is in season with one exception, a footnote that reads “Substitutions politely declined.”  Amen!

Fresh off an appearance on the Cooking Channel’s Food(ography) in June, this one-time vegetarian now boasts a meat-centric menu that recently landed her in O Magazine as one of “10 Women on the Rise.”  In 2009 Food & Wine honored Pomeroy with a Best New Chef Award for the cuisine she calls “refined French grandmother.”  In 2008 Portland Monthly magazine named her, Chef of the Year.  That same year she was one of six ladies featured in a Food & Wine article entitled Women Chefs: The Next Generation and the restaurant she co-owns with Micah Camden, Beast, was named co-Restaurant of the Year by Diner.

Chef Naomi is a genuine individual crediting neither apprenticeship nor culinary school for her success but rather reading.  She is obsessed with cookbooks and food history.  She attributes Richard Olney, Larousse and Harold McGee for her culinary education.  She is famous for her Smoky Tomato Soup with Maple-Candied Bacon.  Her cuisine was once described by Karen Brooks of the Oregonian as being like, “a blind date between Julia Child and Anthony Bourdain.”

Pomeroy’s appearance should squelch rumors that Jose Garces is no longer on the show.  Or does it?  In a June interview at OregonLive.com Pomeroy reveals that the episode was actually shot in October of ’09.  Probably around the same time that the other Garces battles would have been taped.  So again the questions pops up, “Is Garces still an Iron Chef?”  Why are they doing The Next Iron Chef 3?  The plot thickens.

The judges for Battle Truffle were Jose Andres, Karine Bakhoum and Jeffrey Chodorow.

Click HERE for the outcome.

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ICA: Garces vs. Pomeroy – Outcome

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

The judges for Battle Truffle were Jose Andres, Karine Bakhoum and Jeffrey Chodorow.  Alton Brown had the quote of the century when he stated that white truffle is, “better than 97% of the sex you will have in your lifetime.”

Garces                         Pomeroy
Taste: 19                     Taste: 22
Plating: 10                    Plating:  7
Originality: 11               Originality: 8
Total: 40                      Total: 37

That is one of the lowest scoring ICA’s of all time.  Apparently the judges weren’t pleased.

Garces vs. Pomeroy

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Review: The Competent Cook by Lauren Braun Costello

Doing this blog I get to see a lot of books about cooking.  Some are great, some a bit less.  However, The Competent Cook by Lauren Braun Costello really stands out.  It will hold an honored place on my book shelf between McGee and Julia for years to come.

The author, Costello, is a veteran of the kitchen having founded Gotham Caterers in New York.  Additionally she has worked as a private chef, recipe tester (The Joy of Cooking), a food stylist (The Early Show), and a culinary instructor.  She holds a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts with distinction from The French Culinary Institute in New York City.

Like her popular column at CDKitchen.com, also entitled The Competent Cook, Costello’s book is way more than a collection of recipes.  It is a how-to guide to setting up a functional kitchen from scratch.  Which pots and pans to get, what utensils to buy, the whole nine yards.

In fact, you won’t see the first recipe until page 108.  The early chapters are instructions on the basics – kitchen organization, essential tools and techniques for everyday cooking, baking, grilling, health conscious, et al.  There is even a chapter on how to shop and store food properly.

For you recipe-mongers there are 150 new basics all modern cooks should have in their repertoire. There are four appendices as well including a way-better-than-average glossary and measurement conversions.  The equipment materials appendix spells at the attributes and limitations of glass, cast iron, stainless and other cooking surfaces.  The section on cooking with eggs is McGee-esque with its scientific explanation of every single way to cook an egg.  It’s text book eggology.

The Competent Cook is perfect for the graduate just striking out on their own.  It is also a terrific house-warming gift.  And absolutely the best bridal shower present ever.  EVER!

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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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