Isaac Mizrahi

ICA: Flay vs Torres

Another rerun.  I guess we won’t get any new ICA’s until after NFNS and Next Iron Chef 3 are done.  Too bad as it is still the best food contest on TV by a mile.  Why?  Because it is the only one that is just about food.  Here’s what had to say about Flay vs. Torres:

sue torres on wannabetvchef.comTonight was an “Iron Chef America” challenge between Chef Sue Torres and Iron Chef Bobby Flay. The secret ingredient was bananas. The judges were author Mark Bittman (a first time judge on ICA), Isabel Gonzalez (from InStyle magazine), and fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. Where are Ted Allen and Jeffrey Steingarten? I miss them!

Iron Chef Flay presented five dishes: plantain crusted snapper (which Isaac said was complex and delicious), banana curry (which Isabel felt was too sweet but Mark disagreed), plantain tamale, banana dessert duo (which Isaac felt was too salty), and banana sundae.

Chef Torres also presented five dishes: plantain tacos with tuna (Isabel though the plantain was the perfect receptacle), tacos al pastor (Isaac felt the flavors were delicious but questioned whether the pork was undercooked), plantain gordita, plantain crusted halibut (which Isaac raved was the best dish of the night), and caramelized bananas.

CAUTION: Beyond here there be spoilers.

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Flay                              Torres
Taste: 26                       Taste: 23
Plating: 12                     Plating: 12
Originality: 14                Originality: 13
Total: 52                       Total: 48

ICA: Cora vs. Grieveson

There was no new Iron Chef this past Sunday so we’re stuck with a rerun this week.  It is Battle: Butter between Iron Chef Cat Cora and challenger Koren Grieveson.

Koren Grieveson on WannabeTVchef.comThe judges for the episode were Isaac Mizrahi, Clint Arthur and Elizabeth Blau a group that was labeled by one poster at ChowHound as the “Worst Panel of Judges Ever.”  It appears many ICA fans had issues with this episode suggesting it was fixed, declaring a secret ingredient like “butter” lame and calling it Battle Lesbian because both competitors are gay.  I find this distasteful.  The sexual orientation of the competitors is not at all important.

However, at least one site, Velvet Park (subtitled Dyke Culture in Bloom) celebrated the episode solely because of the contestants’ sexual orientation.  Tell me, how is that any different than those who discriminate against people for the same reason?  I can tell you; it isn’t any different.  In fact it’s worse; it’s hypocritical.  Bigotry is bigotry.  Between a bigot and a hypocrite give me the bigot, at least you can count on them to tell the truth.

Any way Koren Grieveson is the chef de cuisine at avec in Chicago and according to the restaurant’s web site she, “developed her singular style and meticulous palate during a five-year partnership with Executive Chef Paul Kahan at Blackbird restaurant, where she served as Sous Chef from 1998 until 2003. Working with the collaborative chef, Grieveson was part of the team that launched Blackbird onto the world stage, earning the restaurant accolades for its extraordinary cuisine.”

And the winner is . . .

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a tie.

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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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