julie white

7 Questions with Maria Hines

If Iron Chef America host Alton Brown has said it once he’s said it a dozen times, when it comes to fish you do not want to battle Morimoto.  How true, out of Morimoto son’s thirty some-odd battles he’s has only lost twice when the secret ingredient was fish.  Once was to Seattle chef Tom Douglas in Battle Wild Salmon.  Oddly enough the only other chef to defeat the senior Iron Chef in a fish battle was also from Seattle.

Just recently Titlh chef/owner Maria Hines handed Morimoto his second loss in Battle Pacific Cod.  Judges John T. Edge, Julie White and Sam Haskell felt that Hines prepared the best tasting dishes awarding her 28 points in the “flavor” category to just 23 for the Iron Chef.  But Iron Chef is only the latest accolade for the  Bowling Green, Ohio native.  Chef Hines also won a James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Northwest in 2009 and was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs of 2005.  Chef Maria is a founding member of Seattle Restaurant Week.

Maria Hines 7 QuestionsAfter studying at Mesa College she soon found herself working in kitchens in New York, France, California, Washington D.C. and of course Seattle, first at Earth & Ocean and now with Tilth.  Hines was also a contestant on the second season of Top Chef: Masters which was won by Marcus Samuelson.

Recently Chef Maria Hines was courteous enough to answer 7 Questions:

1. How old were you when you first started to cook?

8

2. When did you decide that you could make food your career?

16 years old

3. Which chefs have influenced you the most?

Alice Waters

4. If you hadn’t followed this career path, what other career could you see yourself in?

Photography

5. What’s the highlight of your career so far?

Owning Tilth restaurant.

6. Only two chefs have ever bested Iron Chef Morimoto in a battle involving fish, yourself and Tom Douglas.  What is it about Seattle that makes the chefs so proficient with seafood?

We are surrounded by an amazing seafood bounty in the Northwest.

7. What’s next for Chef Maria Hines?

This is it. I love Tilth.

native of Bowling Green, Ohio.

ICA: Morimoto vs Hines

Iron Chef America on WannabeTVchef

Finally!  It has been 6 years, 213 days, 9 hours and 37 minutes since the last Iron Chef: America.  At least if feels like it anyway.  With Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen wrapping up their seasons, NFNS hitting it’s stride and the MasterChef premiere it is nice to get back to the TV cooking competition that started it all (sort of) and remains the best.

Maria Hines on WannabeTVchef.comFrom the Emerald City comes Maria Hines and her New American cuisine.  Hines insists that the food at her restaurant, Tilth, be prepared with certified-organic or wild ingredients that are locally sourced.  The approach has won the chef/owner a James Beard Award winner for Best Chef of the Northwest in 2009 and saw her named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs of 2005.  Chef Maria is founding member of Seattle Restaurant Week.

The challenger is a native of Bowling Green, Ohio.  After studying at Mesa College her career has seen her working in kitchens in New York, France, California, Washington D.C. and of course Seattle, first at Earth & Ocean and now with Tilth.  The Top Chef: Masters alum now faces off against the dean of Iron Chefs, the incomparable Morimoto.

The theme ingredient is Pacific cod.  You never want to face Morimoto in a fish challenge.  The judges were John T. Edge, Julie White and Sam Haskell.

Click HERE for the outcome.

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ICA: Symon vs. Fraser

iron chef america, wannabe tv chef

After a week off, Iron Chef America is back.  This week we are treated to a battle between Chef John Fraser and Iron Chef Michael Symon.  Kitchen Stadium is ready so let the battle begin.

Chef Neal FraserChef John Fraser according to StarChefs.com:

John Fraser insists he wasn’t shooting for 3-stars when he opened Dovetail; the New York Times’ starry review made him change some things, in fact. What opened as a chic but neighborhood-focused Upper West Side restaurant drew such acclaim that Fraser put his servers in ties and made a tasting menu – but the comfortable, approachable character stayed the same.

Fraser’s first exposure to the culinary industry came as he pursued a degree in anthropology from the University of California, San Diego. He worked as a bartender and line cook during the year, and spent summers in Montauk, Long Island, cooking in various American bistros. Exposure to freshly-caught fish and local Northeast produce captivated his attention, and con­firmed his inkling that a career as a chef was the right path to pursue. He proceeded to cook for two notable Los Angeles establishments, Cocco Pazzo and Raffles L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, rising through the ranks to become sous chef at both locations. Seeking to further cultivate his fine dining expertise, he moved to Napa Valley to become a chef de partie under Thomas Keller at the French Laundry.

Fraser spent two years steeping in the renowned chef’s philosophy of seasonal ingredients and playful creativity, and Keller’s influence shines through on the creative, refined dishes of Dovetail. Stages in Paris at Taillevent and L’Arpege were influential as well – they gave him a global perspective on haute cuisine, and inspired him to move to Paris for a year to return to Taillevent and Maison Blanche, and spend a year exploring the city’s food markets and learning from local restaurateurs, farmers and chefs.

Back in New York, Fraser opened an intimate Greek trattoria, Snack Taverna, with a friend, and 2 years later moved to Compass, where he drew critical acclaim, and 2 stars from The New York Times. Fraser was named one of only four young chefs to watch in America by Esquire magazine in 2006, and rave reviews for Dovetail began pouring in as soon as he opened the doors.

Judges for Battle: Cauliflower were Farmer Lee Jones, Jeffrey Steingarten, and Julie White.  In a stunning turn, Fraser took on the Iron Chef without any sous chefs so Iron Mike kicked his out as well.

READ THE INTERVIEW

I originally had this listed as Chef Neal Fraser but have since made the correction thanks to Yvonne (see comments).  If you haven’t already, check out my recent interview with Iron Chef Michael Symon.

Click HERE for the outcome.

Next week’s match-up is between Bobby Flay vs. Curtis Stone.

ICA Symon vs. Fraser – Outcome

iron chef america, wannabe tv chef

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

Judges for Battle: Cauliflower were Farmer Lee Jones, Jeffrey Steingarten, and Julie White.  In a stunning turn, Fraser took on the Iron Chef without any sous chefs so Iron Mike kicked his out as well.

Battle: Cauliflower

Symon                   Fraser
Taste: 26                Taste: 22
Plating: 12             Plating: 10
Originality: 11       Originality: 12
Total: 49                 Total: 44

Winner: Iron Chef Morimoto

Next week’s match-up is between Bobby Flay vs. Curtis Stone.

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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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