Kitchen Stadium

ICA: Forgione vs. Wong

NewICAHeader ICA: Flay vs. Staib

There are lots of tricks and treats in this sweet Halloween battle, as Iron Chef Marc Forgione is challenged by Chef Lee Anne Wong. Judges are Kathy Griffin, Donatella Arpaia Stewart (bun clearly still in oven) and Kelly Ripa. Chef Wong was a semi-finalist on “Top Chef” and appears on Cooking Channel’s “Unique Eats.”

How crappy have the last few Sundays been on Food Network?  Obviously scripted taco truck challenges and Halloween candy cook-offs?  Oy vey!  Well your Sundays will stop sucking soon enough when Next Iron Chef 4 begins next week but you don’t have to wait for Kitchen Stadium drama as Iron Chef Forgione faces off against Top Chef veteran Lee Anne Wong in Battle: Halloween Candy.

Lee Anne WongSince she traded her fashion career for the culinary world, Chef Lee Anne Wong, has been bringing her modern-global fusion cuisine to the people. Born and raised in Troy, New York, Lee Anne is a 2nd generation Chinese- American. After graduating from The French Culinary Institute (The FCI), Lee Anne worked for several years at Aquavit, and later served as part the opening staff at Jean Georges Vongrichten’s Chinese venture, restaurant 66.

She has also cooked and staged in critically acclaimed kitchens all over the world.  After returning to The FCI as the Executive Chef of Event Operations, Chef Wong brought her culinary skills to an even wider audience when she appeared as a cheftestant on Season One of Bravo’s Flagship Series “Top Chef”. She returned to the show as a Supervising Culinary Producer on Top Chef, and its spin-off Top Chef Masters. She has also worked as a culinary consultant for movies and tv programs. Chef Wong has used her culinary skills to help further charitable causes, such as Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR), Project By Project, and she sits on the Board of Directors for The Gohan Society.

Donatella and her husband, Dr. Allan Stewart, welcomed a son on Thursday, September 15th. They haven’t announced a name yet but did say their sweetest addition weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces.An impressive resume to be sure but will be enough when she enters Kitchen Stadium?

Check below for the outcome.

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Forgione                      Wong
Taste: 23                      Taste: 27
Plating: 15                    Plating:  12
Originality: 13              Originality: 13
Total: 51                       Total: 52

ICA: Morimoto vs. Amoroso

NewICAHeader ICA: Cora vs. Farmerie

This week on Iron Chef: America we get to revisit the 2009 battle between Chef Anthony Amoroso from Michael Mina in Las Vegas.  He enters Kitchen Stadium to take on legendary Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in Battle: Branzino.

Anthony AmorosoIf you aren’t interested in re-watching the rerun read on for the score.  In the meantime here’s an excerpt from an interview with Anthony Amoroso from

Amoroso, a Jersey native who is now the executive chef at the Borgata’s SeaBlue in Atlantic City, used a light hand to showcase the fish, opting for simple but elegant preparations, including a crudo with avocado puree and basil gelee (okay, that was a little fancy-schmancy); a tartare with oil-cured black olives atop a candied blood orange; smoked branzino with star anise and cinammon; a trio featuring pickled, sauteed and fried branzino; and a Pernod and fennel-infused pot pie.


The judges for the battle were Mario Rizzotti, Jeffrey Steingarten and Akiko Katayama.  Any way, the challenger won out by a score of 49-47.


ICA: Garces vs. Medina – Outcome

NewICAHeader ICA: Flay vs. Hughes   Outcome

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

Judges for Battle: Mexican Chocolate were John O’Hurley, Karine Bakhoum, Michael and Rick Mast.

Garces               Medina
Taste: 34         Taste: 37
Plating: 18       Plating: 18
Originality: 20   Originality: 16
Total: 72          Total: 71

Next time it’s Iron Chef Michael Symon vs. the youngest (and possibly hottest) chef to ever enter Kitchen Stadium, 24-year-old chef Emma Hearst.

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ICA: Garces vs. Medina

NewICAHeader ICA: Garces vs Solomonov   Outcome

After a week off for the Super Bowl, ICA is back with another new episode.  This week Mexico City native Julian Medina enters Kitchen Stadium to challenge the master of Latin food, Iron Chef Jose Garces.

chef Julian MedinaChef Julian Medina first learned to cook alongside his father and grandfather while growing up in Mexico City.  When he was 17 he apprenticed at Chef Alejandro Heredia’s Hacienda de los Morales.  But two years later he followed his growing interest in French cuisine to Les Célébrités, one of the most famous French resutaurants in Mexico.  It took him just three years to rise to sous chef.

In the mid-nineties he came to the attention of fellow Mexico City native Richard Sandoval who was just starting to build his empire of 17 restaurants in four countries.  Sandoval liked what he saw in the young chef and shipped him off to New York to be the Chef de Cuisine at Maya.

While working in the Big Apple, Medina earned his culinary degree at the French Culinary Institute.  Having mastered both Mexican and French cuisine Medina ventured into Asian fusion as the executive chef as SushiSamba, a NYC eatery blending Japanese and South American flavors.  Medina moved to Miami to open SushiSamba7 before returning to Sandoval’s employ as a corporate chef developing menus for several restaurants.

Today Medina has his own growing restaurant empire with Toloache (Maiden Lane and also W. 50th St.) and Yerbabuena (23 Ave. as well as Perry St.).  Chef Julian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Kitchen Stadium but will it be enough against Iron Chef Garces?  We shall see.

Judges for Battle: Mexican Chocolate were John O’Hurley, Karine Bakhoum, Michael and Rick Mast.  This makes the fifth time some form of chocolate was the secret ingredient.

Click HERE for the outcome.

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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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