Marc Forgione

Chopped: All Stars Season 2 Contestants Announced

Chopped All Stars

A few months ago a friend within the Food Network family hipped me to who the four Food Network Star participants in Chopped: All Stars would be.  So I’ve known since last fall that we’d get to see the charms of Penny Davidi and Chris Nirschel on display once again and have managed to keep it to myself.  Even better we also get to see Vic Moea and Justin Balmes cook again.

The talent in this group runs the gamut.  Chris is the chef at what many consider a wannabe Olive Garden, Penny is a one trick pony but she does that one trick extremely well and then Vic and Justin are top notch chefs.  But these guys make up just one night of Chopped: All Stars.  Dig the rest.

Part 1, “Iron Chefs Do Battle” Premieres Sunday, April 8th at 9pm ET/PT  Competitors: Iron Chefs Cat Cora, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces and Michael Symon.  Judges: Scott Conant, Aaron Sanchez, Geoffrey Zakarian

Part 2, “Prime Time vs. Day Time” Premieres Sunday, April 15th at 9pm ET/PT  Competitors: Show hosts Keegan Gerhard (Food Network Challenge), Jeffrey Saad (United Tastes of America, Cooking Channel), Aarti Sequeira (Aarti Party) and Marcela Valladolid (Mexican Made Easy).  Judges: Amanda Freitag, Aaron Sanchez, Geoffrey Zakarian

Part 3, “Food Network Star Contestants” Premieres Sunday, April 22nd at 9pm ET/PT  Competitors: Food Network Star Season Seven Finalists Justin Balmes, Penny Davidi, Vic “Vegas” Moea and Chris Nirschel.  Judges: Scott Conant, Amanda Freitag, Aaron Sanchez

Part 4, “Judge Remix” Premieres Sunday, April 29th at 9pm ET/PT  Competitors: Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, Marcus Samuelsson and Chris Santos. Judges: Amanda Freitag, Aaron Sanchez, Geoffrey Zakarian

Part 5, “Grand Finale” Premieres Sunday, May 6th at 9pm ET/PT Competitors: Prior episode winners.  Judges: Anne Burrell, Amanda Freitag and Aaron Sanchez.

Read full chef bios HERE.  Read bios for judges and host Ted Allen HERE.

Read my exclusive interviews with Alex Guarnaschelli (HERE), Scott Conant (HERE), Justin Balmes, (HERE) Penny Davidi (HERE), Chris Nirschel (HERE), Marc Forgione (HERE), Michael Symon (HERE) and Ted Allen (HERE and HERE).

Chopped All-Stars Season 2 Chef Bios

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The Best of SoBe Wine & Food 2012

The events at SoBe are mammoth.  For those not in the know that is the nickname of the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival and it has turned into one of the premiere events, gastronomical or otherwise, in the world.  It is the Sundance of food.

Hang out with all the top Food Network, Cooking Channel stars all weekend long. All your favorite hosts and chefs were here: Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Paula Dean, Melissa d’Arabian, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine, Nadia G, Marc Forgione, Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Jeff Mauro, Rachel Ray, The Neelys, Michael Symon, Geoffrey Zakarian and more!

Take a look back at the best that Miami had to offer as Food Network recaps a weekend of sun, sand, BBQ, small bites, sweet treats and tons of starving fans:

Hang out with all the top Food Network, Cooking Channel stars all weekend long. All your favorite hosts and chefs were here: Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Paula Dean, Melissa d’Arabian, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine, Nadia G, Marc Forgione, Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Jeff Mauro, Rachel Ray, The Neelys, Michael Symon, Geoffrey Zakarian and more!

Take a look back at the best that Miami had to offer as we recap a weekend of sun, sand, BBQ, small bites, sweet treats and tons of starving fans.

ICA: Forgione vs. Curtin

Iron Chef Marc Forgione

After a handful of holiday themed battles between Iron Chefs we return to the familiar format.  This time, Iron Chef Marc Forgione battles young New York-based chef Nick Curtin in Kitchen Stadium.

Nick Curtin Iron Chef AmericaThe story on challenger Nick Curtin is brief.  The one adjective that seems to always accompany his name is “young.”  Curtin was, for a while, the head chef at Compose in New York’s TriBeCa neighborhood.  The chef (23) teamed up with 25-year-old manager Eamon Rockey for a ballsy concept at Compose – a mandatory 10-course tasting menu, serving no more than 12 people a night.  Thanks to Curtin’s creativity it worked.

But in June Chef Curtin announced his departure from Compose saying, “I decided it’s time to pursue another type of project, some place with a larger kitchen, a place that would allow me to experience the growth I want.”  A disciple  of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Curtin worked for the legendary chef at Perry St.  Chef Nick also spent time in the kitchen of René Redzepi at Noma in Copenhagen – the same Noma that recently supplanted el Bulli as the world’s best restaurant.  He was also part of the staff at Eleven Madison Park which Frank Bruni described as “alluring and impressive.”

Tonight the “young” chef Curtin battles the youngest Iron Chef, Marc Forgione.  Although Chelsea Market is only about two and a half miles from TriBeCa, Compose is a world away from Kitchen Stadium.  Be sure to check out my interview with Iron Chef Marc Forgione (HERE).

The judges for Battle: Tilapia were Julie White, John Curtas and Candice Kumai.

Check below for the outcome.

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Forgione            Curtin
Taste: 26                Taste: 22
Plating: 13              Plating: 14
Originality: 13        Originality: 13
Total: 52                 Total: 49

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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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