michael ruhlman

ICA: Zakarian vs. Gallante

zacbanner ICA: Zakarian vs. SchenkerIron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian faces off against challenger Shea Gallante, who is the executive chef at Ciano in New York. The judges for Battle: Pasta are Michael Ruhlman, Candice Kumai and Martin Yan.

Chef Shea GallanteGallante has been wearing a chefs apron from the early age of 14 where he jump started his career and fascination for Italian cooking at a local pizza shop in Upstate New York. It wasn’t long before his hunger for the restaurant world had him enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America, after which he knew his quest would to one day own his own restaurant in New York City. His first job after the CIA was with Pino Luongo at Coco Opera near Lincoln Center. After two years training under him, Gallante began working with the famed Lidia Bastianich at Felidia and was quickly promoted to sous-chef after demonstrating to her his passion for the type of cooking that earned Felidia three stars. After this, Gallante was recruited by David Bouley, whom he credits as the person who has had the most profound effect on his career to date, to work at his eponymous restaurant Bouley. Gallante spent four years working with Bouley before moving on to Cru, where during his time as executive chef the restaurant received three stars in the New York Times by then reviewer Frank Bruni, a Michelin Star, three stars in New York Magazine by Adam Platt and Gallante was also named one of the Best New Chefs in 2005 by Food & Wine.

Chef Shea Gallante has landed back in the New York City dining scene, this time to open a place he can call his own. Having partnered with Philippe Chow principle Stratis Morfogen, Gallante has now signed on as Executive Chef/Co-Owner of Ciano (45 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010), a new, seasonal ingredient driven casual and atmospheric Italian restaurant in the former Beppe space in the Flatiron District.

Chef Gallante has a very impressive resume but so does Iron Chef Zakarian.

Check below for the outcome.

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Zakarian Gallante
Taste 25 26
Originality 11 14
Plating 14 13
Total 50 53

ICA: Garces vs. Raij

Iron Chef Jose GarcesIron Chef Jose Garces, paired with mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, faces off against Chef Alexandra Raij, paired with mixologist Charlotte Voisey. Chef Raij owns two New York City tapas restaurants, Txikito and El Quinto Pino. Judges are Michael Ruhlman, Dina Manzo and Adam Richman.

Tony Abou-Ganim was featured on the Iron Chef America competition with Mario Batali, “Battle Mango.”   He parlayed that into demonstrating the art of cocktail preparation on the Fine Living Network (now the Cooking Channel) program “Raising the Bar: America’s Best Bar Chefs,” grew up in the bar business, learning the craft from his cousin Helen David at the Brass Rail Bar in Port Huron, Michigan.

Alexandra RaijAlexandra Raij along with Eder Montero are the chefs and owners of Txikito, the acclaimed Basque restaurant in Chelsea. Txikito is a love letter to a region whose cuisine is distinguished by simplicity and excellence in both ingredients and techniques. It is an unencumbered cuisine, one where humble ingredients like beans and peppers share the same value at the table as aged farmhouse cheeses, pristine fish and seafood, and unique breeds of lamb and cattle. Check out this interview with Chef Raij from GlutonForLife.com.

Charlotte Voisey has run bars in Barcelona, Buenos Aires and London. In 2002, with the Gorgeous Group, Charlotte opened classic cocktail bar Apartment 195 in London and soon after was named UK Bartender of the Year. In 2005 Charlotte was invited to guest bartend at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic and consequently fell in love with the US cocktail community, one year later Charlotte officially made the move stateside to represent her favorite spirit, Hendrick’s Gin.

The battle was Tequila and Tortillas.  Check below for the outcome.

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Garces                        Raij
Taste: 44                          Taste: 39
Plating: 20                        Plating: 13
Originality: 19                   Originality: 14
Total: 83                           Total: 66

2011 WTVC Food Blog Awards

WTVC Awards
Welcome to the very first Wannabe TV Chef (WTVC) Food Blog Awards.  These awards are my way of recognizing some of the best foodie sites on the Online.

Some of the people awarded I have had the pleasure to meet in person and others probably don’t know me from Adam.  Now sit back and meet the winners of the 2011 WTVC Food Blog Awards:

Best Site by a Professional Chef: Big Jones Blog by Chef Paul Fehribach

Best Site by a Home Chef: Average Betty by Sara O’Donnell

Best Lifestyle Site: Jolene’s Trailer Park by Jolene Sugarbaker

Best Health & Fitness Site: The Bikini Chef by Susan Irby

Best Instructional Site: Food Wishes by Chef John Mitzewich

Best Outdoor Cooking Site: Deep South Cooking Outfitters by Gene Fox

Best Food Writing Site: Ruhlman.com by Michael Ruhlman

Best Celebrity Chef Site: Alton Brown (just a lowly cook) by Alton Brown

Best Niche Site: Happy Little Bento by Sheri Chen

Best Dessert Site: Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater

Best Site With a Cause: Bloggers Without Borders – A Fund for Jennie

Best Branded Site: Bitchin’ Kitchen by Nadia G

ICA: Symon vs. Johnson

Iron Chef America

Challenging Chef Wayne Johnson traded in an accounting career for a life in the kitchen. Can he count on a win against Iron Chef Michael Symon, or will his record be in the red?

Wayne Johnson comes to the Emerald City (Seattle) from the Bluegrass State (Kentucky) with a stop over in Spain (Spain).  The Appalachian chef laid the Chef Wayne Johnsonfoundation for his Andalusian cuisine first by studying at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.  After matriculating in Napa Vally he was off for a year in Spain honing those skills.

Today he is the executive chef at Andaluca in Seattle’s Mayflower Hotel.  Prior to that Chef Johnson served the same position at San Francisco’s Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel.  Under Johnson Andaluca has flourished receiving countless honors and features in monthlies like Seattle Magazine, Esquire Magazine and of course Zagat’s.

Waiting for Johnson is Iron Chef Michael Symon, who has passed Mario Batali for the third most battles of any American Iron Chef.  Symon still sports in astonishing 82% winning percentage.  Day-yum!

The judges for Battle: Cucumber were Alison Sweeney, Michael Ruhlman and Cady Huffman.

Check below for the outcome.

AWCbanner Food Network Star 7 EP5 Recap

Symon                Johnson
Taste: 25                Taste: 20
Plating: 10              Plating: 10
Originality: 10       Originality: 8
Total: 45                Total: 38

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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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