outcome

ICA: Flay vs. Hastings

Iron Chef Bobby FlayIron Chef Bobby Flay faces off against Challenger Chris Hastings, chef and owner at Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Judges are Anthony Anderson, Donatella Arpaia Stewart and Simon Majumdar.

It has taken 12 years but there is finally a chef from Alabama battling in Kitchen Stadium.  Why is this a big deal?  Alabama has one of the richest food traditions in the country – West Indies Salad, Fried Green Tomatoes, White BBQ Sauce, et al.  And what a chef they have chosen.

Christopher (along with wife Idie Hastings) is the chef and co-owner of the nationally celebrated Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama.  Located in a historic Chef Chris Hastings Hot and Hot Fish Clubbuilding on Birmingham’s Southside, the award-winning restaurant has earned a reputation for serving some of the finest, freshest dishes in the region.

Hastings graduated from the Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Providence, Rhode Island and then returned to the South in 1984 to work at the Atlanta Ritz Carlton.  After stints at Highlands Bar and Grill and Botega, Chef Chris moved to San Francisco, where he helped Bradley Ogden open the Lark Creek Inn.

In 1995, the Hastings returned to Birmingham to open the Hot and Hot Fish Club where Chris focused on the dinner menu and Idie used her pastry experience (earned in the kitchens of Jeremiah Towers’ Stars Café and Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio) to develop the dessert menu. Today, although the menus change daily to highlight the best possible products available, several signature items remain: the Hot and Hot Shrimp and Grits made with Country Ham, Fresh Thyme, Tomatoes and Ver Jus is always a favorite among the locals.

For more on Chef Christopher Hastings and the Hot and Hot Fish Club check out this great article from the Year of Alabama Food web site.

To see what happen when Hastings takes on Iron Chef Bobby Flay in Battle: Sausage tune into the Food Network this Sunday at 10/9 CT.  If you haven’t already be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Iron Chef Bobby Flay (HERE).

For the outcome check below.

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Flay                   Hastings
Taste: 29                Taste: 15
Plating: 12              Plating: 14
Originality: 11         Originality: 14
Total: 52                 Total: 53

ICA: Morimoto vs. Bogle

Masaharu Morimoto ICA: Morimoto vs. BogleIron Chef Masaharu Morimoto faces off against Challenger Justin Bogle, Executive Chef at Gilt in New York City. Judges are Donatella Arpaia Stewart, Ben Sargent and Karine Bakhoum.  With Morimoto in the kitchen and Ben Sargent on the judges table it is safe to assume this will be a seafood battle.

Chef Justin Bogle continues to make his mark at GILT as their Executive Chef.  Rooted in the classics, Bogle’s unique approach makes the most of the best ingredients, creating completely new ideas and innovative presentations while still utilizing comforting, familiar Chef Justin Bogle GILTflavors. His primary goal is creating something delicious that people will want to eat, always using the highest-quality, sustainable ingredients.  Before moving to New York Chef Bogle  worked at the Striped Bass where he worked side by side with Chef Christopher Lee in developing one of the most successful restaurants in Philadelphia.

A graduate of The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia PA, Bogle is the youngest chef in New York City to receive Two Stars from the MICHELIN Guide, which he has received for the third year in a row with the recent announcement for the 2012 Guide. (GILT has earned the coveted award for the fourth consecutive year.) In August 2010, Bogle was named a “Rising Star Chef” by Restaurant Hospitality, followed by Zagat honoring him as one of New York City’s “30 Under 30″ Up-and-Coming Chefs to watch in 2011. He also recently appeared on the Martha Stewart Show, showcasing his celebrated “dirt salad.”

So a challenger with a background in seafood is taking on Chef Morimoto (the king of fish battles) with the host of Cooking Channel’s Hook, Line and Dinner sitting on the judges’ table has got to mean a fish battle right?  You got it; Battle: Paiche.

Check below for the outcome.

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Morimoto           Bogle
Taste: 30                Taste: 21
Plating: 15              Plating: 12
Originality: 15         Originality: 10
Total: 60                 Total: 43

ICA: Symon vs. Morimoto – Tailgate Showdown

Iron Chef America

Iron Chefs Morimoto and Symon travel to Hawaii for the first ever Iron Chef America tailgating showdown.  Because of the two-hour season (please make it the series) finale of RvG: Celebrity Showdown this special ICA will air on Saturday night.

Morimoto, Brown, SymonLike the Super Bowl, this will also serve as a rematch of the 2005 Battle: Asparagus between Morimoto and a not-yet Iron Chef Micheal Symon as well as the 2011 Christmas special Battle: Alton Brown’s Fruit Cake.  Both of the first two battles were won by Morimoto which is impressive considering Symon has only lost six of his 30 battles in Kitchen Stadium.

Iron Chef Symon hails from Cleveland, OH and is one big time Browns fan.  For those not in the know the Browns are like the Cubs of the NFL.  They were a power franchise. . . sixty years ago.  However, they’ve never even sniffed a Super Bowl save for one AFC championship game that they ultimately lost thanks one of the 47 last minute comebacks that put Denver QB John Elway into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Iron Chef Morimoto is from Japan.  This should be fun.  The judges for Battle: Wild Boar were Simon Majumdar, Sunny Anderson and Brandie Cazimero.  Be sure to hop over to Sunny’s blog for a behind the scenes look of tonight’s episode.

Check below for the outcome.

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Symon               Morimoto
Taste: 26                Taste: 25
Plating: 11              Plating: 13
Originality: 13        Originality: 12
Total: 52                Total: 48

ICA: Zakarian vs. Sawyer

Geoffrey ZakarianIron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian faces off against Challenger Jonathon Sawyer. Chef Sawyer, who previously appeared as Iron Chef Michael Symon’s sous chef on ‘Iron Chef America,’ is owner of The Greenhouse Tavern, in Cleveland, Ohio. Judges are Sophie Michell, David Rocco (be sure to check out my exclusive interview with David HERE) and Cady Huffman.

Jonathon SawyerChef Jonathon Sawyer, a Cleveland native, first learned to cook at the age of 13. He attended the University of Dayton and graduated from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts.  His post-graduate career started at The Biltmore Hotel in Miami and continued alongside renowned chef Charlie Palmer in New York at Kitchen 22.  Following his work with Charlie Palmer, Johnathon moved back to his hometown to open Lolita as Chef de Cuisine for his friend and colleague, Michael Symon.

In 2007, Jonathon moved back to his hometown to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant.  This dream was realized in the opening of Bar Cento, a modern Roman enoteca in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.  In April of 2009, Jonathon opened The Greenhouse Tavern which has been named one of the Top Ten Best New Restaurants in the United States by Bon Appetit.

When Chef Sawyer enters Kitchen Stadium waiting for him will be the newest Iron Chef Geoffrey “the Technician” Zakarian armed again with celebrity sous chef Alex Guarnaschelli in Battle: Mint.

Check below for the outcome.

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Zakarian            Sawyer
Taste: 24                Taste: 20
Plating: 13              Plating: 10
Originality: 12        Originality: 10
Total: 49                 Total: 40

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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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