plantains

ICA: Zakarian vs. Schenker

zacbanner ICA: Zakarian vs. FerraroIron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian faces off against chef Jesse Schenker, chef and owner of Recette in New York. Judges are Julie White, Art Smith and Anya Fernald.

Jesse SchenkerChef Jesse Schenker manipulates ingredients and temperature to create maximum flavor.   He went for his Culinary Degree at the Atlantic Technical Center in Coconut Creek, Fla. During that time, he gained his first professional kitchen experience at Cafe Maxx, guided by Chef Oliver Saucy. From there, he became the Chef de Partie at Chef Mark Militello’s James Beard award-winning restaurant, Mark’s on Las Olas and then onto Sous Chef at Fort Lauderdale’s celebrated Italian restaurant Rino’s Restaurante.

With experience under his belt, Jesse moved to Miami to become Sous Chef at the upscale wine bar, City Cellar Wine Bar and Grille.  After wowing the best culinary cities of Florida, it was time to take on the challenge of wowing foodies in the Big Apple. Jesse was offered a position as Chef de Partie at the two-Michelin-star rated Gordon Ramsay at the London.  He launched his own venture, Recette Private Dining and teamed up with Savoy Bakery owner Brian Ghaw and Per Se pastry alum Christina Lee, and created up to ten-course tasting menus for exclusive private parties.

Chef Schenker is a talented chef but so is the newest Iron Chef.  The Technician is sure to be ready for the challenge in Battle: Plantains.

Check below for the outcome.

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Zakarian Schenker
Taste 25 25
Plating 13 14
Originality 14 14
Total 52 53

ICA: Flay vs Torres

Another rerun.  I guess we won’t get any new ICA’s until after NFNS and Next Iron Chef 3 are done.  Too bad as it is still the best food contest on TV by a mile.  Why?  Because it is the only one that is just about food.  Here’s what reality-tv-online.com had to say about Flay vs. Torres:

sue torres on wannabetvchef.comTonight was an “Iron Chef America” challenge between Chef Sue Torres and Iron Chef Bobby Flay. The secret ingredient was bananas. The judges were author Mark Bittman (a first time judge on ICA), Isabel Gonzalez (from InStyle magazine), and fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. Where are Ted Allen and Jeffrey Steingarten? I miss them!

Iron Chef Flay presented five dishes: plantain crusted snapper (which Isaac said was complex and delicious), banana curry (which Isabel felt was too sweet but Mark disagreed), plantain tamale, banana dessert duo (which Isaac felt was too salty), and banana sundae.

Chef Torres also presented five dishes: plantain tacos with tuna (Isabel though the plantain was the perfect receptacle), tacos al pastor (Isaac felt the flavors were delicious but questioned whether the pork was undercooked), plantain gordita, plantain crusted halibut (which Isaac raved was the best dish of the night), and caramelized bananas.

CAUTION: Beyond here there be spoilers.

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Flay                              Torres
Taste: 26                       Taste: 23
Plating: 12                     Plating: 12
Originality: 14                Originality: 13
Total: 52                       Total: 48

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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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