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ICA: Garces vs. Weitzman

garces banner ICA: Garces vs Becker

Iron Chef Jose Garces faces off against challenger Rebecca Weitzman. Chef Weitzman is the executive chef at Redwood Kitchenette in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. The judges for Battle: Silkie Chicken are Karine Bakhoum, Art Smith, and Julie White.

Chef Rebecca WeitzmanChef Weitzman grew up just outside of Boston but has made her bones working in some of the most well respected kitchens in the Big Apple.  That includes time spent working for chef Bobby Flay at Mesa Grill, Bolo and Bar Americain as well as ‘inoteca Restaurant.  Pedigreed toque Rebecca Weitzman made her name thrilling Park Slopers with locavore plates at Thistle Hill Tavern (where she is still partner, though no longer head chef). After a brief stint at gourmand movie-theater café Indie Food and Wine, the CIA grad has turned up at the cheery Chelsea diner, sporting redwood paneling, U-shaped teal banquettes and a blown-up vintage photo of a trailer amid crisp fall foliage, plus an actual shiny Airstream trailer retrofitted to serve as a bar.

If Chef Rebecca looks familiar to Food Network viewers it’s because she competed on Chopped back in 2010 on an episode called “First Things Worst.”  There she took home the win making a dessert that included baby bananas, coconut flakes, pumpernickel rye and soy sauce.  Hopefully that experience will translate into a solid performance in Kitchen Stadium but it won’t be easy as Iron Chef Jose Garces will be waiting.

Check below for the outcome.

9999 ICA: Garces vs Becker

Garces Weitzman
Taste 27 22
Plating 15 12
Originality 15 11
Total 57 45

ICA: Zakarian vs. Frauneder

zacbanner ICA: Zakarian vs. GallanteIron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian faces off against challenger Eduard Frauneder, executive chef at Edi & The Wolf in New York. Judges are Jeffrey Steingarten, Cady Huffman, and John Curtas.

Eduard FraunederOne of the youngest Michelin-starred chefs from Austria, chef Eduard Frauneder began his culinary career at a young age. In his preteens, he worked alongside his father in the multiple bakeries and pastry shops the family owned in Vienna.

Fast forward years later, Frauneder’s passion for food hasn’t waned and he’s managed to bring his home flavors to Alphabet City of all places.

Along with business partner Wolfgang Ban, they opened their second NYC restaurant Edi & the Wolf. The result is a rustic yet sophisticated Austrian bistro. We chatted with the chef about Austrian flavors, grapes and Oktoberfest.  To learn more about Chef Eduard Frauneder there is a great interview with him HERE from metro.us.

Waiting for Chef Frauneder is the newest Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian.  Expect fireworks.  Expect drama.  Most of all expect amazing food.  Bring on Battle Yak.

Check below for the outcome.

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Zakarian Frauneder
Taste 26 20
Plating 10 14
Originality 10 13
Total 46 47

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: Symon vs. Izard

symon banner ICA: Symon vs. NunezIron Chef Michael Symon faces off against challenger Stephanie Izard. Chef Izard, a James Beard Award nominee and Top Chef winner, is chef and owner of Girl & The Goat in Chicago. The Judges are Anthony Anderson, Karine Bakhoum and David Rocco (be sure to check out my exclusive interview with David HERE).

Stephanie IzardStephanie Izard is no stranger to anyone who follows cheflebrities.  She was the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef 4.  Today she is easily the most accomplished and successful TC winner.

After graduating from the Le Cordon Bleu program at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Chef Izard worked at the Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, as well as a couple other restaurants, but then made the very spur-of-the-moment decision to pack up and move to Chicago in 2001. She’s been in love with the city ever since. After landing in Chicago, Stephanie got a gig as garde manger at Jean-George Vongerichten’s Chicago outpost of Vong.

After leaving Vong, Steph worked as a roundsman at Spring under Shawn McClain and then sous chef at La Tache with Dale Levitsky. In 2006, she branched out on her own with the Bucktown restaurant Scylla, which was quickly named one of the 10 best restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit. Being both owner and chef of her own place was a huge learning experience, but she opted to close in 2008.

That’s when she appeared on Top Chef, after which Izard assembled a team to open Girl & The Goat in Chicago’s West Loop.  Food Network Star finalist and good friend Judson Allen assures me that Girl & The Goat is in his opinion the best restaurant in the Windy City.  The lady can bring it.

Top Chef vs. Iron Chef. Izard vs. Symon.  This should be one for the ages.  Be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Iron Chef Symon HERE.

Check below for the outcome.

 

Symon Izard
Taste 27 27
Originality 14 12
Plating 15 13
Total 56 52

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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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