jose andres restaurants

ICA: Garces vs Yang

Tonight sees the debut of Next Iron Chef winner Jose Garces.  Garces beat out nine other prominent chefs last summer to take the highly coveted spot in the “veritable pantheon” that is Kitchen Stadium.  Garces is actually 2-0 in Kitchen Stadium after defeating Iron Chef Bobby Flay in 2008 and edging Chef Jehangir Mehta in the NIC finale last year.

The Iron Chef’s first opponent is no “Glass Joe”.  Rachel Yang of Seattle’s popular Joule has worked for the likes of Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Alain Ducasse.  It was while working for the latter at the Essex House in New York that Chef Yang met her future husband and Joule co-owner Seif Chirchi.  Chirchi will be serving his wife in the battle as sous chef.  Yang’s style is a fusion a Korean and classic French cuisine.

Of Ecuadoran descent, Iron Chef Garces was born and raised in Chicago.  However, today he makes his home in Philadelphia where he is the creative force behind five restaurants that explore various Latin cuisines from the Basque region (Tinto) to Mexico’s interior (Distrito) to Chifa which is both a Latin-Asian fusion cuisine popular in Peru and the name of the restaurant.  Garces also guides the kitchen at Mercat a la Planxa, a Catalan restaurant in Chicago.

Garces’ first restaurant, Amada (an authentic Andalusian tapas bar) opened in 2005.  2008 was a very busy year.  Not only did he appear on Iron Chef but he also published his first cookbook, Latin Evolution.  Additionally, two of his restaurants (Distrito, Mercat a la Planxa) were named to Esquire Magazine’s list of the 20 Best New Restaurants.  In just five years, Garces has gone from rookie restaurateur to Iron Chef.

The judges for the episode are PR magnate Jennifer Baum, restaurateur  and general hottie Donatella Arpaia, and legendary chef Jose Andres.  The theme ingredient was a Hawaiian moi.

donatella arpaiajennifer baum

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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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