washington dc

ICA: Garces vs. Fukushima – Outcome

SPOILER ALERT: The following information is the outcome of Garces vs. Fukushima.  If you want information on the combatants click HERE.  If you are only interested in the outcome read on.

The judges for Mahi Mahi were Susan Ungaro, Anthony Anderson and Michelle Bernstein.

Garces                         Fukushima
Taste: 27                     Taste: 25
Plating: 11                    Plating:  15
Originality: 12               Originality: 15
Total: 50                      Total: 55

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ICA: Garces vs. Fukushima

When Katsuya Fukushima enters Kitchen Stadium he will be on familiar ground.  Fukushima has been here before. . . and won.  In April 2007, the incredible Jose Andres took on Iron Chef Bobby Flay in Battle: Goat and Fukushima was there acting as sous chef for Andres.

Katsuya Fukushima and Ruben GarciaFukushima will not be alone as he is bringing fellow Andres disciple Ruben Garcia of Washington DC’s MiniBar with him.  Fukushima himself is still part of the Andres empire as he heads up the kitchen at Cafe Atlantico, also in DC.  Both restaurants are part of Andres’ Think Food Group which is made up of eight eateries and José Andrés’ Catering with Ridgewells.

Fukushima attended the L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  Upon graduation in 1996 he took a job working the line at Vidalia under Jeffrey Buben.  After Vidalia he then worked at Cashion’s Eat Place, The National Press Club and Jaleo. . . all at the same time!  Jaleo is Andres’ flagship restaurant, a tapas bar in Bethesda, MD and it wasn’t long before the young chef dedicated himself to just the one job.

As part of his mentorship of Fukushima, Andres sent him to work and learn at Verbena in New York and an inspiring season at el Bulli under Ferran Adria, Fukushima was then named the Chef de Cusine position at Café Atlántico and Minibar.

Waiting for Chef Fukushima is the newest Iron Chef, Jose Garces.  Garces, who had been rumored to be leaving Iron Chef: America is in fact back and looking to continue his undefeated streak.

The judges for Mahi Mahi were Susan Ungaro, Anthony Anderson and Michelle Bernstein.

Click HERE for the outcome.

Ray’s Hell Burger in DC

By now everyone knows that President Obama loves hims some Ray’s Hell Burger.  Recently POTUS even took Russian President Dmitry Medvedev over to Arlington for a sampling of his favorite comfort food.  Medvedev simply said it wasn’t healthy.

Despite the President’s endorsement (or perhaps because of it), DC doesn’t share Barrack’s affinity for Ray’s.  Sure every time USA 1 rolls up outside business booms but in a recent fan poll by Washington’s WTOP FM, Ray’s came in fifth out of ten contestants with 4% of the vote; first place went to burger chain Cheeburger, Cheeburger with a whopping 44% of the vote.  Incidentally Ray’s 4% is the same percentage of Americans who genuinely believe the President is doing a good job.

Back in 2007, before any Presidential accolades, the staff at DC Foodies did a group review of Ray’s Hell Burger.  Here’s a taste:

For our inaugural group review, we decided there was no better place to start than with a first impressions review of Ray’s Hell Burgers. I’d be lying if Michael Landrum’s other restaurants (Ray’s the Classics and Ray’s the Steaks) don’t hold a special place in all of our hearts, so we’ve made a good attempt, I think, to keep this objective.

Ray’s Hell Burger is a natural addition to the Michael Landrum’s D.C. beef empire. Burgers are the only thing on the menu (which means no fries), but you’d be surprised at how large the menu can be. Between the large selection of cheeses (including some artisinal selections which no doubt Mike will like) and the list of others high quality ingredients, much like those that you can get on your steaks a few doors down, the combinations are endless.

Open_kitchen Instead of fries, the burgers currently come with sides of juicy watermelon and corn, but I imagine that’s only for the summer. Look for the sides to be seasonal and fresh. I wonder if the lack of French fries is because the kitchen couldn’t get the fries just right, or if it is Michael’s attempt to make up socially for the portion size of the burgers which are a massive 10 ounces of the same aged prime beef used at the other Ray’s establishments (ground fresh throughout the day according to Mr. Landrum). Cooking methods are similar as well and you can get your burger blackened, cajun, or just plain grilled.


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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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