Outcooking and outpresenting nine other talented chefs with extraordinary backgrounds, Jose Garces managed to impress the judges enough to be named “The Next Iron Chef”on the Food Network Sunday night, beating out New York pastry chef Jehangir Mehta. Garces, a native Chicagoan who now calls Philadelphia home, runs six restaurants in the city of brotherly love; Distrito, Amada, Tinto, Chifa, Mercat a la Planxa and Village Whiskey.
The last battle of the series took place in “Kitchen Stadium,”where the two competitors duked it out using their background, training and culinary skills to take the secret ingredient, ribs, and showcase the ethnic diversity of American cuisine. Garces played it safe with his five dishes, displaying impeccable technique, while Mehta presented his dishes with the creative flair for which he is known. However, Mehta’s beautifully prepared food encountered some major flaws, including serving an undercooked pork burger and equally raw French fries, which gave the advantage to Garces, with most, but not all, of the judges.
Garces joins an elite group of previously selected iron chefs, including Masaharu Morimoto, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Cat Cora and Michael Symon.
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