I don’t know about you, but I have found myself becoming addicted to reality tv. No, not the mainstream stuff that turns up on the major networks. I don’t really care about bachelors, survivors, big losers, or great racers.
Instead, I must confess that I have become addicted to reality food tv. Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, The Next Food Network Star and more… they air it, I watch it!
So tonight season two of The Next Iron Chef kicks in. Much more serious than The Next Food Network Star, The Next Iron Chef pits true professionals against each other in a duel of the kitchen. The winner becomes, obviously, one of the Iron Chefs that make appearances on Iron Chef America.
This year the competitors include:
- Amanda Freitag, Executive Chef for The Harrison, which is a two star restaurant in New York. She is also a judge on yet another Food Network show, Chopped.
- Brad Farmerie grew up in Pittsburgh but attended Le Cordon Bleu in the UK. He settled in New York and has been involved with a number of restaurants, including Double Crown and Madam Geneva, which takes its inspiration from former British colonized countries of South Asia and the Far East.
- Dominique Crenn was raised in Versailles, France, spend nine years in San Francisco, made a stop in Indonesia, before returning to California – this time Los Angelos – while maintaining her passion for sustainable, local ingredients.
- Eric Greenspan attended Le Cordon Bleu Ecole de Cuisine in Paris. Now in Los Angelos, he has opened The Foundry on Melrose, featuring fine dining and American Cuisine.
- Holly Smith was born in Maryland, but now owns and operates two restaurants in Seattle, Poco Carretto Gelato and Cafe Juanita. She specializes in Northern Italian cooking (my personal favorite!).
- Jehangir Mehta owns and operates Graffiti, yet another New York restaurant. Born in Mumbai, he attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York.
- Jose Garces owns and operates several restaurants in Philadelphia, including Amada, an Andalusian tapas bar; Tinto, a wine bar and restaurant inspired by the Basque region of Northern Spain and Southern France; Distrito, featuring the cuisine of Mexico City; Chifa, a Latin-Asian restaurant; and Village Whiskey, a bar with over 80 whiskies.
- Nate Appleman, born in Greenville, OH, has made his name in the San Francisco Bay area. He was a founding team member of A16 in San Francisco. Interestingly enough, I have eaten at this restaurant and found it to be very good, but not the best place that I’ve dined.
- Roberto Trevino began his career in San Francisco but soon relocated to Puerto Rico, where he has opened Budatai. Roberto appeared on The Iron Chef, battling Mario Batali.
- Seamus Mullen, a native of Vermont, specializes in Spanish cuisine and tapas. He owns two tapas restaurants in New York. Boqueria has also earned two stars from The New York Times.
It will be an enteraining competition along the way!