This Fall I took a trip up to New York to test out the restaurants of two of my favorite Food Network Stars: Iron Chef and Chopped Judge Alex Guarnaschelli and Iron Chef and Chopped Judge Geoffrey Zakarian.First stop: Butter Midtown, Alex Guarnaschelli’s, restaurant for a lovely dinner with my significant other For our first course we ordered from the Raw menu, opting for the Hawaiian Yellowtail.Of course, I couldn’t help but order dessert and ordered the Crem Brulee (sans lavender shortbread cookie) This dish was a bit too savory for my taste but was still a nice end to a wonderful meal.
As Chief Operating Officer of Restaurants, Chef Eric Haugen oversees and manages all Zakarian Hospitality restaurants, including The Lambs Club, The Nationals, The Water Club and now Georgie and Garden Bar, employing a unique talent for both the culinary side of the operation and the corporate business functions.
Today, Haugen tends to all details as closely as he did as a comis, preserves the level of hospitality the Zakarian brand stands for and is ushering in a new era for the company as leader of restaurants.
The consensus was sensational flavors, un-pretty presentation.
Chiarello took the passion theme through the ages, starting with Venus for his scallop with carrot caponata; forbidden fruit with tuna crudo arrabiata; and how meeting his wife was a fluke (get it? Symon pronounced the scallop slightly overcooked; ouch! The highlight of judgment was Majumdar declaring, "I'd rather eat a dish where she fails interesting than someone else's dish where they achieve mediocre." That needs to be on a T-shirt. In light of the stakes -- culinary immortality, as Alton put it -- the chefs threw down their oven mitt-shaped gauntlets.
ET, Food Network), the remaining chefs -- Geoffrey Zakarian, Michael Chiarello, Elizabeth Falkner, and Alex Guarnaschelli -- faced freaky chefonomics: each got $500 and two hours to make a three-course seafood menu for 20 Hamptons residents. To make the challenge a little more, well, challenging, the chefs had to cook outdoors.
Chiarello got burned, Falkner worried about losing a finger due to jostling, Guarnaschelli tore a lobster limb from spiny limb, and Zakarian sported a number of Hello Kitty bandages.Then ready to embrace his acumen for business and leadership, he took a role as the opening Chef de Cuisine of the Ocean House, a Forbes Five Star and Relais & Chateaux hotel property, directly in charge of several dining venues from beach side to formal dinner service.After successfully launching and running these outlets, he made a move to work alongside Chef Geoffrey Zakarian as Executive Chef at The Lambs Club in New York City.Proceed if you like roasted spoiler: The winner of the passion challenge was... Chiarello came in second, and the eliminated chef was... The Secret Ingredient Showdown challenge was creating three one-bite offerings from wine and crackers. Falkner: "I'm going to kill it." Zakarian: "You will go down." We need another Hello Kitty bandage over here, stat! Chiarello's chicken liver mousse with cabernet mustard, sardine escabeche with panzanella, and goat cheese with cabernet caviar did canapé combat with Falkner's chicken liver mousse with red wine syrup, shrimp and grits, and curried lamb meatball. If only our congresspeople looked as concerned about matters affecting our nation as the Iron Chef judges did in choosing a winner -- and we're not even at the finale. Teaser highlights for next week's finale: The eliminated chefs return to assist the challengers! I enjoy watching the shows, browsing their recipes online and following their chefs on Twitter and Facebook.