On April 27 Iron Chef Elm City returns. The host, Gateway Community College (GCC), will turn the up the heat once again at Viking Distributing East (previously HADCO) in Wallingford.
Competing this year will be Chef Alex Morales of Mambo, Chef Frank Proto of Barcelona, and Chef Manuel Ramero, previously of Ibiza, New Haven. GCC hospitality and culinary students will be on hand assisting the chefs. Jocelyn Maminta, WTNH-TV’s Emmy Award-nominated medical reporter, will emcee. The event begins at 11:45 a.m.
Celebrity judges are: Layla Schlack, associate editor of Fine Cooking where she produces and edits feature stories, as well as the Repertoire, Try This, Go Shopping, and On Location departments; Jocelyn Ruggiero, aka the Foodie Fatale, a passionate Connecticut locavore and author of the blog foodiefatale.com, and Jane Stern, co-author of dozens of cookbooks, best known for her “Roadfood” series and the “Roadfood” column in Gourmet magazine.
The reception includes tastings from the competing restaurants, samples by the “secret ingredient” provider, Bertolotti Desserts, Calabro Cheese, Chabaso Bakery, Gelato Giulana, Deep River Snacks, Willoughby’s Coffee, Lyman Orchards, Sabra Hummus, Sweetpea, Kennedy’s Kettle Popped Corn, and Holly’s Oatmeal. There will be raffle for a chance to taste dishes prepared at the competition, as well as a silent auction.
Tickets are $45. There are limited $65 tickets (preferred viewing) that can be purchased online at Stephenfries.com/iron-chef. Proceeds benefit scholarships for GCC’s hospitality management and culinary arts students.
The event’s format is based on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef” program and features culinary experts as judges. The chefs are provided with a list of five possible “secret” ingredients a week before the event. At the competition, the “secret” ingredient is unveiled and the chefs are required to create an appetizer, entree and dessert using the ingredient – all in one hour. Past year’s secret ingredients were locally made favorites including Calabro Cheese, Lyman Orchards apples, Willoughby’s coffee, Hooker Beer, Deep River Snacks, and Holly’s Oatmeal.
Todd Lyon and Mike Devlin will be the “kitchen commentators,” reporting on the chefs’ progress throughout the competition. Lyon has covered the New Haven restaurant scene for 20-plus years, writing for the New Haven Register, Connecticut Magazine and the New Haven Advocate. He currently pens the monthly “Players” column for New Haven Living magazine, and is co-owner of Fashionista Vintage & Variety, a clothing store for eccentrics.
Devlin is developing both savory and dessert items at Perk on Main in Durham, Conn. for their new prepared foods and catering businesses. He is also an adjunct professor at GCC.
Stephen Fries, GCC professor, coordinator of GCC’s Hospitality Management Programs and the event producer, said the competition promises to be exciting from start to finish. The audience will “be able to walk around and be in the middle of the action—a great way to showcase three talented chefs.”
For a look back at last year’s competition click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObQilBLHpNo. For questions, please call 203-777-8550 or 203-415-3519.