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"Iron Chef America" -- the Food Network phenomenon in which a visiting chef faces one of three master chefs in an hour-long cookoff that involves a secret ingredient -- has come through Washington, D.C. Three of the District's top culinary masters, all nominees for the city's Chef of the Year Award at the 2005 Rammy Restaurant Awards, competed today for the chance to battle in Kitchen Stadium.
Ris Lacoste of 1789, Cesare Lanfranconi of Ristorante Tosca and Morou of Signatures each created a meal for a panel of judges, including Mayor Anthony Williams, several vice presidents from the Food Network and producers from Triage Entertainment. The secret ingredient: pumpkin. In a post-cook-off press conference at Ristorante Tosca, Williams announced that Morou won the contest and will compete against Bobby Flay, Mario Batali or Masaharu Morimoto in New York this January. Morou's cuisine reigned supreme thanks to his creative interpretation of a tea service, which included a tea bag with dried pumpkin, cinnamon and apricot; pumpkin and lobster broth "tea"; and a black-eyed pea and pumpkin beignet on a skewer, served in a terra cotta pot filled with beluga caviar "soil," created as an homage to New Orleans.
Morou said he does not know which of the Iron Chefs he will choose to face in the competition, but gushed that the show is "something I never miss taping." I also had the chance to talk to Lacoste -- who recently announced she will leave her post at 1789 this year -- after the press conference. She assured me that she plans to stay in the area and is leaving her post because she wants the opportunity to own her own place.
In other restaurant news, tonight is "Dine For America," when restaurants across the country will donate a percentage of their profits to hurricane relief efforts. You can make reservations on OpenTable. Go ahead and be a glutton. It's for a good cause.
Posted by: MB | October 17, 2005 4:45 PM | Report abuse
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