My First Iron Chef Experience
This post is inspired by my recent Iron Chef competition and a tweet by Joy of Joy’s Kitchen
Howdy folks! Andre here and have I ever got a dandy of a story to tell. This past Friday saw me compete in my first Iron Chef competition in which myself and my competitor were given 2 secret ingredients and had to come up with appetizer dishes for our corporate Christmas party. When it was announced weeks ago that we would be taking part in this I instantly began to stress out. There aren’t many things in life that stress me out like this did, and many of my coworkers commented that they had never seem me in such a state.
At 1PM on Friday afternoon we were told the following:
- The 2 secret ingredients are Pear and Prosciutto
- We would have two sous chefs to help in the kitchen
- We could not reference any literature, website, phone contacts, etc…
- We had till 6:30 to whip up the appetizers using the 2 secret ingredients
And so, we set off on our separate ways and I must say I was having a hard time piecing everything together. And then, like a wave of brilliance it all fell in place. I had decided on my dish and I wanted to keep the natural shape and distinctive crunch of the pear intact (as much as possible). And that’s when I came up with the following dish:
Prosciutto skinned, Brandy poached Pears stuffed with herbed CestBon Cheese chèvre, topped with 8 year old balsamic and organic olive oil.
I wanted to recreate the pear’s skin by first removing it, and then molding the prosciutto to the pear, thus giving it a new skin. I wanted folks to eat the pear with their hands, I wanted them to interact with the food in a simple manner. The dish needed to be simple to hold, eat, look at and easily recognizable.
So I set off to seek the finest ingredients I could find. I bought some CestBon Cheese chèvre, Prosciutto di Parma (the real stuff!) and crisp bosc pears. After many stressful hours, my amazing team of super sous chefs and I came up with a rather impressive appetizer that instantly reminds you of summers gone by.
I learned so much through the weeks of prep leading up to it, the hours of stress on the day and about my ability to be creative and deliver an amazing product loved by all. I won the competition and already I’ve been challenged again, so we’ll see how the next one goes!