Last night at Iron Fork, a bunch of hipster food people got together and ate food at each other while wearing fashion clothes at the Dallas Contemporary. It was fun.
I heard it was also hot. (I was definitely sweating like a pregnant pig, but I'm a pregnant pig. For me, it was so hot, even the balls I'm currently creating were sweaty. But, like I said, that was just me. Maybe everyone else was super cold. At one point, chef Scott Romano did ask for a fan to be turned off. So, I guess he was chilly.)
Attendees were treated to sample portions of dishes from approximately one million restaurants all over town, and there was a definite overuse of the word "nibble." VIPs horked down steak from Bob's Steak & Chop House with big, very important smiles on their faces in a room that had "LUST NEVER SLEEPS" written on the wall.
While guests listened to an nst-nst-nst-remix of "Billy Jean," the Iron Fork Chef Competition raged. Returning two-time Iron Fork Competition winner chef Scott Romano battled against FT33's chef Matt McCallister. The competition is much like Iron Chef: a secret ingredient is revealed, and both chefs are required to make two dishes using the ingredient in 30 minutes.
The esteemed panel of judges for the competition included Maple & Motor's Jack Perkins, The Grape's executive chef Brian C. Luscher and some chick named Alice.
The Kent Rathbun hosted the competition and checked in with the chefs periodically as they created their dishes. Rathbun revealed the secret ingredient (brought to us by Whole Foods): POTATOES.
Neither chef skipped a beat as they rushed for the potato table to grab ingredients. Both chefs should be commended for their bravery in dealing with such a difficult secret ingredient. I'm pretty sure this was the first time either of them had worked with potatoes. I, for one, had never even heard of potatoes. (Turns out, they're super delicious.)
As Rathbun observed Romano prepping a risotto dish, he noted, "That's a lot of balls. A lot of individual balls." Later, Romano burned his hand on a bowl, which fell into the crowd. It was intense, but thankfully, everyone survived.
Meanwhile, the judges took the competition very seriously. I studied my ballot carefully.
"Can I get a drink?" asked Luscher, directly into his microphone. As McCallister carefully plated a dish, Perkins asked, "Chef, are those tweezers? Can I borrow your tweezers?"
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As you would expect from these two chef powerhouses, all of the food that they presented was amazing. McCallister went home with the competition win and a sweet trophy, but Alaskan Brewing Co. is sending both chefs to Cordova, Alaska, to go Copper River Salmon fishing. Learning: In an Iron Fork Chef Competition, everyone wins.
Sincerest thanks to the chefs for competing, thanks to the attendees for laughing at Jack Perkins' dong jokes, and thanks to Kent Rathbun for driving away after the party like such a stud.
Up next. A few GIFs of the competition from Catherine Downes.