Maverick Chef Chuck Hughes Wins Iron Chef Challenge
Chef Chuck Hughes, owner of Garde-Manger in Montreal has accomplished a first: he’s the first Canadian to beat Chef Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America.
I had the opportunity to interview Hughes for Tidings “Maverick Chefs” series. All around nice guy and totally passionate about food (evidenced by his numerous food-related tattoos), Hughes wowed the Chairman and the judges with his interpretations of lobster (the prized kind from Nova Scotia that chefs around the world love), the secret ingredient. Sous chefs, James Baran and Jean-François Methot, were on hand to help him out and make the win happen.
The stereotypical Canadianisms, like “eh” got to be a little bit much for me after a while, and Alton Brown can use some help with proper pronunciation. One of Flay’s sous chefs wasn’t having a good day either. She seemed to be having difficulty pulling together components for the dishes. Flay, himself, seemed a little off his game, too. You could literally see the sweat dripping off him as he prepped the gumbo. Granted, it’s hot in the kitchen. But, I found it to be somewhat of a turn off. Come on, what if sweat dripped into the food he was cooking?
I’ve watched Flay in battle before, and I’ve seen some of his dishes flop with the judges. So, when these particular three took him to task for some of his flavour combinations (vanilla and lobster?), I wasn’t surprised. But, I didn’t think Flay would lose. Given that he was crowned Iron Chef when up against Chefs Lynn Crawford and Michael Smith. Though Rob Feenie did manage to best Masaharu Morimoto. In any case, I figured Flay had a good chance of pulling it off. Well, maybe next time, Bobby. This time, our own Chuck Hughes took the title.