Friday, April 20, 2007

Iron Chef at Publix: Heated battle Jax vs. Sarasota

Chef Patrick Walley, Resident Chef of Publix Aprons in Jacksonville preps fresh pineapple slices with cardamon pods, cinnamon sticks, rum and the secret ingredient.....maple syrup

Pre-Dining pep rally.....

One of the final dishes by the challengers from Publix Aprons Sarasota: Roasted duck salad with oranges

Slight of hand flambe

The Publix Aprons program for the Iron Chef battle was completely sold out...

Publix Aprons Sarasota Resident Chef Marc Positano(left) presents his courses and Jacksonville Resident Chef Patrick Walley (right) with his team

By the Sarasota team: Precursor complete with oysters, truffle oil, asiago cheese and rinsed caviar

Final Scrutiny: Food fans from all over Jacksonville step up for the final plating

From the Sarasota team: Banana fritters with chocolate ganache - what could go wrong?

The winning combination: pineapples flambe with maple cream and cream of cauliflower soup laced with maple syrup

Last Thursday night was the first Iron Chef competition at the recently opened Publix Aprons Cooking School located in Mandarin. Competition was pretty stiff against the challenger arriving from Sarasota's Aprons Cooking School(red team) which included Resident Chef Marc Positano and Tom Longo.

The Jacksonville home team(blue team) lead by Resident Chef Patrick Walley won the evening after a heated competition. It must have been his delicately seasoned yet kicked up soup made of pureed fresh cauliflower, spices reflective to Thai seasonings and an ample shot of the secret ingredient: pure grade maple syrup. Another knock out was his spinach salad tossed in maple inspired dressing and topped with pinenuts toasted in maple syrup.

Needless to say the sensibilities of the visiting team should not be overlooked. Chef Marc overwhelmed Chef Patrick's patronage with grandeur compositions: Oysters in truffle oil blended with asiago cheese and topped with ruby red caviar, beef tenderloin stuffed with lobster and the Maple Banana Compote finished with dark chocolate ganache.

The rivalry was pretty intense yet friendly during the cook off. Jacksonville fans rallied with intense fervor to what resembled pre-game festivities prompting an edgier fight amongst the amicable chefs.

The Publix Aprons Cooking School is a hidden gem located inside the Mandarin supermarket. Gilded complete with the makings of any coveted gourmet kitchen: two ample size cook stations, dining area and TV screens to highlight celebrity chef nights.

Scheduled to arrive to Aprons in Mandarin this May:

Bistro Aix: Executive Chef Tom Gray

Paula Deen - SOLD OUT

Clos du Bois Vineyards - Winemaker Erik Olsen

Step inside the out of ordinary and visit.....

Aprons Cooking School
Publix at San Jose Boulevard
10500 San Jose Blvd.
Jacksonville, Florida 32257
Cooking School: 904-262-4187

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