The Water Club's Geoffrey Zakarian on becoming an Iron Chef, Atlantic City’s restaurants and octopus with marshmallow scrambled eggs.
As most of America is now already undoubtedly aware, NYC-based Chef Geoffrey Zakarian — culinary lifestyle consultant of Borgata’s sister property The Water Club — was recently named the winner of Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs competition.
Beating out a field of cheftestants that included a Murderer’s Row of prestigious personas like Michael Chiarello, Marcus Samuelsson, Zakarian’s Chopped co-host Alex Guarnaschelli and eventually, Elizabeth Faulkner, Zakarian becomes the fourth Iron Chef installed by virtue of an arduous, trial-by-fire system of judgment.
(Previous winners were Michael Symon, Marc Forgione and Philly’s own — soon to be prominently featured at the Revel casino resort as well — Jose Garces.)
A few of the highlights from his Water Club menu help demonstrate the kind of creativity that helped land Zakarian this new honor.
For breakfast, try the lemon pancakes with whipped almond ricotta and spiced syrup, eggs Norway with smoked salmon and chive sabayon or cinnamon-scented McCann’s Irish oatmeal with preserved apricots and maple sugar.
From the Immersion Spa bill of fare, health-oriented customers relish his superfoods wrap with quinoa, avocado, arugula, cracked olives and lemon juice.
Evening diners may sample from items like slow roast organic chicken sided by a porridge of sweet polenta and pickled mushrooms, crisp salmon leaf with crushed cucumber and date salad or French bistro classic steak frites.
Zakarian was kind enough to take a few minutes from his hectic schedule to answer some questions for us over the weekend. Here are a few of his thoughts on becoming an Iron Chef, Atlantic City’s restaurants and, surprisingly, octopus and marshmallow scrambled eggs.
Tell us a little bit about the process. How and when you were initially approached, and how much time did the Iron Chef production schedule require?
I was approached after I competed in Chopped Champions. I guess they saw that I could actually cook!
As the competition began who did you feel were the chefs to beat?
I never once singled out anyone. I always thought that I was the one that could win this or lose it all. All you have to be is a little off one day. Credentials did not matter.
What dishes did you feel were the absolute best you created during?
The chicken ginger vinegar with cinnamon candies and the halibut crudo with coconut and poppy seeds.
Jose Garces’ Distrito Cantina brings his Philly-based Guapos Tacos food truck concept to Revel
Wiedmaier’s room won’t be the only place to grab a steak at Revel. Chef Marc Forgione, one of Revel’s two TV Food Network “Iron Chefs” (Philly-based Jose Garces is the other) will be opening American Cut, which he described as his spin on a “classic steakhouse.”
Judging was heightened for the event too, with current Iron Chefs Masahara Morimoto and Bobby Flay — also a Borgata operator — serving on the evening’s panel.
Borgata’s Culinary Lifestyle Consultant at its exclusive Water Club, Geoffrey Zakarian, was crowned as an Iron Chef on Sunday’s Fourth Season finale of Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs.”
Among all of the fabulous food, drink and desserts, one of the coolest moves of the night was Chef Romeo DiBona, of the Old Homestead Steak House — which was just named by Zagat the best restaurant in Atlantic City — serving a modest but ultra-yummy American Kobe Beef Hot Dog with ...