Special Event: Iron Chef Challenge, Oct 6

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Two of Saratoga’s favorite chefs, Max London of Max London’s and John Ireland of Panza’s, will face off in the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s fifth annual Iron Chef Challenge on the morning of Saturday, October 6, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at High Rock Park. (That’s Max London in a photo taken last year by John Sconzo, as it appeared on the Slow Food Saratoga Region blog.) Recognizing the diverse culinary preferences of its customers, the market this year is asking the chefs to develop separate meat-centered and vegan plates, and an optional third plate of their own creation.

“Since our market’s first Iron Chef Challenge in 2008, this has become a favorite annual event among our market customers. It’s inspiring for home cooks to see what our area’s talented chefs can create with autumn’s fresh, local ingredients,” notes Jeff Bowers, President of Saratoga Farmers’ Market Association.

The competition will be held on the south lawn of the market, adjacent to the large public parking lot on High Rock Avenue. Spectators are welcome to watch any portion of the event, free of charge. The chefs are allowed to bring butter, flour, oil, salt, pepper, three other ingredients of their choice, and cooking utensils. The cooking equipment will be provided by Adirondack Appliance.

Shortly before 9:30 a.m., each chef will receive a basket of several “mystery ingredients” from the farmers’ market and $30 to buy additional market items of his choice during a brief shopping period. Then, each chef will have one hour of cooking time.

The master of ceremonies for the event will be Dave Pedinotti, chef and owner of Mouzon House. Judges for the competition will be:

  • Arielle Landsberg, president of Slow Food Saratoga Region (slowfoodsaratoga.com);
  • Ashley Dingeman, food blogger (saratogafoodfanatic.com);
  • Daniel Berman, food writer (fussylittleblog.com and contributor to AllOverAlbany.com).

Presentation and judging will begin at approximately 10:45 a.m. Judging will be based on criteria including taste, presentation, and originality. The winner will be announced shortly before 11:30.

“Our market places an emphasis on helping consumers create fresh, healthy meals from farm-fresh ingredients from this region. We hope this competition might inspire some friendly competitions among families or neighbors, ” notes Market Coordinator and event organizer Suzanne Carreker-Voigt.