Greetings Foodies,

Tired of eating the same old thing. Well become a memeber and check out the Foodie the Kid for inspiration. Then you can look up local restuarants and food trucks.

Enjoy every bite,
Foodie the Kid

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Iron Chef Tucson 2013 Recap!!!

Another year, another competition. A competition in which chefs try to make a meal out of something on the spot. Culinary improv, if you will. Through this, we see the true creativity and skill of each chef. This competition is call the Iron Chef Tucson. Last year's winner Ryan Clark of Lodge on the Desert defended his title for the third time. Ryan graduated on the Dean's list from the Culinary Institute of America and was named one of the top 16 junior chefs in the nation from The American Culinary Federation. The challenger was David Ferrara of Fire + Spice at the Sheraton Tucson Hotel and Suites. He began his began his career at the age of 15, learning from his Grandmother.  Fire + Spice is a place in which David has combined his early experience with the flavors of The Old Pueblo thus creating a unique dining experience.

The host was Mrs. Grant from 94.9 MIX FM and the emcee was Jonathan Landeen. Jonathan is the chef and mustache aficionado of Jonathan's Cork. He has been commentating for the completion for seven years now. The competition took place in the grand ballroom of Lowe's Ventana Canyon.

The scoring was based on a scale of 1-10 per category. The dishes were judged on presentation, taste, creativity, and use of the secret ingredient. New Zealand Lamb a sweet, but potentially tough meat was the secret ingredient this year.  They both had to make four dishes using the ingredient and one of the four dishes  had to feature the nights sponsor Stella Artois. This year, the contestants had a second choice as they were introducing  their new drink a  European-styled cider called Stella Cidre.

When the clock started ticking , the chefs got down to business. Sautéing and cutting in a supersonic speed. Trying to get as much done as possible. Soon the grand ballroom at Ventana Canyon was filled with a the terrific smells of fresh vegetables and lamb.

By the time the hour was up, the chefs had finished plating their dishes and gave their dishes to the judges. The judges this year were Ken Harvey, the executive chef at Lowes Ventana Canyon. Noel Ridsdale the Academic Director of International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Tucson. Finally Alan Zeman, a chef consultant who travels the world teaching cooking classes.

Chef David Ferrara introduced his first dish, which was a won ton wrapper stuffed with lamb on top of a roasted beet and carrot with a balsamic prickly pear reduction. The second dish  he made was a jicama slaw with braised lamb shoulder with basil oil. Third David made red lentils with bacon tomato relish with braised, crusted lamb. Fourth, he made kind of a dessert?. A apple chip with apricot glaze with lamb and brie.

Next up, Chef Ryan Clark made a tar tar with lean pieces of lamb shoulder with lime yogurt with a won ton garnish. Second he made a lettuce wrap with tender lamb leg, red lentils, and salad on top and some tomato jam with some spices. Third he made a braised lamb shoulder and leg with some  citrus notes along with an apple stew salad with pickled apple peels with carrots . His fourth dish was a leg of lamb with a raspberry salt placed on top curry mashed potatoes.

The winner of this year's competition was Ryan Clark, for the third and final time. The rules stated that a chef can be in the competition only 3 times. Who knows what next years competition will bring. My bet is that the next secret ingredient will be papaya or squab.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mexico City Marvelousnes

   For a little while now in downtown, we have been witnessing a restaurant boom. Restaurants are popping up downtown like flowers in the pavement. One of these restaurants to spring up is Penca! This place opened up at the end of February by Patricia Schwabe, owner of Peach Properties. Patricia was born in Mexico City and she wanted to make the chow at Penca as genuine as possible.
  The atmosphere of the place was trendy. The exposed red brick, pipes, and wood tables gave the place a warm feel. Along with Edison lights illuminating the area. It was very easy on the eyes.
  First right off the bat, I would recommend reservations before you go. Since my Mother and I didn't we had a bit of a wait on a comfy, white couch with chips and salsa. Five minutes later we got a table. Woot!
  The head chef of the place is Johnathan Hale. He started cooking under the great Albert Hall at Acicia in the Pantry Station.
  Our appetizer was the Queso Fundido ($9) or as our waitress called it "cheesy goodness". It's cheese was Chihuahuan cheese. A glorious satin of cheese. The raja and sautéed were very tasty. The dish was suppose to come with achiote sausage. Instead it came with shredded turkey was a great substitute. The viscosity was like a chowder. This made eating it infront of people more attractive. It came with tortillas perfectly sized for you mouth.
  My mother ordered the Short Ribs ($18). These tender, well seasoned ribs were easy to pull apart with her fork. They were presented on a bed of something that tasted like grits. A good example of upscale comfort.
  For my entrée I got the Chile en Nogada ($16). It was a perfect marriage of both sweet and savory. The dish consisted of a chile poblano stuffed with tender pork . Along with sweet tender pork. Along with sweet plaintains, apples, and dried fruit. Topped with a  pomegranate sauce and seeds. It all tied together greatly.
  The dessert  we ordered was the Chocolate Bread Pudding, created by Mr.Hale himself. The dish was like the cooler older brother to chocolate cake. We ate it quickly because it tasted so good there was no room for talking only Mmmmmm.

Penca:                                             Hours:
50 E. Broadway Blvd.                   Tues-Fri 10am-1am
(520) 203-7681                               Sat  8am-1am
                                                        Sun 8am-3pm