The whole Iron Chef thing has me thinking about local chefs who I’d like to see compete on the Food Network show. Ric Orlando of New World Home Cooking in Woodstock is a given – not only is his food delicious but he has a big personality and his PBS show has demonstrated that he has great TV presence. John Novi of Dupuy Canal House in High Falls would also be great – his food is innovative and exciting, and he can rightly be considered the “dean” of Hudson Valley cuisine.
Jeff Raider, executive chef at Valley Restaurant in Garrison, is another chef I’d like to see on the Food Network, although he’s (modestly) told me in the past that he likes it just fine back in the kitchen. His food has won rave reviews from The New York Times, Esquire and the like ... and he showed a nice rapport with the crowd during a demo last fall at the St. Francis Hospital benefit Taste of the Hudson Valley. (The chef is not a bad writer either – his essay about oysters and recipe for oyster chowder were part of Hudson Valley Connoisseur’s October 2006 issue.)
Which chef from the region do you think should appear on Iron Chef America?