The Hudson Valley's Johnny Iuzzini, executive pastry chef at Restaurant Jean Georges, has been named New York City's Sexiest Chef, according to a recent poll by the Daily News. I first wrote in May about the marshmallow-coated chef, who grew up near Newburgh and who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1994.
Iuzzini is no stranger to honors, having twice been named one of America's Top Ten Pastry Chefs by Pastry Art & Design magazine. But being named as the city's most "sizzling" chef requires a different skill set than being lauded for his kitchen chops. "We are chefs, and that's the main thing," Iuzzini told the newspaper. "We care about what we do. And once in a while if we can appear in a different arena, it's nice to be acknowledged and appreciated."
Coming in second was Todd Mitgang of Crave Ceviche Bar. Third place went to Aarón Sanchez of Paladar and Centrico, who was on the CIA’s Hyde Park campus last summer when he was a contestant on The Next Iron Chef.
The contest drew some funny comments in the blog world. I'll share:
We were still trying to make up our mind whether the Daily News’ “New York’s Sexiest Chef” contest was for real or not, when we got an e-mail blast from nominee Johnny Iuzzini, last seen wearing a meringue body stocking on his stylish Website.
In his champion photo, Johnny (who, you'll remember, has a newsletter that reminds us he “is becoming quite the superstar”) is photographed sitting next to his motorcycle, like a vanilla-coated Fonzie for the 21st century.
OK, it’s the reader response comments that got me laughing here. I won’t even try to repeat some of them -- see for yourself. Not for the kids. And don't read it with mouthful of coffee.