Culinary charisma

By on September 17, 2014

(From left to right), Iron Chef contenders Brian Laughlin and Kyle Nicholson of Snake River Grill, Rich Hammons of Sudachi and Nate Fischer of the Couloir. Photo: Sargeant Schutt


Jackson Hole, Wyoming — The wildly popular program Iron Chef nourishes our spectator tendencies. With the clock ticking, we study contestants hastily dicing, mixing and sautéing surprise ingredients. Beads of sweat dot the food slingers’ faces while we speculate who will be at the helm of culinary perfection and whose creation judges will dismiss.

Today during the People’s Market, a Teton version of Iron Chef ensues with chefs from Snake River Grill, Sudachi and the Couloir. Judges will be comprised of discerning foodies, including Planet food critic, Geraldine (Dina) Mishev. Surprise local ingredients, selected by People’s Market staff and sourced from Market vendors, will challenge the chefs’ improvisational prowess.

“I’m pretty sure I created this concept because I’m an idiot and like to make myself suffer,” laughed People’s Market founder Steven Michel. “But for the masses we created this event to show the community what you can create using local foods. We have some amazing chefs in the valley and it gives them the opportunity to show their creativity in a competitive fashion. Every year we give contestants three surprise ingredients and every year we come up with completely different plates of food.”

Last year’s winning dish — grilled skirt steak with potato latke, poached duck egg, huitlaxoche roasted tomato sauce and vegetable foam from Spanish chilies — was at the hands of Snake River Grill’s Kyle Nicholson and Brian Laughlin.

“The biggest challenge by far was just going in blind and being on a timer,” said Nicholson of his inaugural food competition. “Though as chefs, we are always on a time crunch and always getting thrown curve balls … the fast pace is like a daily routine; we were bred for this stuff.”

Iron Chef competition care of the People’s Market, 4:30 p.m., Wednesday at the base of Snow King. This is the last People’s Market of the season.



About Robyn Vincent

Robyn is the editor of Planet Jackson Hole and Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine. When she's not sweating deadlines, she likes to travel the world with her notebook and camera in hand. Follow her on Twitter @TheNomadicHeart

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