Iron Chefs Gather to Judge, Not Compete In, First-Ever Rooftop Iron Chef Showdown

Find out which restaurants earned top honors from the Iron Chefs and host Alton Brown.

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Photo by: Anders Krusberg

Anders Krusberg

The Kitchen Stadium battles don't officially kick off until the premiere of Iron Chef Showdown on November 8 (don’t miss it at 9|8c!), but that didn't stop the esteemed Iron Chefs from coming together last night to take part in another competition. At the 10th annual New York City Wine & Food Festival, nearly all of the culinary greats, including Alex Guarnschelli, Michael Symon and host Alton Brown, took their places not in the kitchen but at the judges' table to evaluate dozens of dishes from chefs from across the country. The name of the game was Rooftop Iron Chef Showdown: Battle Autumn Bounty. The Secret Ingredient — autumn produce — was open to interpretation, which meant that the participating chefs could use their creativity to create unique-to-them dishes.

For Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse, that meant a focus on squash. The eatery's Butternut Squash Gnocchi were flipped in a rich vin santo-spiked sauce before being dished out to the crowd of fans that gathered atop Manhattan's Pier 92 for this jam-packed event.

Trapizzino, an Italian restaurant chain that recently launched in the Big Apple, brought squash to the party too, but they did it in the form of a suppli, a classic Italian rice ball. These crispy-on-the-outside and gooey-on-the-inside bites were stuffed with golden squash — and plenty of cheese.

While the fans voted for a succulent brisket dish from Mas (Farmhouse) to be the best of the night, the Iron Chefs reserved their top honor for Le Coq Rico, a New York restaurant that specializes in chicken. In keeping with the theme of the Secret Ingredient, however, Le Coq Rico plated a downright beautiful presentation of Leek Vinaigrette, featuring tender, sweet leeks atop a super-creamy hollandaise sauce.

Alton, too, honored one restaurant with a trophy for his pick of the night. Perrine claimed that award for its carrots-focused turnover that was delicate yet comforting.

It's no secret that tacos are an ideal vehicle for nearly any and all fillings, and last night, two restaurants caught our eye with their preparations. The beauty pictured above from Ho'Brah Tacos is filled with jalapeno bacon and Brussels sprout, while El Vez's all-veggie taco was dressed up with earthy mushrooms, sweet delicate squash and salty queso fresco. 

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