Eat Like the Mentors of All-Star Academy

All-Star Academy mentors Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Symon, Bobby Flay and Curtis Stone share their favorite eats from around the country.

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alex Guarnaschelli

Alex Guarnaschelli is the executive chef of Butter in New York City and appears regularly as a judge on Chopped. From coastal cuisine to international staples, here are some of her favorite foods from around the country.

More About: Alex Guarnaschelli

Carne Asada a la Oaxaqueña — Frontera Grill (Chicago)

A 16-ingredient marinade transforms rib steak into a classic Mexican dish at one of Alex’s favorite Chicago spots. “It’s got a wonderful combination of spices that sort of blends seamlessly into the meat,” she says of the Carne Asada a la Oaxaqueña. It’s served with sweet plantains, sour cream and guacamole.

More About: Frontera Grill

Shrimp Po' Boy — Domilise's Po-Boy & Bar (New Orleans)

It’s definitely not hard to find a po' boy in New Orleans, but Alex won’t settle for anything less than her favorite from Domilise's. The shrimp po' boy is built on Louisiana French bread and has crispy fried shrimp, shredded lettuce, pickles and homemade ketchup. According to her, it will leave you thinking, “I’m eating the greatest sandwich I’ve ever had.”

More About: Domilise's Po-Boy & Bar

Deep-Fried Hot Dog — Rawley’s Drive-In (Fairfield, Conn.)

If a classic hot dog just isn’t enough, try it deep-fried with bacon. Alex says it’s “not anything extra-special — just your perfect garden-variety hot dog transformed into something magnificent because it’s fried.” 

More About: Rawley's Drive In

Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay is the chef and owner of multiple restaurants, including Mesa Grill, Bar Americain and Gato. Here are some of the grill master’s favorite eats from around the United States. 

More About: Bobby Flay

Peanut Butter & Banana Stuffed French Toast — Cafe 222 (San Diego)

“This is not just a slice of bread thrown in some egg batter and thrown in a pan. This is stuffed French toast,” Bobby declares. The peanut butter and banana stuffing makes for a very enticing breakfast at Cafe 222. With its golden-brown crust on the outside, it’s nearly impossible to pass up.

More About: Cafe 222

Mongolian Pork Chop — Mustards Grill (Napa, Calif.)

Bobby looks to Mustards Grill in Napa, Calif., for what he calls “the best dish I’ve ever had on the grill.” The Mongolian Pork Chop is marinated in a sweet and tart, Asian-style sauce and grilled over a wood-burning fire. “It’s a little spicy, a little sweet, a little salty and a little sour,” Bobby says.

More About: Mustards Grill

Stone Crabs — Joe’s Stone Crab (Miami)

Bobby ventures down to Miami to get some of his favorite oversized seafood. “For me, it’s like crab heaven,” he says. It’s served with its shell cracked and has a mustard mayonnaise sauce on the side for dipping. Bobby says, “It’s unlike any crab I’ve seen before.”

More About: Joe's Stone Crab

Curtis Stone

Curtis Stone is an internationally known chef and TV personality. Between ceviche and duck tongue, his favorite dishes include some very bold flavors.

More About: Curtis Stone

Duck Tongue Tacos — Extra Virgin (Kansas City, Mo.)

In this case, bold flavor comes in a very unassuming package. For these tacos, duck tongues are marinated with apple cider vinegar, chiles, cilantro and chicken stock before being caramelized on the griddle and stuffed inside a crunchy shell. “Duck tongues get so soft and so delectable that they take on a lot of the flavor they have been cooked with,” Curtis says.

More About: Extra Virgin, Kansas City

Crying Tiger Pork — Jitlada Restaurant (Los Angeles)

Even if you like spicy foods, the Crying Tiger Pork is going to be a challenge. It’s pork marinated with soy, lime, palm sugar and dried Thai chili peppers, making for a very heated experience. “It’s a journey from the very first mouthful to the time you put your fork down and you have a head sweat going on,” Curtis says.

More About: Jitlada Restaurant

Fire and Ice Ceviche — Ola (Miami)

Fire and Ice ceviche gets loaded with dynamic flavor after being marinated in lime juice, lemon juice, jalapenos, spicy Thai chiles and a cool Asian pear granita. Curtis has come to love the experience: “The combination of the temperatures, the heat, the saltiness, the sweetness, the freshness of the fish; it’s almost like everything’s in contrast but it’s all in perfect balance.”

More About: Ola Restaurant

Michael Symon

Michael Symon is the chef and owner of multiple restaurants in Cleveland and Detroit, including Lola, Lolita, Roast and B Spot. He’s got a taste for comfort food, as shown in his top picks from around the country.

More About: Michael Symon

The Polish Boy — Seti’s Polish Boys (Cleveland)

Michael’s favorite Polish Boy sandwich comes piled high with sausage, hot sauce, coleslaw and fries, but it’s the technique that makes it a winner. They start with high-quality sausage and deep-fry it, which he says “makes it crispy and crunchy on the outside and keeps it juicy in the middle.”

More About: Seti's Polish Boys

Blue Cheese Guacamole Dip — Lopez (Cleveland)

At Lopez in Cleveland, dips are better together. “They’ve taken the dip to a whole new level,” Michael says of their Blue Cheese and Guacamole dip. It’s already got blue cheese and sage mixed in, but he says it’s better with a bit of bacon.

More About: Lopez — Southwestern Food Club

Pierogi — Sokolowski's University Inn (Cleveland)

“Not only are they filled with potato and cheddar, but now they’re bathing in a butter bath,” Michael says of these Polish dumplings. But the process isn’t as simple as it seems — before being soaked in the onion-and-butter mixture, they’re first cooked in boiling water and then browned on the grill to achieve perfect texture and color.

More About: Sokolowski's University Inn

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