(Update 9/29…See all participants and results below photos. Thanks to Holly Heer with AHA.)
If you didn’t know, the Arkansas Iron Chef competition takes place annually on the Arkansas Hospitality Association convention and tradeshow floor, over the two days of the conference. If you’re planning on visiting and would like to watch the competition take place, just look out for our trade show banner. It can be a really exciting spectator sport so we highly recommend it. I had the opportunity to sit in on yesterday’s Heat 2, and today’s final round.
Trade shows are so much fun and they are an excellent opportunity for businesses from all kinds of different sectors to share their products and services with potential clients and customers. There were so many stands featuring businesses from the world of hospitality and they had all brought endless supplies of promotional materials with them.
I was particularly impressed with some of the amazing catalogs I picked up. Not only were they filled with stunning pictures of tasty food, but some of them even had recipes inside. I thought this was a lovely touch.
When it comes to catalog printing so many of the exhibitors had gone above and beyond to make an impression. Catalogs are a great way to have a lasting impact at a trade show, so do not be afraid to reach out to a printing company if you ever need to create some promotional materials of your own.
Of course, I must also give a big thanks to Kratom for sponsoring me for part of the trip.
Before I continue with the details about the competition I would like to share with you what kratom is. I have to say that kratom products are natural and they help with different symptoms like mild headache or stomachache, even with anxiety or depression. If you want to find a legitimate place to buy this product, search for ‘Kratom – Soap Korner‘ to see what form you would like to have it in. Kratom has been proven to be the best way to improve your health. You can find out more at https://KratomMasters.com.
As reported earlier, I tasted the results of yesterday’s Heat 2 between the boys from Forty Two and Simply the Best, with Forty Two winning. Here are the dishes from that round, using duck as the surprise ingredient:
I’m not going to pick favorites here, as they were both incredible. But let me just tell you…that “onion tomato jam,” as bizarre as it sounds to most of us, was slap-your-momma good. I was literally whacking the table. Mmmm. But both were wonderful, and Forty Two won the heat with tons of points, carrying them immediately to the final round.
**Intermission** I have to tell a funny story. I thought all this time that my second silent auction prize was for the Semi-Final round. It said so on the ticket. I sit down today at the appropriate time, and the folks in charge politely shoo me out, as someone else had won that tasting. Turns out that my ticket was misprinted, and I had, in fact, won the FINAL round tasting. Booyah!
The final round was between Chef Jacob Peck and Sous Chef Greg Wallis of Forty Two, and Chef Osi Imomoh and Sous Chef Howard Austion of Southland Park Gaming & Racing. The surprise protein was – wait for it – rabbit. I think I was the only one to chuckle, picturing the poor old rabbit form they used to use at the greyhound races. (They tell me it’s now a bone shape that draws the doggies around the track.)
Since I had so much food to myself yesterday for Heat 2, I invited a friend, Ramona Collins (@monaspoeticwax) to eat with me. Our lives have crossed paths in several weird ways over our lives, and we’re just now getting to know each other. What a great way to do so, over great food!
Here are the two dishes we tasted for the final round:
IRON CHEF COMPETITION PHOTOS:
Wednesday, September 23
Heat 1, Celebrity Round – Chef Jamie McAfee, Pine Pluff Country Club & Steve Marston, Point 94.1 vs. Chef Andre Poirot, Peabody Hotel & Jennifer Trafford, Point 94.1
Winner: Poirot & Trafford
Heat 2 – Chef Jacob Peck & Sous Chef Greg Wallis, 42 vs. Chef Jason Godwin & Sous Chef Willie Yearwood, Simply the Best Catering
Heat 3 – Chef Ted Roman & Sous Chef Jody Smallwood, Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa vs. Chef Osi Imomoh & Sous Chef Howard Austion, Southland Park Gaming & Racing
Winner: Southland Park Gaming & Racing
Heat 4 – Chef Phillip Southan, River Grille & Sous Chef Krista Rogalla, Pulaski Tech Culinary School vs. Chef Nathan Miller & Sous Chef Karle Johnson, The House
Winner: The House
Thursday, September 24
Chef Osi Imomoh & Sous Chef Howard Austion, Southland Park Gaming & Racing vs. Chef Nathan Miller & Sous Chef Karle Johnson, The House
Winner: Southland Park Gaming & Racing
Chef Osi Imomoh & Sous Chef Howard Austion, Southland Park Gaming & Racing vs. Chef Jacob Peck & Sous Chef Greg Wallis, 42
Iron Chef Champion: 42