Your 2017 Iron Fork winners are...

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Plating the winning dish. Chris Juhn

Six chefs, one hour, and one secret ingredient, revealed at the last minute: ginger. 

That's the recipe for City Pages Iron Fork, which this year brought a handful of the city's finest food truck chefs to International Market Square to duke it out in a timed cooking competition.

Last night's battle was hotly contested, and each of our chefs delivered outstanding dishes, but unfortunately there can only be one winner. This year, that's -- drum-roll, please -- Jose Alvarez from Hibachi Daruma!

Alvarez delivered a dish so thoughtful it caused this food editor to ask if he somehow had an extra hour everyone else didn't. (Alvarez's response: "We're used to doing things fast.") Melt-in-your-mouth scallops and a beautiful ribeye made it to the plate for his "Hibachi Umami Land & Sea," which was inspired by the Teppanyaki food served on the Hibachi Daruma food truck.

The ginger reared its head in the marinades; the steak soaked with ginger, garlic, mirin, and soy, the scallops with ginger, sesame oil, and mirin. Served on a bed of savory peaches and fresh vegetables, this plate was a winner all the way through.

On the cocktail side, Lake & Irving's Bryan Gooding wowed judges with the "Magnolia," a lovely lavender drink that made us a little nostalgic for summer. Not too nostalgic, though -- the fresh, floral cocktail was the perfect seasonal sipper for bridging the transition from summer to fall. (And if you want to make your own at home, Gooding shared his recipe below.)

Thanks again to all who came out to eat, drink, and support Second Harvest Heartland with us last night. We'll see you all again at Cocktailian, right?

The Magnolia
1.5 oz. Absolut Vodka
.5 oz. Creme de Fleur
.5 oz. Ginger Liqueur
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Simple Syrup
Pernod Absinthe Spritz


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