1st Heat: Trevor Rivera from Marché will be returning to defend his title as Iron Chef Eugene!
Trevor Rivera got his start in the restaurant industry at Marché three years ago. He began with the basics in the pantry and has since worked through the different stations until his promotion to Sous Chef in September. Trevor enjoys the Farm to Table movement of knowing the growers and where food comes from. He enjoys the family feel of the restaurant industry, although that was also the only stress he feels as well! If he had an unexpected sunny day off he would spend it sleeping before a long bike ride along the river.
1st Heat: Michael Zito from Mame
Michael Zito was 15 when he got his first job in the food industry. His sister was a cook at Marche and he shortly got on as a dishwasher there. He then moved on to Bamboo where he first met Taro and held an apprenticeship for three years while in high school and worked himself up to be a line cook by age 17. After his apprenticeship was up he assisted at Red Agave for some time and then moved to Portland where he worked at a Sushi Bar, Taro Bravo, and became the butcher at Urban Farmer. He then moved to San Francisco where he met his wife and spent about ten years in the kitchen and became Sous Chef at 25 Lusk. He later became Chef De Cuisine, then finally an Executive Chef for Ozumo during his last two year sin San Francisco. He decided to return to Eugene to assist a family members health and ran into Taro. They started talk of expanding Taro’s restaurant, Mame. He has been at Mame for nine months now and is excited to be assisting with its growth and expansion.
2nd Heat: Alejandro Cruz from Novo
Chef de Cuisine Alejandro Cruz, who learned his way around the kitchen at places like Membrillo, Soubise, Rabbit and Marché, is treating Latin America as if it were an extension of the Northwest. He is using the same exacting standards he learned while working at these award winning Eugene restaurants combined with the acclaimed gastronomic traditions of his native city Oaxaca, Mexico. Using the freshest ingredients, Alejandro creates earthy, modern interpretations of dishes throughout Latin America and Spain without compromising the foundational roots of Latin cooking.
2nd Heat: Vincent Tsatsakis Cafe Soriah
Chef Vincent Tsatsaki’s cuisine is all about the fruitful encounters and discoveries that mark him throughout his journey and travels; simple and sophisticated, traditional and contemporary, punctuated by the seasons and mood.
The essence, color, and spice combine rhythmically with recipes ranging the globe. Subtle notes, pulling from Asiatic flavors to regional wild plants or our land and undergrowth, Vincent transcribes his style and soul through experiences cultivated in cuisine.
This Brussels, Belgium native shares his observation of the culinary world by bringing you deeply flavored gastronomique dishes.
Iron Chef Eugene is the premier culinary competition featuring some of Eugene’s finest chefs. Each chef will have an identical kitchen, tools and pantry. Each chef will have sixty minutes to plan, prepare and plate a delectable entree for the 5-judge panel of experts. Each chef will have no idea what the “secret ingredients” are until they are unveiled at the beginning of the competition for all to see. The secret ingredients must be used in preparing the dish. The chefs will race the clock and each other to create a masterpiece on stage in front of the audience, commentators and judges. At the end of the sixty minute competition, the chefs will present their creations to each judge.
- One “chef” and a “sous chef” will make up one team.
- Competitors are only allowed to bring their knives.
- The “secret ingredients” will be revealed at the beginning of the competition and must be used.
- Each competitor will have an identical kitchen, tools and pantry ingredients.
- Emcees will interview competitors and judges while the food flies on stage.
- Each competitor will have sixty minutes to prepare and plate 1 delectable entrée on 10 plates for the panel of 5 judges and 5 lucky guests. Only the judges will be allowed to judge for the actual competition. There will be an audience choice award based on presentation and teamwork.
- Competitors present their creations to each judge for scoring.
- The winning team will participate at Bite of Oregon on Aug. 12-14, 2016 in Portland.