John Ireland Wins 2012 Iron Chef Challenge
Date: October 9, 2012
Note: All photos used here were taken by Nicole Kroll Photography, 518-307-5986.
Two of Saratoga’s favorite chefs, Max London of Max London’s and John Ireland
of Panza’s, faced off in the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s fifth annual Iron Chef
Challenge on the morning of Saturday, October 6. Grey skies did nothing to deter
the crowd of onlookers who tried to learn about the techniques and flavor
combinations used by the professionals.
Recognizing the diverse culinary preferences of its customers, the market
this year asked the chefs to develop separate meat-centered and vegan plates,
and an optional third plate of their own creation.
“Since our market’s first Iron Chef Challenge in 2008, this has become a
favorite annual event among our market customers. It’s inspiring for home cooks
to see what our area’s talented chefs can create with autumn’s fresh, local
ingredients,” noted Jeff Bowers, President of Saratoga Farmers’ Market
The chefs were allowed to bring butter, flour, oil, salt, pepper, three other
ingredients of their choice, and cooking utensils. The cooking equipment was
provided by Adirondack Appliance, including a flat-top EVO grill.
Shortly before 9:30 a.m., each chef received a basket of several “mystery
ingredients” from the farmers’ market. This year, those items included lamb
chops from Elihu Farm, kale from Otrembiak Farm, fennel from Denison Farm, and
Gar-La-La, a vegan garlic-potato dip sold at the Wednesday markets by the