Jose Garces of Mercat a la Planxa (Photo: Mercat a la Planxa)
We've got our fingers crossed tightly for Philly-based chef Jose Garces—who's also behind the Blackstone Hotel's hot Spanish property Mercat a la Planxa—to pull a victory over New York pastry chef Jehangir Mehta to become the Next Iron Chef.
The finals go down 9pm Sunday on Food Network, and you bet we'll be watching (even though the Bears
312DD had the chance to hang out with Garces at Mercat a la Planxa earlier this week during the first-ever Olive Oil from Spain tasting where he created six dishes (and a cocktail!) with three unique varietals.
As the master of Latin cuisine, it's no surprise that Garces uses his Chicago trips to check out the competition around town. He usually makes his way to family-owned restaurants in Pilsen, but on this trip, he checked out Paul Kahan's much talked about Big Star in Wicker Park.
No word yet on how they measured up . . .