Jose Garces joined the ranks of celebrated chefs such as Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, and Michael Symon last night when he beat out Jehangir Mehta to be crowned the Food Network's Next Iron Chef.
“Chef Jose Garces has been a fierce competitor throughout the entire season of The Next Iron Chef,” said Bob Tuschman, a senior VP for Food Network. “His culinary mastery, laser focus and inventive brilliance will bring a new flair and style to the Chairman’s team. We truly look forward to some amazing cuisine during his battles in Kitchen Stadium.”
Although Garces was born and raised in Chicago, the chef gained notoriety as executive chef and owner of Amada, Tinto, Distrito, Chifa and Village Whiskey restaurants in Philadelphia.
Garces is excited by the win, saying that, if nothing else, the title will help bring more people into his restaurants. He also told the LA Times that he intends to use the crown as "a vehicle to do good, whether it's through charity work, or supporting young culinary talent. Having that title gives you a lot of leverage." Garces faces his first big challenge as an Iron Chef in Kitchen Stadium on Jan. 17, in an episode airing at 9PM.