First Challenger From Philadelphia Wins Iron Chef America


PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Sunday night, top Latin chef, Jose Garces, owner of the popular Amada, Tinto and Distrito restaurants, competed and won against challenger chef Bobby Flay on Food Network’s massively popular series “Iron Chef America.” The chefs were given one hour to complete five dishes, which had to include the “secret” ingredient, Melon, and have a frozen component. At the conclusion of the hour, Chef Garces was bestowed the prestigious title of winner against Flay for his culinary creations.

“I’m so extremely thankful to everyone at the Food Network and to my highly talented and skilled team who helped me succeed in this amazing opportunity” says Garces “It was an honor to compete against one of my peers, Bobby Flay.”

Flay, who specializes in Southwestern cuisine, has been a regular challenger for the popular Food Network show since 2005 and so far on the show Flay has had 19 wins, 9 losses and 2 draws. Prior to challenging Chef Garces in the kitchen, Flay’s last defeat was in 2006.

This week, Chef Garces Philadelphia restaurants will offer dishes that he prepared on Iron Chef America. Dishes include: Desayuno, fresh melon, quail egg, bacon crisp, served with cream and maple and cooled with an espresso granite; Som Tum, Kobe beef with wintermelon, radish, carrot, pickled honeydew and served with a peanut dressing topped with fresh herbs; and Sliced Ibérico & Cantaloupe Terrine, with melon, Serrano ice and served with a fresh herb salad.

At age 36, Chef Jose Garces has fast become one of the country’s most distinguished chefs, a reputation that he solidified with the tremendous success of his first restaurant Amada, an authentic Andalusian tapas bar, which opened to rave reviews in Fall 2005. He further reinforced this standing with his second venture Tinto, a wine bar inspired by Basque country, the coastal and mountainous region shared by Spain and France, which was one of the city’s most highly anticipated restaurants when it opened in March 2007.

In March 2008, Garces launched Mercat a la Planxa, a Barcelona-style tapas restaurant in Chicago, his hometown. Most recently, Garces oversaw the opening of a third Philadelphia restaurant, Distrito, a spirited celebration of the culture and cuisine of Mexico City. His first cookbook, Latin Evolution (Lake Isle Press), will be released in September 2008.

Called the “Latin Emeril” for his wide smile and educational approach to food, Garces is a two-time nominee for the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” award, and has long been an ambassador of contemporary Latin cuisine. He has appeared in The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Esquire, Conde Nast Traveler, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Wall Street Journal.

For more information on Chef Jose Garces and his four acclaimed restaurants, or to make a reservation at any of them, please visit