Food & Drink 2022: Meet the Iron Fork Chefs | Cover Stories

Ahead of Thursday’s big event at First Horizon Park, we caught up with all four of our Iron Fork competitors: Lyra’s Hrant Arakelian, Butcher & Bee’s Chris DeJesus, Anzie Blue’s Star Maye and Thai Esane’s Nina Singto. They’ve got a diverse array of skill sets and backgrounds, but they all have a couple of things in common — they’re all talented chefs, and they’re all in it to win it. Check out our profiles below.


 










Even if you don’t recognize his name, if you’ve been dining out in Nashville, you’ve likely eaten chef Hrant Arakelian’s food. His résumé reads like a who’s-who of our dearly departed favorites: Sunset Grill? Check. Flyte? Check. Deb Paquette’s Zola? Check. Rumors East? Check. Holland House Bar & Refuge? Check.

In 2018 Arakelian and his wife Elizabeth Endicott (who has her own long list of Nashville culinary royalty on her résumé) opened their dream restaurant in the old Holland House space. In fact, it was Arakelian’s connection with Holland House that gave them a leg up on securing the coveted corner building at Eastland and McFerrin avenues; they were able to approach the landlord early in the process. “We were very lucky to get that space,” Arakelian says.

With Lyra (pronounced “LIE-rah”), the couple transformed the way in which East Nashville experiences Middle Eastern food. Born in Lebanon, Arakelian lived in Oman until he was 7 years old and his family immigrated to Nashville. Arakelian weaves into his food the flavors and traditions of the places he’s lived and the kitchens in which he’s worked.

“Some people come in [to Lyra] with preconceived notions of Middle Eastern food, with kabobs and hummus and rice,” says Arakelian. “We hope that when they come to Lyra that they learn about the variety of Middle Eastern cuisine and some things that they are not as familiar with.”

You can expect to see that modern approach at Iron Fork, a challenge about which he says he is both excited and nervous. Arakelian had been planning to participate in Iron Fork in 2020, which was canceled due

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What Twin Cities chefs from around the world are cooking for Thanksgiving

In many Minnesota households this Thanksgiving, the main meal is all about turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes — or Venezuelan hallacas, Mexican mole, Indian bread pudding and Jamaican jerk-spiced turkey. Six Twin Cities chefs who hail from around the globe tell us, in their own words, what’s on their Thanksgiving tables.

Interviews have been edited and condensed.

Venezuelan

Soleil Ramirez

Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

Chef Soleil Ramirez at her restaurant, Arepa Bar, with hallacas, a Venezuelan holiday dish
she’ll be serving for Thanksgiving.

My grandpa was born in New York, so in my family, we always have a little bit of Venezuela and a little bit of American culture. For Thanksgiving, we get together and cook the turkey, but we actually eat our Christmas food. So it’s a little bit of both countries mixed in.

There are three or four items we always make. One of them is hallacas. I think hallacas represent Venezuela 100%. Hallacas were made a very long time ago when the Spaniards came to what they called the Indian islands, and Venezuela was a part of that. The Spaniard people would throw away all their leftovers, and the slaves and native people weren’t able to eat any of that. They didn’t have enough food or water or anything. So they started to pick from the floor from the leftovers people threw away, and they started to wrap all these up in plantain leaves and hide it in the ground. And of course, corn, in South America, grows everywhere. So they started to make a dough with corn, and would mix the dough with all these leftovers. And that is what we call today hallacas. It was like surviving, you know?

Provided

Soleil Ramirez makes hallacas for Thanksgiving both at home and at her restaurant, Arepa Bar.

It’s pork, beef, chicken, raisins, olives, almonds, capers. All of this is cooked in red wine and it’s kind of a stew, but thicker. It’s called guiso. And the plantain is used to wrap all of this up. People think Venezuelan food is similar to Mexican food, and

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OneRare Onboards Leading Superstar Chefs into An Fascinating Foodverse GamePlay

OneRare, a blockchain gaming task, is seeking to set up the perfect combination of gaming, NFTs working with the distinctive concept of Food stuff in their metaverse. Now, they are escalating their Foodverse thought by bringing celeb chefs into the place to create an remarkable foods journey for Internet3 buffs.

In accordance to the official announcement, Movie star Cooks Arnold Poernomo, Saransh Goila and Jaimie Van Heije, are collaborating with the OneRare job and its foodverse to celebrate their culinary journey and signature dishes on the blockchain.

By working with celeb cooks, OneRare aims to develop an at any time-rising community in which food enthusiasts and leading chefs in the food stuff and beverage industry would interact effortlessly and investigate an ecosystem of international cuisines weaved into an immersing narrative.

Creating A World-wide Get to For The Food stuff And Beverage Business With Celeb Cooks

Movie star chefs from diverse components of the environment will be producing a grand entrance in the world’s initially food items metaverse and as this sort of, they’ll be a single of the driving forces that would bolster a international arrive at for the foodstuff and beverage sector.

Arnold Poernomo is a celebrity chef and a perfectly-recognised decide on the cooking fact series Masterchef Indonesia. The iconic restaurateur & founder of six eating places in Sydney, Bali and Jakarta, is signing up for the OneRare foods and gaming revolution.“Food brings men and women with each other. Put together with metaverse and Onerare, the choices are unlimited and for confident delicious”, states Arnold.

Saransh Goila is an Indian chef commonly identified for producing his very own trademark of a typical Indian dish, now named the Goila Butter Rooster. The chef thinks the metaverse will be a real turning issue for bringing regional cuisines to the world-wide forefront.

Jaimie van Heije is a distinguished Dutch Chef who owns a amount of superior cuisine eating places in The Netherlands. Jaimie is a significant fan of NFTs and he believes the foodverse is groundbreaking innovation on the blockchain ecosystem.

The thought of the OneRare task

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What is Filipino foods and what does it style like? Chefs clarify

With some 12 million persons throughout extra than 100 countries, the Filipino diaspora is just one of the major in the planet.

However the food stuff of the Philippines is just not as greatly recognized as some Asian cuisines. Fans of the cuisine argue that adobo — chicken or pork braised in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and peppercorn — should really be as recognizable as phad thai, ramen and shrimp dumplings. 

As far more Filipino cooks obtain global recognition, the attractiveness of Philippines delicacies is attaining traction. In 2015, Antonio’s Cafe — helmed by Filipino Tonyboy Escalante — was the initially restaurant in the Philippines to crack onto the World’s 50 Most effective listing, debuting at No. 48.

Sarsa’s motto is “Filipino Food stuff Forward.” Dishes from the Manila restaurant are (clockwise from major suitable): sisig, crab tortang talong (eggplant omelet), scorching kansi (beef shank soup), chicken inasal, and (center) beef caldereta.

Scott A. Woodward

In 2016, Negative Saint, the Washington, D.C., restaurant released by the James Beard award-profitable chef Tom Cunanan, was named the 2nd-best restaurant in America by Bon Appetit magazine. That identical calendar year, Manila’s Margarita Fores was honored as Asia’s Best Female Chef by the U.K.-based mostly 50 Best business.

Still insiders say struggles to popularize Filipino foodstuff come from stereotypes abroad as well as problems in the Philippines.

From Manila to Miami and Paris

Cheryl Tiu, a Manila-born food items journalist and founder of the Miami-dependent functions web page Cross Cultures, attributes some of the issue to “hiya,” that means disgrace in Tagalog, the nationwide language of the Philippines.

A baker in Panderya Toyo dusting bicho — a neighborhood model of beignets — with sugar and cacao.

Scott A. Woodward

“We were being colonized for so a lot of many years, and we had been produced to consider that anything imported was improved,” mentioned Tiu. “Luckily, today’s era has been loud and happy about our heritage.”

Television has not been handy both, stated Tiu.

“We have also received so a great deal bad press in the perception that some of our dishes were

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What is Filipino food and what does it taste like? Chefs explain

With some 12 million people across more than 100 countries, the Filipino diaspora is one of the largest in the world.

Yet the food of the Philippines isn’t as widely known as some Asian cuisines. Fans of the cuisine argue that adobo — chicken or pork braised in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and peppercorn — should be as recognizable as phad thai, ramen and shrimp dumplings. 

As more Filipino chefs gain international recognition, the popularity of Philippines cuisine is gaining traction. In 2015, Antonio’s Restaurant — helmed by Filipino Tonyboy Escalante — was the first restaurant in the Philippines to break onto the World’s 50 Best list, debuting at No. 48.

Sarsa’s motto is “Filipino Food Forward.” Dishes from the Manila restaurant are (clockwise from top right): sisig, crab tortang talong (eggplant omelet), sizzling kansi (beef shank soup), chicken inasal, and (middle) beef caldereta.

Scott A. Woodward

In 2016, Bad Saint, the Washington, D.C., restaurant launched by the James Beard award-winning chef Tom Cunanan, was named the second-best restaurant in America by Bon Appetit magazine. That same year, Manila’s Margarita Fores was honored as Asia’s Best Female Chef by the U.K.-based 50 Best organization.

Yet insiders say struggles to popularize Filipino food come from stereotypes abroad as well as issues within the Philippines.

From Manila to Miami and Paris

Cheryl Tiu, a Manila-born food journalist and founder of the Miami-based events website Cross Cultures, attributes some of the problem to “hiya,” meaning shame in Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines.

A baker in Panderya Toyo dusting bicho — a local version of beignets — with sugar and cacao.

Scott A. Woodward

“We were colonized for so many years, and we were made to think that anything imported was better,” said Tiu. “Thankfully, today’s generation has been loud and proud about our heritage.”

Television hasn’t been helpful either, said Tiu.

“We’ve also received so much bad press in the sense that some of our dishes were ‘Fear Factor-ized,'” she said. “Many associate all our food with that.”‘

On Gallery by Chele’s tasting menu, blue crab is topped with

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Arab Cart Alley Mezza Is Closed, but Its Chef’s Mission Remains Vital

As Palestinian families faced imminent eviction in Sheikh Jarrah in May 2021, Khaled Alshehab, owner of Southeast Portland food cart Alley Mezza, took to Instagram to express his outrage — not just in response to the violence itself, but to the silence in the Portland food community. “What’s up Portland? Where are all the woke postings? Is Palestinian suffering not trending enough? Portland chefs making money off of Palestinian/Arab cuisines, what’s up?” he wrote in his Instagram stories.

From Alshehab’s perspective, this silence was nothing new. Dining in Portland, he has encountered several restaurants serving Southwestern Asian and Northern African (SWANA) dishes while separating themselves from the cultures: When Tusk first opened, it offered a multicourse tasting menu called the “Magic Carpet Ride.” He enjoyed Aviv’s all-vegan selection, but felt uneasy about the way it labeled its broad SWANA menu “Israeli”; for him, it felt like attributing the cuisine to the colonizer. Walking into Shalom Y’all, he found a wall of words in several languages, but only the Arabic words had been flipped around. To Alshehab, all these restaurants served Arab foods, and had pulled art, design, and even words from the people of SWANA countries without acknowledging the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq; the ways Americans supplied military aid to the Israeli occupation of Palestine; U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran; or the bombings and drone strikes in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. “How can you eat at the restaurant, eat the food, while you’re fucking bombing them?” he says.

Alshehab is one of many chefs who are addressing the complexities of SWANA identity in their food and their work. Palestinian chef Reem Kassis, who grew up in East Jerusalem, reclaims and examines the cross-cultural culinary history of Arab cuisines in her cookbooks The Palestinian Table and The Arabesque Table. At Qanoon in New York City, Tarek Daka draws menu inspiration from his mother’s home cooking from his childhood on a farm on the West Bank of Palestine. Meanwhile, Reem Assil opened San Francisco’s first Arab bakery with

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