Round 4: The East Coast
Name: Chef Jason Hall
Hotel Restaurant: Wayfarer at soon-to-open Quin Hotel in New York City.
Cooking Claim to Fame: Hall recently joined Metric Group and ESquared Hospitality to open The Wayfarer, an American Seafood Grill. His tantalizing menu filled with fresh locally sourced seafood and exceptionally flavorful cuts steak. He is using his unique and diverse culinary background to create an innovative American menu combined with memorable social and sensual experiences.
One Hot Dish: Shellfish Cioppino--Alaskan king crab, lobster, shrimp and clams in a spicy tomato broth.
Name: Chef Marc Murphy
Hotel Restaurant: Kingside, opening on October 28th at Viceroy New York
Cooking Claim to Fame: Murphy lived in Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington DC, Rome and Genoa, all before he was 12, giving him an excellent culinary education. Still, he went on to graduate from the Institute of Culinary Education, apprenticing afterwards in France and Italy before getting real gigs in New York, Paris and Monte Carlo. Now he's the owner and exec chef of Benchmarc restaurants which include the Landmarc and Ditch Plains outposts in NYC.
One Hot Dish: A roast chicken for two.
Name: Executive Chef Eric Haugen
Hotel Restaurant: The Lamb's Club at The Chatwal
Cooking Claim to Fame: Born in South Korea, Haugen was raised in suburban Chicago and studied at the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University. He completed his apprenticeship at The French Laundry in Napa Valley and then headed to the East coast where one of his dishes at Seasons, at The Ocean House in Rhode Island, was named in the Top 10 Dishes List by Food & Wine magazine. He was just 24 years-old at the time.
One Hot Dish: Slow cooked black bass with broccoli, marcona almond pureé and gooseberry grenobloise.
Name: Executive Chef Paul Corsentino
Hotel Restaurant: The National at The Benjamin
Cooking Claim to Fame: A native of Illinois and a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Corsentino is another protege of Geoffrey Zakarian, who is the visionary behind The National. Corsentino assisted Zakarian when he won the 4th Season of Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs” in December 2011. And Corsentino's already won a "Sexiest Chef in NYC" award from Eater.com. Plus, he's camera-friendly, appearing frequently on "Iron Chef America."
One Hot Dish: Braised lamb shank with quinoa, snow peas and pickled turnip tzatziki.
Name: Executive Chef Michael Mandato
Hotel Restaurant: REIN at The Garden City Hotel on Long Island.
Cooking Claim To Fame: A Culinary Institute of America alum, Mandato has cooked all over the world and even prepared a meal for the Queen of England and Duke of Edinburgh. He’s also worked with top chefs including Jean-Georges Vongerichten at NY’s Brandywine restaurant. Still, he doesn't let all that go to his head (though if he wins the competition, we can't promise that).
One Hot Dish: Five-spice duck breast with braised red cabbage and chestnut puree in star anise and sage jus.
Name: Executive Chef Chad Minton
Hotel Restaurant: The Shop at Andaz 5th Avenue in New York City.
Cooking Claim To Fame: Minton's experience has taken him from Alaskan fisheries to barbecue joints across Georgia and Texas. Even in the Big Apple, he keeps his commitment to working with local farmers and purveyors. But he's not all business. When not in the kitchen, you'll find him skateboarding and riding a fixed gear bike throughout NYC.
One Hot Dish: Hand-cut pastrami on rye bread with mustard-mayo spread.
Name: Chef Gonzalo Jimenez
Hotel Restaurant: New York Central at Grand Hyatt New York City.
Cooking Claim To Fame: Jimenez or, "Gonzo" as he's called, grew up in Salta, a city in Northwestern Argentina. There he honed his culinary skills at five-star hotels in Buenos Aires before moving to the U.S. and working at several luxury hotels. Gonzo’s specialty is chocolate, creating elaborate and ephemeral sculptures and desserts. A sweetie who makes sweets? Sold!
One Hot Dish: Caramelized white chocolate soup with sweet corn cake, Devonshire mousse and toasted corn kernels.
Name: Executive Chef Victor La Placa
Hotel Restaurant: Isola Trattoria & Crudo Bar at Mondrian Soho in New York City.
Cooking Claim To Fame: LaPlaca grew up on a farm in upstate New York with immigrant Sicilian parents who taught him how to cook fresh fruits and veggies from the farm. After attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York, he worked under Todd English for 17 years and now heads the kitchen at Isola, where he specializes in coastal Italian food to the tune of handmade pastas, pizzas and crudos.
One Hot Dish: Monkfish picatta with red lentils and capers.
Name: Executive Chef Jeremy McMillan
Hotel Restaurant: Barn and Farmhouse restaurants at The Bedford Post Inn in Bedford, N.Y.
Cooking Claim To Fame:Believe it or not, McMillan discovered a love for cooking when first exposed to his college dining hall cuisine. Either it was very good or very bad, because he jumped in to the scene and eventually landed at actor Richard Gere's hotel and took over the kitchens. The Farmhouse serves rich, Italian food, while his menu at the casual Barn restaurant offers classic country cuisine.
One Hot Dish: Cornish Hen with escarole and white bean ragu.
Name: Chef Luciano Sautto
Hotel Restaurant: Bianca at The Delano Hotel in Miami Beach.
Cooking Claim To Fame: Sautto brings his talents all the way from Italy where his family founded the original pizzeria, “Antica Pizzeria da Michele”, in Naples. The pizzeria is so well known that Julia Roberts can be seen eating a slice in her movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” At Bianca, he thrives when taking basic recipes and adding new elements to them, making each dish uniquely his own.
One Hot Dish: Big-eye tuna pizza with micro shiso and truffle oil.
Name: Chef de Cuisine Jeremy Ford
Hotel Restaurant: 3030 Ocean at Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale.
Cooking Claim To Fame: A native of Jacksonville, Ford began his culinary career at the tender age of 16. Through the years, he's honed his skills at world renowned restaurants like L'Orangerie and even worked with Celebrity Chef Cristophe Eme.
One Hot Dish: Honey-glazed black grouper with Spring risotto, ramps and lemon thyme sauce.
Name: Executive Chef Juan E. Martinez
Hotel Restaurant: Nine restaurants at Marriott Marco Island Resort Golf Club & Spa in Florida.
Cooking Claim To Fame: Born in San Juan Puerto Rico, Maritnez's passion for cooking came from spending time in the kitchen with his mother. He specializes in Latin-inspired cooking and takes advantage of the fresh produce and herbs grown on the hotel's property. As a result guests get a Floribbean dining experience.
One Hot Dish: Conch chowder or polenta stuffed Carolina flounder with lump crab meat, Israeli cous cous and roasted preserved lemon.
Name: Chef Jason Landon Smith
Hotel Restaurant: Stephen Starr's Steak 954 at W Fort Lauderdale
Cooking Claim to Fame:: Born and raised on an organic farm outside of Indianapolis, Smith’s basic cooking skills were taught by his mother. Later on, he continued his work in Miami at a number of popular restaurants including WISH with E. Michael Reidt and The Biltmore Hotel with Geoffrey Cousineau. Most recently, Smith worked as Chef de Cuisine alongside Chef Govind Armstrong at Table 8 in the Regent Hotel.
One Hot Dish: Steak, of course, cooked to perfection and is reportedly "out of this world."
PHILLY, BOSTON, MAINE, VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA AND RHODE ISLAND
Name: Executive Chef Jonathan Cichon
Hotel Restaurant: Lacroix at The Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia.
Cooking Claim To Fame: A Baltimore native, Cichon has had a great love for food since he was young (not that he looks that old). His career began at Lacroix in 2005 as an intern while attending Restaurant School and has continued to grow. He's been recognized in the city as a top rising star chef.
One Hot Dish: Elysian Fields lamb with Madras curry, broccoli and cucumber.
Name: Chef Jonathan Cartwright
Hotel Restaurant: Muse at Vanderbilt GraceVanderbilt Grace in Newport, R.I. and The White Barn Inn in Kennebunk Beach, Maine.
Cooking Claim To Fame: Cartwright has been at the White Barn Inn since 1994 and was appointed Group Chef de Cuisine of the the hotel's sister properties Grace Hotels, as well. He's earned the distinctive title of Grand Chef Relais and Chateaux and is one of only 17 Grand Chefs of Relais & Chateaux in the U.S.
One Hot Dish: Local halibut and ratatouille-filled squid with gnocchi Nero, lemon verbena oil and saffron tomato.
Name: Executive Chef Sean McKee
Hotel Restaurant: Harrimans at Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Va.
Cooking Claim To Fame: McKee is a graduate of the Disney Culinary Institute, and brings a lot of character to the plates he creates at this newly opened hotel. The restaurant specializes in Virginia's Piedmont cuisine, and he brings each dish to life with a surprise ingredient here and there. Mickey would be proud.
One Hot Dish: BBQ shrimp and grits with Burgundy spinach, pickled green onions and chorizo butter.
Name: Chef Daniel Bruce
Hotel Restaurant: Meritage at Boston Harbor Hotel.
Cooking Claim To Fame: Celebrating 25 years at the iconic waterfront hotel, Bruce has created more than four thousand original dishes, each one designed to complement the special wine with which it was served. Daniel also oversees the hotel's more casual Rowes Wharf Sea Grille, and those recipes will be featured in his first cookbook titled: Chef Daniel Bruce Simply New England, debuting in November 2013.
One Hot Dish: Pan-seared diver scallops with cauliflower cardamom sauce.
Name: Executive Chef Karsten Hart
Hotel Restaurant: The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn in Newport, R. I.
Cooking Claim To Fame: Hart grew up in Louisiana watching his German and Italian parents throw down in the kitchen. This led him to his first cooking job in a small Cajun-style restaurant, but he soon became fascinated with Chinese cuisine as well. Talk about a melting pot! But there's nothing sexier than a man who can work a wok and roll out fresh pasta, too!
One Hot Dish: Clams Casino flatbread with Littleneck clams, crispy pork belly, garlic-herb butter, tomato confit, and spicy red pepper aïoli.
Name: Resort Executive Chef Jonathan Jerusalmy
Hotel Restaurant: Oversees seven restaurants at Sea Island resort in Georgia.
Cooking Claim To Fame:One of only 350 Master French Chefs in the world, Jerusalmy has had the honor of working with Hubert Keller at Fleur de Lys and studying under Master Chef of France Paul Bocuse. His charming French accent makes diners swoon in the deep South.
One Hot Dish:Blue Crab-Leek stew with parsley dumplings, alba truffle froth and marrow.
Name: Executive Chef Colin Bedford
Hotel Restaurant: The Restaurant at The Fearrington House Inn in Pittsboro, N. C.
Cooking Claim To Fame: In 2012, Bedford was named a Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef, and despite his English roots, managed to create a tasty farm-to-fork menu based on the culinary traditions of the American South. That can be a challenge, but he's accepted the challenge with gusto.
One Hot Dish: Heritage Farms pork tenderloin with Applewood smoked bacon and cider.
Who's your favorite hottie hotel chef? Vote for them in comments below! Tomorrow we move on to the International Edition!
[Photos Courtesy of Contestants' Hotels]