Nongkran Daks has traveled the world teaching the secrets of authentic Thai cooking. Her most popular dish is Pad Thai, a stir-fry dish comprised of rice noodles, tofu, bean sprouts and egg. With rave reviews from national publications, five cookbooks and sold out cooking classes, Nong is the "Thai Rachael Ray." Yet, is she ready to take on the real Bobby Flay?
Durso's Pasta & Ravioli Company has been THE neighborhood Italian food shop for over forty-years. Three generations of Durso men have worked side-by-side to make their renowned cheese ravioli. Zagat took notice of this Flushing favorite saying, "Manhattanites don't know what they're missing." Robert Sr. and Robert (Bobby) Jr. think Food Network is featuring them on "Like Father, Like Son," a series spotlighting father-son duos in the kitchen. The Durso will show off their family's cheese ravioli, and Robert Jr's new creation: Osso Bucco ravioli. What these competitors do not know is Bobby Flay is about to challenge them to a ravioli Throwdown x2 where two different raviolis must be prepared: a cheese ravioli and a meat or seafood ravioli. Does Bobby Flay have what it takes to Throwdown against a family rich in ravioli history? This will certainly be a battle of Italian proportions.
Though the "Casserole Queens" of Austin, Texas, Sandy Pollock and Crystal Oakes, have only been open two years, the have garnered national media attention with their kitschy take on classic oven dishes. Not only have they updated casseroles from your childhood, but they deliver the meals dressed as 1950s homemakers -- talk about old school! Bobby and the Throwdown team will have to make a pot pie with a little bit of soul if they want to beat out the Queens' world famous casserole!
Clinton Street Baking Company owners, Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, are stars due to their award winning blueberry pancakes and maple butter. They are also winning the praises of loyal customers who eagerly wait on hour-long lines just to get a taste. Neil and DeDe's flapjacks may have some sweet street buzz, but will they stack up against Bobby's?
Jeff Nathan owns Abigael's, New York's largest kosher restaurant which sets a new standard by reviving and reinventing Jewish cuisine for people tired of the same old brisket and noodle kugel. His creative approach to kosher cooking has been enthusiastically received, and resulted in features in The Boston Globe and the NY Jewish Herald. Jeff appeared 18 times on "Live with Regis and Kathy Lee," as well as "Late Night with Conan O'Brian." Jeff thinks Food Network is producing a show called "Kitchen Crusaders," where chefs who cook within certain traditional boundaries showcase recipes which energize old dishes. For this Throwdown, Jeff and Bobby go matzo ball for matzo ball to make even the most discerning Bubbe proud.
As a young boy growing up in Georgia, Joe Barnett always loved his mom's shrimp and grits. Today, with his own spin on this southern favorite, Joe is cleaning up at amateur cook-offs. At the Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival, he won best in show in 2006 and for the last three years, his dish has won the People's Choice Award. A custom drapery designer by day, Joe spends his free time in the kitchen, perfecting his award winning shrimp and grits. Joe thinks he is being featured on a Food Network series called "COOK-OFF KINGS": a show that spotlights America's blue ribbon winners in regional cooking competitions. For this Throwdown, Bobby will take his Bar Americain shrimp and grits dish and win the hearts of the small town of Washington, Georgia. That's 4,000 people rooted in good old fashioned shrimp and grits to one big city recipe.
Raleigh's Ed Mitchell prides himself on using authentic North Carolina flavors at his restaurant, "The Pit." Ed is a BBQ purist with the ribs to prove it. Whether its East or West, he knows his ribs are the best. Ed strives to keep North Carolina's culinary traditions alive, and even with all the media buzz, he still makes sure to keep his food down home and locally grown. But can he take the heat and grill up a winning plate when the Pitmaster is challenged by the Grillmaster on this episode of Throwdown?
Born and raised in Harlem New York, Aliyyah Baylor knows what it means to keep history and tradition alive. She's been slicing up her family's German Chocolate Cake at Harlem's "Make My Cake" for over 20 years. Aliyyah prides herself on splitting time between her successful neighborhood bakeries, and passing on her family baking secrets to her children. Even with famous clients and media notoriety, Aliyyah is able to keep her business and her German Chocolate Cake true to her family beginnings. Bobby will really have to pull out all the sweet stops if he wants to best this baking buff on this episode of Throwdown.
Sheron Chin-Barnes has taken Jamaican cuisine to new heights with her Fried Fish Escovitch. The delicious fish is one of the signature dishes featured at Mo Bay, her swanky restaurant in Harlem, and one of the reasons she's developed a loyal clientele. Sheron is used to being a woman in charge, but what will she do when her Jamaican cuisine celebration turns into a Throwdown against Bobby Flay? Sheron's escovitch sauce is addictive enough to win a Throwdown, but Iron Chef Flay is heading uptown with an out-of-the-box approach and he's fishin' for a win.
Matt and Ted Lee are on a mission to share their beloved South Carolina foods with the rest of country. And after starting a successful culinary catalog business and writing an award winning cookbook they quickly moved about feeding the nation their Southern fare. It is no wonder these southern brothers are famous for their Country Captain, a Charleston chicken dish known for its imported spices and port city history. But can the Lees make the Low country proud when Bobby rides in? It's sink or swim on this episode of Throwdown.
Cesar Gonzalez is an expert in Mexican cuisine and his Fish Tacos are the most authentic that you'll find anywhere in the world. His tasty tacos have earned his restaurant, Mama Testa, numerous awards and top reviews from magazine, newspaper, internet and TV critics. Cesar opened his restaurant with the goal of bringing time honored, classic Mexican recipes to the people of San Diego and he's had unprecedented success. Cesar's pride in his Mexican heritage will be put to the test when his Mexican Independence Day celebration is interrupted by a Throwdown with Chef Flay. Cesar's Fish Tacos are technically perfect, but Iron Chef Flay is putting his own twist on the dish and flying all the way to the west coast to beat Cesar at his own game.
Bob Olguin knows his chiles. He should; New Mexican cuisine is in his blood -- he owns and operates the restaurant his father started in honor of his grandfather. So, it's no surprise his Green Chile Cheeseburger was ranked number 7 on GQ's National Top-20 Burger List. Bob's restaurant, Manny's Buckhorn Tavern, started by dishing up New Mexican favorites to locals but now caters to visitors from far and wide, and the praises keep on coming -- especially for his famed Green Chile Cheeseburger. So the question is: can Bob's burger beat the heat that Bobby brings down to New Mexico on this episode of Throwdown?
Jonathan and Andrew Schnipper are masters of the Manhattan food scene and their Sloppy Joe is hands down the tastiest ever made. The two brothers' conquest of New Yorker's palates started back in 1995 when they opened the first Hale and Hearty Soups in Chelsea Market. Today they have over 20 locations in the New York area. Expanding on the massive success that they've already had, the Schnipper brothers opened their new restaurant, Schnipper's Quality Kitchen 10 weeks ago in the heart of midtown. They boast that they serve "good old-fashioned American food" and it will be the perfect fit when they throw us a party that the whole family can enjoy. Kids and adults will love chowing down on their delicious Sloppy Joe sandwiches, but how will the Schnippers handle it when Iron Chef Flay interrupts the party with his Sloppy Joe Throwdown challenge?
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