IRON CHEF OREGON COMPETITION

   

 

Iron Chef Oregon is the premier culinary competition featuring some of Oregon’s finest chefs. Each chef will have an identical kitchen, tools and pantry. Each chef will have thirty minutes to plan, prepare and plate a delectable entrée for the 3-judge panel of experts. Each chef will have no idea what the “secret ingredients” are until they are unveiled at the beginning of the competition for all to see. The secret ingredients must be used in preparing the dish.

The chefs will race the clock and each other to create a masterpiece on stage in front of the audience, commentators and judges. Our emcee for the competition will interview the chefs, judges and commentators while the food flies with the action on stage. Oregon grown and raised specialties will be featured in identical pantries the chefs will have available for their use during the competition. At the end of the thirty minute competition, the chefs will present their creations to each judge.

Friday, August 8th
     Round 1: Ya Hala (Portland) vs. Porter's (Medford)
     Round 2: Sunriver Resorts (Bend) vs. The Original (Portland)
Saturday, August 9th
     Semi Final: Round 1 Winner vs. Round 2 Winner
     Final: Semi Final Winner vs. Chef Jeff Strom of Koho Bistro

2013 & 2012 Iron Chef Oregon Winner:

Jeff Strom

Chef and Co-Owner, Koho Bistro

Jeff Strom is the chef and Co-owner of Koho Bistro in Eugene, Oregon.  Hailing from Spokane, Washington his passion for food started at a young age. Often Jeff was found helping his dad, who was a baker, in the kitchen. Realizing his love of food he started as a dishwasher and made his way up. Jeff attended Le Cordon Bleu in Portland and graduated with a 4.0 which landed him an externship at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. Within a few days he was hired onto the Chef's Brigade. Realizing that Los Angeles was not his cup of tea he headed back to Eugene. In December 2011 Koho Bistro was opened in collaboration with his wife Angela Chan. Koho Bistro is a family business and you will often see 4 year-old Koa helping daddy select produce to be used for the night in the kitchen. 

Jeff currently holds the title as Oregon Iron Chef of 2012 and 2013, a first for a Eugene Chef. Jeff has been busy this last 2 years, he added a new member  to the family in January, Mr. Kyan Strom! Jeff has also been featured in many local magazines, selected as one of the 20 Under 40 Rising Business Stars in Eugene,  won best Savory and Peoples Choice Award at Chefs Night Out, selected for cooking demos for The Oregon Truffle Festival, and still manages to find time to help different charities in the communities such as the Boys & Girls Club and Food for Lane County. He is extremely honored to be back to defend his title this year at The Bite!

 

2013 Portland Iron Chef Winner:

Mirna Attar

Chef and Owner, Ya Hala

Lebanese born chef Mirna Attar has taken her well-loved restaurant Ya Hala Lebanese Cuisine to a new plateau. Quickly gaining its reputation as the premier Lebanese restaurant in Portland, Attar has combined her Middle Eastern expertise with the bounty of the Pacific Northwest, pairing the best of both healthful and modern culinary worlds. 

Mrs. Attar came to Portland at 18, and was embarking on a career in fine arts. However, as sometimes happens, love struck, and resulted in a marriage and children with her delightful husband John. While home with her three young children, Mirna immersed herself in all the cookbooks she could get her hands on. The more complicated the recipe the better. John and Mirna bought an existing market and Mirna started to cook for the 4 tables and take out shoppers. They were clearly onto something, and within weeks there were lines out the door for Mirna’s home cooking. Ya Hala, which means welcome in Lebanese, was born.

Homey yet sophisticated, the menu at Ya Hala showcases the abundance of grains, vegetables, meats and spices that are the foundation of the Middle Eastern diet, reputed to be one of the healthiest on earth. With press coverage in several magazines and newspapers, two stories featuring Attar’s expertise in OPB’s iPad eMagazine, and winning the Portland’s Original Iron Chef on October 10th 2013, Mirna Attar is emerging as one of the premier chefs in Portland.

 

2013 Top Chef in Ashland Culinary Festival Winner:

Dustin Farley

Chef, Porter's

Dustin started cooking from scratch at The Ashland Springs Hotel in 2005. He became Kitchen Manager in 2007.  Shortly after being promoted, he moved to Arizona for a year and a half to gain custody of his son, Gabriel. He then moved back to Ashland in 2009 and worked his way up to Sous Chef at The Ashland Springs Hotel, and in 2013 was promoted to Chef De Cuisine.

In that same year he took 1st place at the Ashland Culinary Festival. In 2014, Dustin accepted a job offer at Porters Dining at the Depot as Executive Chef in Medford, Oregon.

Dustin says he enjoys working in a profession that allows him to be creative, "Creativity is my drive. Food is my passion."

2014 Top Chef in Bend at Bite of Bend Winner:

Travis Taylor

Executive Chef, Sunriver Resorts

Chef Travis Taylor started his career with Sunriver Resort in 2002 as a cook at Crosswater Grille, his ambition, creativity and passion for cooking has lead him to multiple promotions and most recently he was promoted to Resort Executive Chef. Chef Taylor brings over 20 years of cooking expertise to his role. He started his cooking career as an apprentice at the Jacksonville Inn in Jacksonville, Oregon. From there he moved to the McCaually House Inn where he was able to experience cooking with produce grown on site. In this position, he realized that it makes sense for chefs to locally source ingredients from the farmers and producers. When he arrived to Sunriver he knew that he had found his professional home, and every day he is inspired by the region's beauty, farms and producers.

From the day he first took a cooking class at age 16, Chef Travis Taylor knew that he had found his calling in life and cooking was what he was born to do. He loves what he does and his passion for cooking comes out in the flavorful tastes of each and every one of his dishes. His philosophy is simple - buy the best ingredients, create lasting relationships with your producers, be true to the region and seasons, surround yourself with like-minded people and above all, have fun!

When Travis isn't in the kitchen, he can be found running on the beautiful trails in Bend with his fiancée.

Justin Lee

Chef, The Original

Justin Lee is a Eugene, Oregon native who began his culinary career in Eugene before moving to Coos Bay and going to culinary school at the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute. There he worked at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort while competing for youth ACF culinary team USA. While competing nationally for Team USA Justin secured 3 gold medals of his own. He then packed up and moved to Bend for a season where he worked at a resort while planning his move to Portland. While in Bend he traveled back to Eugene to give back and be a chef mentor and coach for his old high school culinary team, helping them to win 4 gold medals and 2 silver medals.

Upon his arrival in Portland, Justin started working at one of the elite steakhouses and hotels in portland at Urban Farmer and The NInes Hotel. He left there at took his first sous chef job at the age of 20 and was promoted to executive sous chef after 6 months. 2 years later he found his way back to Sage Hospitality and took a sous chef job at The Original where he has been the last 4 months working under the 2011 Iron Chef Oregon winner David Anderson.

At the age of 22 Justin is the youngest competitor in Iron Chef Oregon history and if you ask him, he has every intention of bringing the title back to Portland.


   

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