Well, our hunch proved completely wrong. FIG Chef Mike Lata threw a big old Iron Chef America viewing party at Taco Boy. And he lost. Or you might say he was robbed. The secret ingredient in his episode was sparkling wine, perhaps one of the lamest of all. Why couldn't he have gotten something cool and interesting like radishes? But no. Lata was stuck with sparkling wine.
He and his sous chefs — Matt Bolus and Jason Stanhope — busted out eight dishes over the course of one hour while Iron Chef Jose Garces broke into a flop sweat over his food. As you could tell by the smile on his face the whole time, Lata had a blast filming the episode. And he had a blast watching it on Sunday night at Taco Boy downtown, surrounded by a rowdy crowd of F&Bers, who chanted bullshit as Garces was dramatically revealed as the winner by the chairman.
Judges Andrea Robinson, Steve Olson, Debi Mazar, and Simon Doonan (who suggestively flirted with Lata throughout the judging, according to an eyewitness account from Lata's girlfriend) found that Lata's food tasted four points better than Garces', but the Iron Chef was able to pull out the win based on his originality and plating, squeaking ahead for a 70-67 point win. Despite it all, Lata put on a great showing and proved how cool he is. Seriously. He didn't even break a sweat. Must have been the seersucker chef coat.
Up next week: Sean Brock of McCrady's and Husk takes on Iron Chef Michael Symon. Will he prevail? You'll have to tune in to find out.