Walking into last week’s fourth annual Iron Chef Competition, hosted by GoodLife Programs & Activities, Havenwood Executive Chef Jason Seavey wanted to simplify things. After all, last year was the first time he didn’t leave with the winners trophy.
But simple didn’t mean his meal wasn’t going to be delicious. It was so tasty in fact, Seavey was once again crowned the Iron Chef of Concord, bettering the likes of Chris Normandeau, executive chef at Granite Ledges, and Mike Tate from The Granite Restaurant. That makes it three wins in the four years the event has been held. That’s something we like to call domination.
About two months before the competition, the chefs were told of the three themed ingredients: figs, fungi and fowl.
“They wanted to go with the three F’s,” Seavey said.
They had to source all their own ingredients, which came with a challenge. Figs are not in season right now, but the mushroom component, as Seavey put it “was right in my wheelhouse.”
He actually likes to forage for mushrooms, doing so on the Havenwood campus in the fall. He even used some that he dried from last year.
They had 30 minutes to prepare a meal for the four judges using the three ingredients, along with pairing the meal with a white wine.
“This is my style of cooking,” Seavey said. “I’m a restaurant chef, so to be able to do the restaurant style in a competition is very enjoyable.”
Seavey started with four meal ideas and then narrowed it down to one, which he practiced just once before the big competition.
He made a Scotch duck egg, wrapped in mushroom and duck sausage, coated in homemade powdered mushroom flour and fried in duck fat. It was served with a shaved fennel, kumquat and gooseberry salad with pickled enoki mushrooms.
“I went all out with the duck and mushroom,” Seavey said.
His sauce was a foie fig pate spread, and garnished with a thyme sugar bruleed fig.
“It sounds complicated, but it was really simple,” he said.
Each chef also had to make three appetizer size offerings for the guests, which they voted on for the People’s Choice Award, taken home by Normandeau.