Source: Albany Times-Union
May 15, 2012 at 11:45 am by Steve Barnes, senior writer
John Ireland of Panza’s restaurant in Saratoga Springs last week won the first Chef Challenge, a benefit for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region. The evening pitted Ireland against Anand “A.J.” Jayapal of the Mallozi Group. After a cocktail hour during which the 150-plus guests noshed — and voted — on food from four restaurants, the pair had an hour to cook three courses. The surprise ingredient that had to be incorporated into each course was lemon. Ireland won handily. The judges were chef-owner Jasper Alexander of Hattie’s Restaurant, food blogger John Sconzo and me; LeGrande Serras of Reel Seafood Co. in Colonie emceed. Ireland will defend his title next year against Jimmy Schultz from Glenmont-based 2Shea Catering, who won the people’s choice voting.
Ireland’s entrée: Lamb, lemon-dressed zucchini ribbons, ramps, celery leaves, lemony ramp pesto.