Iron Chef Tucson 2010

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Reigning champion Chef Ramiro Scavo of Zona 78 and Harvest Restaurant will take on Chef Miciah Beard of Bob's Steak and Chop House at Omni Tucson National Resort at this year's Iron Chef Tucson competition.

The competition goes down at 5:30 p.m., Sunday, January 17, at Desert Diamond Casino (Pima Mine Road and Interstate 19). Doors open at 5 p.m. Prices are $50 for VIP seating and $25 general. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

An auction for eight tasting tickets opened Monday and ends at 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 8. The tickets grant premium seating in front of the stage, tastings of the four dishes prepared by each chef, beer pairings by Stella Artois and entrance to a VIP party. Bids can be submitted here, or faxed to 290-7691.

From Chef Beard's statement on the Iron Chef Tucson Web site:

"There’s no doubt that Chef Ramiro is an incredibly talented chef — but is he an architect? A painter? An expressionist? And, can he and does he, artfully and artistically show his true talent through his food presentations? Rumor has it his handmade mozzarella, ricotta, pasta and gnocchi are pretty impressive…..but how does he artistically show his vision or style in a bowl of pasta?"

When we spoke with Beard yesterday he said he draws from a number of cooking styles, including French, Pacific Rim, Indian and others. While tight-lipped about how he plans on winning the competition, he said he is unpredictably creative and a perfectionist when it comes to execution.

"My strategy is a secret, but I think the biggest thing any chef can offer is his passion for what he does. Most chefs consider cooking a job, for me it’s my career, it's my life ... I’m not competing against Ramiro; I’m competing against myself. I'm going for mastery."

Chef Scavo doesn't give a statement on the Iron Chef Tucson Web site, and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful. He beat Chef Albert Hall of Acacia to take the title last year.

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