Chef Miciah Beard - of Bob's Steak and Chop House at Omni Tucson National Resort - beat Chef Ramiro Scavo of Zona 78 and Harvest Restaurant to take home the title of Iron Chef Tucson 2010.
The competition took place on Sunday, January 17, at Desert Diamond Casino.
Beard said the competition's secret ingredient was pork bratwurst. He used it to prepare Pacific Rim-inspired dishes - which he described as a fusion of Asian and French cuisine - in an attempt to set himself apart from his competitor.
"Scavo doesn’t do Asian," he said. "And pork is a staple of island food, so it wasn’t hard to incorporate it in that style of cuisine."
He started off with an island-style sweet, hot and sour soup with a light broth, fresh vegetables and bratwurst, followed by shrimp mousse with bratwurst that was skewered with lemon grass, crusted with macademia nuts and served with a sauce made from ginger, pineapple and Stella Artois beer (Stella Artois beer, an event sponsor, had to be incorporated into one of the dishes).
Next were egg roll wrappers stuffed with purple Peruvian potatoes, sweet potatoes and bratwurst and served with an Asian-style brown sauce made from reduced veal stock, soy sauce and garlic. The grand finale was a roasted onion stuffed with rice, mixed vegetables and bratwurst, with a honey-tomato-chili gastrique on the side.
This was Beard's first cooking competition. He said some of the dishes he created at the competition will be worked into the menus of banquets catered by Bob's Steak and Chop House, and that some items may also show up from time to time at the restaurant.
Of winning the competition, Beard had this to say: “I was overwhelmed. I almost wanted to cry. I was very happy. I’ve been cooking for 18 years and as a kid I always wanted to be on Iron Chef and I was very proud to do it in Tucson, because I am native (to Tucson)."