“Cast Iron Chef Invitational” Features Top Chefs Jaime Ortiz and Patrick Longton in Series’ Final Round at Saratoga Wine & Food Festival
Celebrity Chef Suvir Saran Emcees Challenge
Judges Include the TU’s Steve Barnes, Mamatoga’s Jenny Witte and “Stress Free Cooking” Chef Barbara Seelig Brown
Saratoga Springs, N.Y. - The culinary prowess of two of the Capital Region’s top executive chefs will be put to the test on Saturday, Sept 8 at 11 a.m. for the final round of the “Cast Iron Chef Invitational” sponsored by Adirondack Appliance and Blue Star. Jaime Ortiz, Corporate Executive Chef of Mazzone Hospitality and Patrick Longton, Executive Chef of The Wishing Well in Saratoga Springs, NY, will be given 90 minutes and a basket of exotic mystery ingredients to create a unique, contemporary dish. Celebrity chef and festival headliner Suvir Saran, a featured chef on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters, will emcee the challenge which is the culmination of a summer-long series.
Judging the entries of the two chefs will be a panel of three including PBS’ Stress Free Cooking chef, Barbara Seelig Brown; Steve Barnes, senior writer/food blogger for the Times Union, and Jenny Witte, founder and editor of popular blog Mamatoga. Judges will base their decisions on factors including taste, appearance and creativity.
“We’re thrilled to have such a talented group of professionals participating in the final round of Adirondack Appliance’s Cast Iron Chef’s Invitational,” said Marcia White, President and Executive Director. “Throughout the summer, this series has showcased several of our region’s incredible chefs and generated a lot of excitement among fans. The challenge heats up for this final round as master chefs Jaime Ortiz and Patrick Longton work their magic using just a few ingredients from a ‘mystery basket. Families are welcome at this special event which will show us all how much fun it can be to get creative in the kitchen.”
The cooking invitational, conceived and sponsored by Tom Thibeault of Adirondack Appliance, kicked off on June 1. In all, 13 restaurants and chefs have participated in the summer long competition. The winner of Saturday’s finals will receive an EVO Affinity Grill valued at $3500 courtesy of Adirondack Appliance as well as the title “Capital Region Cast Iron Chef.”
Jaime Ortiz, lauded as an “iconic presence” on the Capital Region dining scene, has amassed numerous culinary awards and accolades for his achievements. As Executive Chef at Angelo’s 677 Prime, he created award winning menus and gained local and national recognition for delivering a consistently exceptional dining experience. Classically trained in French cuisine, Ortiz is known for his special skill in creating dishes with Asian and Mediterranean influences.
Patrick Longton, Executive Chef of The Wishing Well, has kept the restaurant at the forefront of the Capital Region’s dining scene by executing modern interpretations of classic dishes and for artful presentation. One food writer noted that Longton is known for, “treating every plate…like a canvas, masterfully balancing components to create works of art for both the eyes and palate.” Longton’s culinary leadership has won the restaurant several awards including, most recently, the 2012 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recognition and the Diners’ Choice Award by OpenTable.com.
Chefs will receive a mystery basket of ingredients generously donated by Chef Suvir Saran and Tom Thibeault, Jr. of Adirondack Appliance as well as artisanal Italian cheese from festival sponsor Agriform. A selection of wines from Antica Cantina di Canelli, the festival’s official wine sponsor, will be available for pairing with their final dishes.
Emceeing the event will be Bravo TV “Top Chef Master”, Suvir Saran. Chef Saran, founding chef of famed New York restaurant Dévi and bestselling cookbook author, headlines the 2012 festival, appearing at events throughout the weekend and leading a cooking demonstration and book signing at Saturday’s Grand Tasting.
Tickets to the Cast Iron Chef’s Invitational, which will be held in the Hall of Springs in the Spa State Park, are just $10 and children 12 and under are free courtesy of CDPHP. The event will take place in the Hall of Springs from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept 8. Tickets and information available at spac.org
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