Monday, March 3, 2008
Photo: courtesy Robert Quailer
In a witty homage to Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham," Iron Chef Cat Cora delighted the judges last night with a dish of serrano ham, chimichurri sauce and a poached duck egg -- a dish that probably won her the match over Chef Lee Hillson. Prior to filming the show, Cora had been in Nicaragua working with Chefs for Humanity, the charity group she founded in 2004.
1. Tell us about your work with Chefs for Humanity: What's the most satisfying aspect?
Being able to personally touch the lives of people in need is so gratifying. I traveled with Chefs for Humanity to Central America where we adopted Wa Wa Boom, a village in Nicaragua that was basically washed away by Hurricane Felix. The people of Wa Wa Boom are living in tents made of tree branches and USAid plastic. They're trying to find the resources to help themselves in an area with few resources. We are raising funds to get what they most need to rebuild their village and put an end to their hunger. (Two hundred pairs of shoes and a chainsaw were the first things we bought.) Being there in person, doing hands-on work and getting to know who you are impacting is so moving, and we are looking forward to returning again this year. You can see photos of Wa Wa Boom at http://www.chefsforhumanity.org/.
2.What's the best dish you've eaten in the last 30 days?
I went out to dinner with some friends in NYC and had an amazing meal at Veritas, where my dear friend and respected sous chef on Iron Chef America, Ed Cotton, works. We had this great fluke sashimi, grilled octopus, truffle soup with lobster and seared smoked salmon with green curry.
3.What's your favorite piece of equipment in the Iron Chef kitchen?
A great set of chef's knives.
4. What's your secret shame food -- the item you'd rather not be seen eating by the Palate Police?
Peanut butter, straight out of the jar with a big spoon!