Duskie Estes of Zazu an Iron Chef candidate

Local chef hits the Food Network bigtime

Duskie, is that you?
Duskie, is that you?

Local foods champion and restaurant owner Duskie Estes of Santa Rosa’s Zazu Restaurant + Farm, Bovolo + Black Pig Meats has been chosen as one of ten chefs from around the country competing on the Food Network’s Next Iron Chef.
She’ll be in the company of such heavy hitters as Ming Tsai, the chef-owner of Blue Ginger, Andrew Kirshner of Wilshire in LA and Marc Forgione of Forge in New York.
Estes has been bound to secrecy by the network, but she did tell BiteClub, “I’m super excited!”
From the FN machine: :“The third season of The Next Iron Chef certainly has no shortage of tough competitors,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Programming & Production. “These chefs are some of the fiercest and most decorated yet, which promises the most exciting culinary rivalries to date.”
Just don’t be too alarmed by her bio pic on the FN site. The usually toned-down Estes has been given a deluxe dolling-up. “My kids say, ‘That’s not my mommy!'” she said over the phone. We’ll also forgive the fact that they spelled her restaurant incorrectly on the FN site.
Congrats to Duskie. Despite some SF snarking (pffffff), it’s about time that SoCo kitchens get the mainstream cred they so deserve.
Restaurant consultant Clark Wolfe, on InsideScoopSF said of Estes, “gotta tell you, I think it’s a great choice. She does the kind of hearty farmland food that represents some of the best of the Bay Area without a lot of the sillyness that passes for technique. It will be interesting to see how it’s recieved by a winner take all tv crowd. Go Duskie!!”
The series begins October 3 on Food Network.
Here’s more on the show from the Food Network:
This season, the contestants battle their way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to New York, for the right to compete in the finale in legendary Kitchen Stadium. Along the way, they will be challenged to showcase important Iron Chef attributes through their food: ingenuity, innovation, resourcefulness, transformation, respect, inspiration, seduction, and honor. Host Alton Brown puts the culinary warriors through eight grueling tests that pay homage to American cuisine. Challenges include: cooking on a desert island, catching their secret ingredients in the wild, dreaming up a 5-star luxury menu and turning ordinary fair food into an Iron Chef worthy meal. Esteemed judges Donatella Arpaia (restaurateur and cookbook author), Simon Majumdar (food writer and broadcaster), and Iron Chef Michael Symon (chef and restaurateur) critique the challenges and narrow down the competition. The final two battle for supremacy in Kitchen Stadium in the season finale on Sunday, November 21st, at 9pm ET/PT. The winner joins the ranks of Symon, Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, Mario Batali, Cat Cora and Jose Garces and launches into instant fame as a member of the Chairman’s team on Iron Chef America.