Lana Restaurant in the news

Lana Restaurant and the Iron Chef Competition

As part of the Southern Living theme of the Iron Chef Competition, two teams had to cook against each other in a culinary event in Charleston. The two teams had to make use of two main ingredients to impress then judges with their own take on southern classic recipes. The two kinds of dishes that they had to prepare were bronze muscadines and green peanuts. Competitors in the Iron Chef Competition had to make use of these ingredients, on their own spin on classic Southern dining and dishes. They also had to serve their own novel dishes to a panel of three judges. If the judges were impressed by their dish, then they were awarded the title of winner of the Iron Chef Competition of 2012 in Charleston.

The proprietor of Lana Restaurant was featured in the Iron Chef competition. Chef John Ondo was one of the competitors in the Charleston Iron Chef tournament. And he was paired with Chef Michael Karkut, one of the chefs at Graze restaurant. The pair of them also was put up against a pair of other chefs, Eric Huff and Daniel Poyle. Both of the teams had to cook a southern-styled dish. The competition itself was held at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, with the company US foods sponsoring the event. Chef Ondo of Lana restaurant had to cook on a modern amphitheater stage kitchen, while his cooking was broadcast on National TV.

The judges of this particular Iron Chef Competition would rank the dishes based on how creatively each team of Chefs used their special ingredients as part of their dish. The main ingredients of Bronze muscadines and green peanuts were supplied by a non-profit food distribution hub, GrowFood Carolina. GrowFood Carolina aims to increase the number of foods that are being offered in the restaurants of the local area.

Each team of chefs had some time to prep their food and then were given around 45 minutes to fully cook and present their food to the judges. The Iron Chef Competition was a flurry of activity, as the bronze muscadines were sizzled in the hot skillets. Fish such as snapper and cleaned and seared on the hot grills as well. There as a huge amount of speed that was being used by the team of Chefs as they tried to finish all of their dishes within the time limit. The team of chefs really showed off their culinary skills, as they were under a time sensitive competition.

After assessing the actual taste of the dishes and creativity of their presentation the judges finally deliberated on which team would deserve to win. The main criteria for the Judge's assessment were whether or not each chef team used the dishes in a creative manner when preparing the dishes. The teams were also scored based on their showmanship, seasoning and actual plate presentation as well.

In the end, John Ondo was on the team that won the competition. The dish that they served was praised for the actual creativity that was employed in preparing the simple ingredients of green peanuts. This was a very proud moment for the Charleston native. Interested parties can sample Chef Ondo's cooking at Lana restaurant in Charleston.