Ariane Duarte lost a “Top Chef” challenge to Bobby Flay by one point and she was determined not to lose again: Tonight, the Verona chef defeated the Manhattan restaurant mogul on his own show, “Beat Bobby Flay”.
Duarte, who owns Ariane Kitchen & Bar in Verona with her husband Michael and John McEvoy, faced off against Chef Adil Fawzi of Manhattan’s Bistro 61, Marche du Sud and La Frite in a first round based on chestnuts. Duarte made a Christmas classic, chestnut soup, while her competitor went for a riff on pasta carbonara.
Duarte won, earning the right to face Flay in a second based on a signature dish of her choosing: beef tenderloin. Racing against the clock, Duarte created a classic Béarnaise sauce and finished her tenderloin with maitake mushrooms and blue cheese. Flay went his signature south-of-the-border route, swirling red and green chile sauces around his tenderloin. The judges wanted a touch more blue cheese from Duarte, but thought Flay’s sauces were overpowering: Duarte for the win.
Duarte was magnanimous in victory. “This is how we do it in Jersey,” she said. “Merry Christmas!”
Oh, and one more thing Bobby: She says “Happy Birthday”.