Iron Chef Jose Garces, Phildelphia, Atlantic City
"Pernil Asado, slow-roasted, and confit pork shank with garlic white beans, arugula and orange is a dish that I developed after I had traveled to Madrid, Spain. There was an amazing old restaurant called an asador - there are different types of asadores, and this specific one specialized in roast pork from a giant clay oven. When I came back to the States, it took about two months of testing different methods for me to recreate the dish exactly, to get the perfect texture, crispiness of skin, fat-to-meat ratio, etc. This dish was on the original menu at Amada, my first restaurant in Philly, and to me it encapsulates the exact reason why it became and still remains such a successful restaurant.
"I was determined to only put forth the best, to show a dedication and a respect for these traditional Spanish dishes that I had witnessed and tasted while abroad, and to share them in their full glory with the diners at my restaurant. My team and I still go through that same rigorous testing for all of the dishes we serve at any of the Garces Group restaurants, to make sure we honor wherever it is that they came from, and to give diners an authentic taste of the various cuisines and cultures we are representing."