Chef Justus Moll of River Grille Steakhouse Wins AHA Iron Chef 2016
After two days of competition, Chef Justus Moll of River Grille Steakhouse in Bentonville has won the 2016 Iron Chef Arkansas competition, which takes place annually on the trade show floor at the Arkansas Hospitality Association Showcase & Convention in Little Rock.
Six heats (four on Wednesday and two today) narrowed the field of Arkansas’ best chefs to the final two: Moll and Chef Casey Copeland of Little Rock’s SO Restaurant.
“Winning Iron Chef is one of the biggest accomplishments I’ve had in my cooking career,” Moll said. “It’s also humbling to be competing with seven of the best, most talented chefs in the state.”
Moll and Copeland joked together on the stage while cooking against each other during the final round, saying they had talked about this possibility before.
“I predicted last year that we would be finalists against each other,” Copeland said. “I couldn’t ask to be competing against a better guy.”
The Iron Chef competition features a mystery basket for each heat; chefs must use all the ingredients included. The basket for the final round included beef tenderloin, arugula, butternut squash, goat cheese and Greek yogurt. The chefs also had access to a full pantry, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a wide selection of professional kitchen equipment.
The remaining chefs who competed in the Iron Chef competition are:
- Chef Brandon Douglas of Green Leaf Grill
- Chef Jason Knapp of Sysco Arkansas
- Chef Josh Marling of Southland Park Gaming & Racing
- Chef Paul Krawic of Little Rock Marriott
- Chef Bonner Cameron of Bistro Catering & Gourmet Take-Away
- Chef Paul Frintrup of Country Club of Little Rock
See our sister site at Fancy Pants Foodie for more event photos (link forthcoming).