In advance of the October 4 premiere of The Next Iron Chef on the Food Network (9 pm), Eater is staging an elimination tournament with the chefs to determine the best food city. Two chefs a day tell us why their city is tops—and your vote determines which city moves on. Today, Dominique Crenn talks up Paris, and Roberto Trevino praises San Juan.
[Dominique Crenn and Roberto Trevino. Images courtesy The Food Network]
Which city is home in your chef's heart? Ideally, it's the city you grew up in.
DC: Paris, France.
RT: San Juan.
What's the first and most essential restaurant stop when you return to that city?
DC: Cafe Le Nemrod.
RT: I like to go directly to Piñones on the beach for some great Puerto Rican street food.
What are three other great places in the city that you recommend to friends or visitors, with a few quick words about why?
DC: Glacier Berthillon (best Ice Cream), Laduree (best French Macaroons) ,Boulangerie Poilane (best bread).
RT: Casita Blanca: A down home spot for real criollo cooking.
Chayote: A fine dinning classic.
Plaza del Mercado: An open air market with lots to see and taste.
What's the dish that represents that city the best?
DC: Croque Monseiur and Steak Frites.
RT: Mofongo. It is a truly unique to San Juan.
Is there a special local ingredient from that city that you still incorporate into your cooking?
DC: French apple cider.
RT: Sal Criollo. This salt is mixed with local "Oregano Brujo" and is the flavor that makes Lechon asado so tasty.
A final sentence on why it's the best food city.
DC: Paris for me is the "Eat Well" of the world. Great food, wine, people diversity and romance.
RT: San Juan is a city that takes dining seriously from the dinner table at home, to street stalls and great restaurants. The locals are adventurous and always looking for that perfect bite or that one dish that says "Buen Provecho"!