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, in the semifinals, Dominique Crenn talks up Paris, and Nate Appleman praises San Francisco.
[Dominique Crenn and Nate Appleman. Photos 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.
NA: San Francisco.
What's the first and most essential restaurant stop when you return to that city?
DC: Cafe Le Nemrod.
NA: Spices Szechuan cuisine.
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).
NA: Aziza—Chef Mourad Lahlou cooks some of the most unique Moroccan food with a California organic sensability. Lers Ros—the neighborhood may be a bit rough but its Thai food like you have never experienced Thai food before. And Arguello Market—home of the world famous turkey sandwich. It lives up to the reputation.
What's the dish that represents that city the best?
DC: Croque Monseiur and Steak Frites.
NA: Anything with Dungeness crab.
Is there a special local ingredient from that city that you still incorporate into your cooking?
DC: French apple cider.
NA: Not so much an ingredient, but a philosophy.
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.
NA: It is the best food city in America because it truly embodies what great food is all about.