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    'Iron Chef' win for Jersey City native

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009


    Battle Branzino on "Iron Chef America" served up a win for Jersey City boy Anthony Amoroso, whose no-frills flavors won out over famed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and his fancy-schmancy techniques.

    The battle was seen Sunday night on the Food Channel.

    Amoroso, a Jersey City native who is now the executive chef at the Borgata's SeaBlue in Atlantic City, used a light hand to showcase the fish, opting for simple but elegant preparations, including a crudo with avocado puree and basil gelee; a tartare with oil-cured black olives atop a candied blood orange; smoked branzino with star anise and cinnamon; a trio featuring pickled, sautéed and fried branzino; and a Pernod and fennel-infused pot pie.

    Morimoto tried for a Japanese-Mediterranean fusion, with some success. But he got dinged for soggy panzanella, a too smoky sake-marinated branzino, and his showstopper, a lemon-stuffed whole fish wrapped in kelp, buried in rocks and cooked in infrared heat, was criticized for the addition of wasabi.

    Amoroso, a graduate of the Culinary Arts Institute of Hudson County Community College, got his start at the Hilton at Short Hills and the Hamilton Park Hotel & Conference Center.

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