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The Federal's Chef John Reeser wins "What's Cooking, Kids?" first Iron Chef competition

Date: 5/12/2009

Chef John Reeser of the Federal won the first Iron Chef competition hosted by "What's Cooking, Kids?" He is seen here creating the maple cotton candy for his dessert.
EAST LONGMEADOW "What's Cooking, Kids?" hosted the Federal's John Reeser and Pazzo Ristorante's Byron White for battle "Maple Syrup" in true Iron Chef fashion on April 27. The two battled head-to-head through three courses, but Reeser pulled ahead by 11 points to be crowned "What's Cooking, Kids?" first Iron Chef.

Each chef created an appetizer, entree and dessert all highlighting the secret ingredient of maple syrup. Chef Reeser created an Avocado-Papaya and Pink Grapefruit Salad with Pink Peppercorns and Maple Vinaigrette for his appetizer, while Chef White placed Bacon Wrapped Scallops atop a bed of Baby Greens tossed in a Maple Vinaigrette.

For the entree, Chef Reeser composed Maple Crusted Sea Scallops atop Duck Confeit 'Hash' with Caramelized Onions, Butternut Squash Polenta and Bacon Butter. Chef White responded with Horseradish-topped Salmon with Sweet Potato Chips and two spears of Asparagus in Maple Butter.

Sealing the deal with a sweet finish, Chef Reeser served Vanilla Bean Risotto Pudding, topped with maple cotton candy alongside iced coffee with maple whipped cream. Chef White layered a Maple-Mascarpone Custard with dried fruit, fresh berries and nuts for his final course.

Throughout three courses, Chef White's dessert was the crowd favorite, while Chef Reeser's first two courses reigned supreme. Each chef could be awarded a total of 2,700 points from the 45 attendees. Each guest acted as judge for the evening, scoring the plates in three categories: taste, presentation and creativity.

The Iron Chef Competition is a part of "What's Cooking, Kids?" Celebrity Chef Series which provides a night out for adults once a month. The cooking school is in the process of finding a competitor for Chef Reeser and is planning a second Iron Chef Competition in the months to come.

"What's Cooking, Kids?" is a culinary experience for young chefs and has branched out to serve its adult patrons as well. Located on Maple Street in East Longmeadow, the culinary school hosts nearly 70 students during any given session and offers special events, birthday parties and adult classes.

For more information on this culinary education experience please contact