Noshing Around

Iron Chef Tucson

On Sunday, Jan. 20, Albert Hall, executive chef and owner of Acacia at St. Philip's, will defend his title of Iron Chef Tucson against competitor Michael C. Brown of Metro Restaurants. Last year, Hall rose to glory in the first Iron Chef Tucson, beating out Jonathan Landeen of Jonathan's Cork with three outstanding dishes featuring duck as the secret ingredient. Hall has a long tradition of culinary excellence in Tucson, with more than 30 years in the kitchen. The battle of knives, grills and boasting rights begins at 6 p.m. at the Desert Diamond Casino location at Interstate 19 and Pima Mine Road. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased at More information is available at the Iron Chef of Tucson Web site.

Besides being a showdown between two of Tucson's most popular kitchen maestros, Iron Chef Tucson is a fundraising event for Café 54, a downtown bistro that serves as an employment-training program for individuals recovering from mental illness. Café 54's program participants receive training to become line cooks, prep cooks, servers, cashiers or dishwashers--life skills that allow them to find permanent employment once they complete the program.

New: The Steak House

Ramon Delgado, executive chef at Desert Diamond Casinos, tells Noshing that that The Steak House in the newest Desert Diamond Casino and Hotel, located at 7350 S. Nogales Highway, is open for both lunch and dinner. He recommends the 20-ounce signature cut bone-in prime rib, the 22-ounce porterhouse steak and the maple-braised short ribs. Tucson's restaurant kitchens are a small world; Delgado previously worked under Albert Hall when Hall was the chef at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort.

El Charro Café's New Menu

El Charro announced that it has new menus with lower prices. It's interesting to note a gluten-sensitive menu. While there are scores of gluten-free ethnic restaurants popping up in major cities, only a few places around town (Feast is one) even mention gluten-free as an option. Also on this particular menu, peanut oil and other nut products are not used, in consideration to people who are allergic. El Charro has a new location at 6910 E. Sunrise Drive; 514-1922. View all the menus at the El Charro Web site.

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