Each week, we'll interview two of the chefs participating in our 2013 Iron Fork competition. On November 7, these six culinary masterminds will go head to head to see who can create the most appetizing and healthful dish using a secret ingredient provided by Lunds. For more information on the event, or to purchase your tickets, click here.
|Courtesy of Daniel del Prado|
Daniel del Prado
Chef Daniel del Prado loves food and he always has. He credits his Italian mother for providing an early appreciation.
"Every Sunday, we would wake up and everyone was cooking and making pasta. A whole Sunday event," says del Prado. "Food was always a big part of my life. I eat a lot."
Originally from Argentina, Daniel del Prado's love of food has taken him around the world, from London to Copenhagen, and in the U.S. from Colorado to our own Minneapolis. Most recently, he partnered with longtime friend and mentor, Isaac Becker, at Burch Steak and is having "a marvelous time" there.
In fact, del Prado believes Minnesota chefs are some of the best in the country. "Minneapolis is in the top seven cities for food, no doubt," he says, "I'd say top five but someone would probably get mad at me."
As for why Minneapolis ranks so high, he has a theory. "Farming is closer to the chefs' process here. You must work with ingredients that are available during the varied seasons -- especially the winter."
Del Prado's high opinion of his fellow local chefs might make the upcoming Iron Fork a daunting prospect. He has never participated in a competition like this and isn't quite sure what to expect; although he believes his rustic cooking style could give him an advantage.
"I don't like too many ingredients on the plate. I feel like it means you're not confident about cooking something right, so you try to mask it," he says.
He wouldn't go so far as to predict his victory, but regardless of whether he wins or loses, del Prado knows what he will do as soon as the competition is over.
"Have a drink," he says, "either to celebrate or cry."
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Chef Stephanie Kochlin talks St. Paul pride, her Iron Fork competitors, and hatred of foams