Vote and Meet the Chefs for Iron Chef Tucson 2016

May 12, 2016
a man wearing a hat
By Jackie Tran
By Jackie Tran

Meet the Chefs
5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19
Courtyard at the Tucson Museum of Art
More Info

Ready your forks — it’s time to choose the next potential Iron Chef Tucson.

The competition begins with 11 nominated chefs. After a winner is elected through popular vote (you can vote here), they’ll face off against last year’s winner Danny Perez, Executive Chef at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. Voting ends 11:59 p.m. June 5.

For those interested in meeting the chefs prior to voting, the Tucson Museum of Art will host a Meet the Chefs event in the courtyard from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19. Sponsored by Rio Nuevo, the 21-and-up event is $10 per person or $15 for two people with proceeds provided to student scholarships and to the Tucson Museum of Art.

The main event, the Stella Artois Iron Chef Tucson, will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 26 during the Annual Culinary Experience at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa.

Here’s the current lineup of nominated chefs.

Chef Sam Arnold

The Breeze

Chef Arnold’s background in notable Tucson dining destinations such as the Arizona Inn and the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain has defined his elegant use of southwestern flavors.

For more information, visit

Chef Billy Brannock

The Highlands at Dove Mountain

Although Chef Brannock has worked a variety of restaurants, his time at Primo helped refine his talent with northern Italian cooking.

For more information, visit

Chef Adrian Castillo

Elvira’s Restaurant

After working with Chef Ryan Clark and multiple Fox Restaurant Concepts establishments, Chef Castillo now focuses on modern Mexican cuisine.

For more information, visit

Chef Javier Castro

Casino Del Sol Resort

Since Chef Castro oversees operations and catering for many of Casino Del Sol Resort’s event spaces and eateries, he excels at providing refined dining for huge crowds.

For more information, visit

Chef Michael Elefante

Mama Louisa’s Italian Restaurant

Pasta master Chef Elefante honed his skills at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain and returned to Mama Louisa continuing his family’s legacy.

For more information, visit

Chef Jay Ganzhorn

Hacienda del Lago

After mentoring under two-time Iron Chef Tucson winner Chef Albert Hall at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, Chef Ganzhorn now focuses on his own modernist southwest style.

For more information, visit

Chef Gary Hickey

Charro Steak

With years of steakhouse experience, Chef Hickey knows his meat. His most recent work with the Flores family highlights ranch-to-table cuisine with Arizona grass-fed beef.

For more information, visit

Chef Travis Peters

The Parish

As the creator of Cup Cafe’s cast iron baked eggs, Chef Peters’ food gives the best hugs. He still soothes souls with southern comfort food at the Parish.

For more information, visit

Chef Robert Ramos

R & R Family Restaurant

Self-taught Chef Ramos caters for clients ranging from graduation parties to the U.S. Border Patrol. His barbecue is what keeps them coming back.

For more information, visit

Chef Ramiro Scavo

Pasco Kitchen & Lounge / Red’s Smokehouse + Tap Room

As the Iron Chef Tucson winner in 2009, Chef Scavo worked his magic with bison. He continues to work his Americana magic with food at Pasco and Red’s.

For more information, visit and

Chef Sigret Thompson

The Tasteful Kitchen

Though Chef Thompson specializes in vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free cuisine, she can still rock meat. Inspiration from her travels around the globe stretch her imagination.

For more information, visit

For more information, to buy tickets, or to vote, visit the Iron Chef Tucson website.

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Article By

Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran’s Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...

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