Iron Chef Tucson 2017: Meet the Chefs at Rialto Theatre May 3

Meet the Chefs
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 3
Rialto Theatre
318 E. Congress St.

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Competition grows more fierce this year with 15 nominated chefs for Iron Chef Tucson.

After two winners are elected through popular vote (vote for the Iron Chef Tucson here), they’ll face off using a surprise secret ingredient revealed just before the show.

For guests interested in meeting the participating chefs, the Rialto Theatre will host a Meet the Chefs event from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3. Sponsored by Rio Nuevo, the 21-and-up event is $10 per person or $15 for two people with proceeds benefiting the Tucson Advertising Federation Educational Foundation.

The main event, “Stella Artois Iron Chef Tucson,” will take place from 5 – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 during the annual Culinary Experience at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa.

Here’s the current lineup of nominated chefs.

Chef Billy Brannock

The Highlands at Dove Mountain

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

For more information, visit

Chef Javier Castro

Casino Del Sol Resort

Winner of the popular vote in 2016, Castro oversees operations and catering for many of Casino Del Sol Resort’s event spaces and eateries.

For more information, visit

Chef Michael Elefante

Mama Louisa’s
Executive Chef Michael Elefante at Mama Louisa's (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Executive Chef Michael Elefante at Mama Louisa’s (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Pasta master 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 Wendy Gauthier

Chef Chic

The United States Personal Chefs Association’s Personal Chef of the Year North America winner Gauthier became a personal chef after spending time as the sous chef at the Flying V Bar & Grill.

For more information, visit

Chef CJ Hamm

Saguaro Corners
Executive chef CJ Hamm at Saguaro Corners (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Executive chef CJ Hamm at Saguaro Corners (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Former Tucson Foodie writer and Nine on the Line father Hamm currently cooks up comfort classics with Tucson twists at Saguaro Corners.

For more information, visit

Chef Gary Hickey

Charro Steak
Executive Chef Gary Hickey at Charro Steak (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Executive Chef Gary Hickey at Charro Steak (Credit: Jackie Tran)

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 Ryan Jones

Blanco Tacos + Tequila

While Jones knows his way with tacos and tequila, he’ll demonstrate the rest of his prowess at Tucson’s upcoming Culinary Dropout.

For more information, visit

Chef Robert Kimball

SAZ Creole Kitchen & Cocktails

Kimball started out with pan-Asian cuisine, but now focuses on classic French and Creole cuisine.

For more information, visit

Chef Timothy Moore

Pastiche Modern Eatery

Meat enthusiast Moore learned the most from his tiny Italian grandma and now whips up classics like the BBQ Timmy Burger.

For more information, visit

Chef Jeremy Myers

Five Palms Steak and Seafood

Southwestern specialist Myers loves to cook with mesquite and appreciates an abundance of fresh chiles, garlic, citrus, and cilantro.

For more information, visit

Chef Travis Peters

The Parish
Executive chef Travis Peters at the Parish (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Executive chef Travis Peters at the Parish (Credit: Jackie Tran)

With dishes like BBQ Tail Confit and Alabama Quail, Peters knows how to transform unexpected ingredients into addictive comfort food.

For more information, visit

Chef Michael Powell

Simplicit Restaurant

Powell brings a taste of his San Francisco area background to Tucson with Mediterranean classics.

For more information, visit

Chef Lora Quetzal

Los Olivos Pizzeria

Quetzal has developed a cult following for Mexican influence on her pizzas.

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 Eston Stogner

Cuban Blaze

Stogner specializes in fusion with a background in Mexican, Italian, and Caribbean cuisine.

For more information, visit

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

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.