Chef Chic Wendy Gauthier crowned Iron Chef Tucson 2019 winner (PHOTOS)

After an intense battle and judging, Gauthier was declared the victor of Iron Chef Tucson 2019.

With Maynards Market & Kitchen executive chef Brian Smith defending the Iron Chef Tucson title, Chef Chic owner-chef Wendy Gauthier had a tough opponent.

In 2018, Smith won while demonstrating his finesse with pork belly. This year, the ingredient was both literally and figuratively tougher — octopus.

After a tight battle, Gauthier emerged victoriously.

“I’m just so excited and happy,” Gauthier said. “Brian is an amazing chef and it could have gone his way just as easily. I have an amazing team and we won it together.”

Here’s what Gauthier whipped up for the occasion:

Cold shrimp and octopus enchilada in a jicama sheet with a mango and avocado sauce

Lettuce soup with prickly pear caramelized onions and seared octopus

(Photo courtesy of Wendy Gauthier)

Octopus and cheddar fritter with creamy creole sauce with sautéed asparagus, carrot, shallot, purple potatoes, and herbs

(Photo courtesy of Wendy Gauthier)

Beer crepe with octopus apple bacon compote with brie cream sauce and a beer glaze

(Photo courtesy of Wendy Gauthier)

“The enchilada was inspired by another chef friend of mine talking about doing things that were light and crisp,” Gauthier said. “[For] the other items, we wanted to do dishes we knew were great but still out of the box. An hour is not much time, so we wanted to do a soup and at least one cold dish, which is where the enchilada came into play. With the soup, we wanted it to be really amazing but again a little different which is why we did lettuce soup. We knew our beer dish needed to be something you wouldn’t expect. It all just came together”

For more information about Chef Chic, read our article on female chefs or visit

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_.