By The Hack
The last night the dining room at Restaurant Max in Minneapolis was packed and the buzz thick, what with the Vikings’ game on and the
anticipation of Saffron Chef and Co-Owner Sameh Wadi’s debut on Iron Chef America. Alas, both competitions went down to the wire, and the home teams suffered narrow defeats.
While Vikings fans are used to being tempted, brought to the precipice and then deflated, the room at Restaurant Max—filled with
about 300 people (at least)—was genuinely shocked when the verdict came down in favor of Iron Chef veteran Masaharu Morimoto’s concoctions. The “secret ingredient”? Mackerel.
Wadi kicked ass, to be sure. And it appeared everything was going his way. His team, which included Restaurant Max Exec. Chef Nick O’Leary, performed flawlessly. And the judges reactions were overwhelmingly positive. And the collective groan from the crowd thought he had it, for sure. So what gives? It’s TV, man. But it was good fun nonetheless, and Wadi summed it up best at the end: “We showed
that there’s talent here in the Twin Cities, not just in New York and California. It’s here.”