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Chuck Hughes becomes the first Canadian chef to beat Bobby Flay on Iron Chef

Chef Chuck Hughes (Image: Cooking Channel)

Chuck Hughes, chef at Montreal restaurant Garde Manger, won Iron Chef America this past weekend, succeeding where few competitors have: Hughes beat culinary master Bobby Flay in the kitchen stadium battle, which featured a secret ingredient of Canadian lobster. Included in Hughes’s winning menu: lobster poutine. Hughes, 34, is the youngest Canadian and second Canuck to win the series, after Vancouver’s Rob Feenie defeated Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in 2005 (Susur Lee tied with Flay in 2006). Hughes is also the first Quebec chef to compete on the show.

Hughes’s luck may have been in the shellfish. He is such a fan of lobster that he has a tattoo of one on his arm, alongside shrimp, pie and bacon. “It’s my favourite food. It was almost too much. It was like: ‘If I don’t win, then do I need to cut my arm off? What happens if I don’t win? I’m a sham!” Hughes joked to the Canadian Press.

Sunday’s finale episode in Canada proved no amputation was necessary. Hughes admitted to the CBC, “I actually kind of knew exactly where we were going to go with it, so it was kind of a perfect-case scenario.” The rest of Hughes’s multi-course menu consisted of lobster roll with a bloody caesar cocktail, lobster and onion ring salad with carrot butter and avocado, lobster-mushroom risotto and jerked-spiced lobster. Cooking alongside Hughes were his sous chefs from Garde Manger, Jean-Francois Methot and James Baran.

• Chuck Hughes beats out Bobby Flay on ‘Iron Chef America’ [Canadian Press]
• Quebec chef wins Iron Chef with lobster poutine [CBC News]

  • Culinerd

    I like this guys style of cooking and his food is good, But how does he beat Flay and Susar didnt???

  • sickofcupcakes

    I believe it’s spelled “Susur” Culinerd, and he is overrated that’s why. Chuck, thanks for showing everyone that Canada has more to offer than Michael Smith and his “guacamole three way”…You can do it tooooooooooo”.
    Oh, and a note to Americans, not everyone up here says “eh”. What a joke.

  • foodie514

    Culinerd – according to Susur, he lost because the agent at the US border confiscated his blend of secret spice. This was his story, it is up to you to judge if this is the truth.
    I ate at Susur, impeccable service, the food was good, but I was not floored. As for Chuck, I like is unpretentious cooking style.

  • Culinerd

    Sorry about my spelling. Thank you for the correction. Special spices i dont believe. If he lost due to what the Judges think then its fair. He did have Jeremy weingarten(might be spelt wrong) Oh as for Micheal Smith that was a kicker. Chuck does however cook some good food. I dont put him down, Plus I don’t like Flay so for me this is nice to see a lose to a Canadian.

  • hop

    This episode aired in the States a month ago (ie its been available on the interwebz for a month).

  • terry

    i never liked chucks hyper, but now im impressed he was calm and didnt belittle not like flay.

  • Sprinky

    Culinerd: it’s Jeffrey Steingarten. I don’t think you deserve the title of “Culinerd”.

  • anna

    i love him! i have a total imaywatchtoomuchfoodnetwork crush on him. his show is great. take that, bobby flay!

  • Bob

    Haha, Flay loses all the time on Throwdown…he’s just extending the tradition onto Iron Chef!

  • Jason

    Sprinky, I agree with you about Culinerd not being worth of his/her chosen nickname. They could have done a two second search on how to spell their names to at least LOOK like they know what they’re talking about.

  • Culinerd

    “sprinky” “Jason”

    Sorry about not knowing Judges and Proper spelling of their last names, yes a simple Google search could of maybe made your life much simpler and am sure you 2 feel good about yourself. Culinerd term comes from my life in food from being a chef to Product development. With a family name in food for over 50yrs from Chefs, to Butchers, Restaurateurs, Food manufactures to farmers I have to resent your belittle for the simple fact of a name. Again Toronto people at the finest.

    Please don’t judge for what you think you know, Judge by fact and what is known.

  • sickofcupcakes

    Well, at least one thing is clear. Culinerd does not come from a family of writers.

  • Culinerd

    Sickofcupcakes this statement I will just laugh and giggle at the truth of it.

  • V

    Leave Culinerd alone; he’s just a loser who likes to troll on TL.

  • Culinerd

    :) Love internet Haters.
    What does everyone else do mid day? Since today is focus on me day, I am just designing my booth for some up coming shows…

  • mattagascar

    I’d love to see your booth. Please give details.

  • Culinerd

    This will be for the upcoming shows that we deal with at Distributor level, Did you happen to go by the CRFA show a couple weeks back we had a booth there under the JL international area?

  • mattagascar

    The GFS show in April by any chance? I’ll keep my eyes open. What’s the name of the company?

  • Culinerd

    Yes April 5th we will be there. Do you have an email? I rather not share so much information on here.

  • Precious

    Way to go Chuck. I saw the show and you did well. Can’t beat lobster.
    I saw Chuck at the Wine and Cheese show in Toronto. Good job! Also I tried the Maple Pecan Pie and it is to die for. Kudos to Chuck’s mom for the recipie. It is now in my Recipie hall of fame book.

  • pontone

    love the term “culinerd” its kind of pretentious

  • AJ

    It amazes me how people can put down others so blatantly, gaining courage from that the fact that they remain annonymous via web. Unbelievable. Talk about self-esteem issues.

  • fatchance


  • Designergirl

    OMG,a bitch’in in the kitchen session SUPREME!
    Back to the article everyone…Chuck did great!
    Sursur is fabulous! Giant Chef Michael is mellowing on tv, in BC!
    And We Canadians can share the fact that we can “compete” with the Iron Chefs…in the kitchen or out…
    Pass the Real Maple syrup and have a great day!

  • Beverly Ness

    Chuck… Congrats on your achievement (job well done) I was so happy for you. Just another feather in your chapeau. My son Matthew is a chef in TO I am amazed on his ability to perfect a meal. We are so proud of him… He has made this his calling… He also has a band (Nothing Shy) between you and I he is a much better chef then a musician.. How he finds the time to do both shocks me. Being a chef is a full and a half time job. The hours and standing is back braking But he loves both… With the music you play through your shows….. If you get a chance to play one of his songs (Matthew) would be in AWE… He is on Facebook. Chuck continue success.

    Beverly Ness (Brooklin, ON)

  • Tinker

    I thought this forum was about cooking and Chuck Hughes in particular. Why then is there so much babble about spelling and such, stay on topic! Congrats to Chuck, I love his show and his style and wish him the best for years to come.

  • fernando donatto

    I see the Chuck program here in Brazil, i think amazing the recipes it does make.
    I wish one day to visit your restaurant and learn to make some recipes with it, I love to cook and to me he is one of the best …

  • Lili S

    Went to the Garde Manger, very good food ( excellent selection), buuuut too salty, too dark ( I enjoy seeing my food) and too loud.

  • pz

    @sickofcupcakes: you do know that Michael Smith is not Canadian EH?