Monroe Chef Advances To Next Round of “Food Network Star”
Cory Bahr's credo for what makes good food is printed at the top of the front page on his website chefcorybahr.com:
"Good food doesn't leave where it came from. It has a sense of place--starting with local ingredients, harvested in season, cooked and served with respect for the memories of countless meals before yours."
He sums up his cooking philosophy quite succinctly:
"I find the best damn ingredients I can and get out of the way."
That means that Bahr puts a taste of Louisiana in every dish he creates for Heritage Catering in Monroe. And that hometown flavor has taken him through another round of Food Network's most prestigious show, "Food Network Star".
Surprisingly, Bahr was not a participant in last night's first challenge. The hosts said that he was not feeling well, and that he would "hopefully" be back for the next challenge, and he was.
In the end, Bahr survived into the next round by besting host Bobby Flay in a head-to-head competition called "Beat Bobby Flay." Earlier in the show, Bahr was on the losing side in a team-cooking competition. Each of the three losing contestants then had to attempt to "Beat Bobby Flay" in a 1-hour cook-off with the creations being tasted by an independent judge. The chefs each baked their signature dish, while Flay had to make all three of the chefs' dishes. Bahr's pan seared duck with red eye gravy was the only recipe to beat Flay's dish.
Bahr is no stranger to awards and accolades. In 2011 he was named “King of Louisiana Seafood”. In 2012 he was the winner on "Chopped", another Food Network competition. In 2015 Bahr was named Food & Wine’s “People’s Best New Chef.” Last year, he represented Louisiana at The Taste of The Derby at the Kentucky Derby, was a featured chef at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, and acted as the host of the Louisiana Seafood cook-off in New Orleans.
After his victory on "Chopped" Bahr opened two restaurants in Monroe named "Cotton" and "Nonna" respectively. He left his position and sold his partnership in both restaurants last year after his grandmother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Bahr now concentrates his considerable energy in Heritage Catering which he established last year.
Bahr will compete against the four other remaining contestants on Food Network Star next Sunday night at 8:00 on the Food Network.