Where else? 

Savannah & The Iron Chef:
Savannah Pell chooses the ingredients,
Iron Chef Lee Hillson creates the dishes



Nine-year-old Savannah loves animals, the outdoors, and insects. When someone found a tarantula at choir camp, she thought it was, "Very cool." Her mother said she should become an etymologist, but Savannah plans to move to Madagascar and become a rancher.



Nationally known, international consultant, and all around great guy, Hillson has cooked on many occasions at the James Beard House in NYC. He created special culinary offerings for politicos and stars such as Barbra Streisand, the late Princess Diana, Richard Branson and Billy Joel. Today, he cooks for 9-year-old Savannah Pell.


FOODIES WEST met Savannah Pell and her Dad, Pastry Chef Roy Pell, at Town & Country Farmers Market (check out this month's FARMS & MARKET).

Savannah's mission?
Choose any vegetables she wanted and bring them back to the Phoenician's kitchen where Iron Chef Lee Hillson waited. Here's what happened . . .



Iron Chef Hillson:

You got all vegetables? That’s it? I’m going to be cooking just that?

How come I didn’t get to go to the market?



I collect bugs. But my parents won't let me have any reptiles in the house.


SCENE 2:  POTATO SALAD AND PANNE COTTA (Not necessarily in that order)
The fingerling potatoes got cut into chunks, sprinkled with salt, and then placed in a pot of water for potato salad.

Next, Iron Chef Hilson decided
to make Orange Panne Cotta. He
poured cream into a pan.

This is so easy, I’m not even
going to measure


Then he placed sheets of gelatin in water. The water will soften the gelatin, which will get added to the cream mixture for the Panne Cotta. The gelatin will make it set.

Next he scooped up some sugar and placed it into the cream and grated orange peel into the mixture. He put it on medium heat to melt the sugar and steep the orange peel.

When the gelatin was ready, Iron Chef Hillson grabbed the glop—

        I love this because you can
        always go, A-Choo! and open
        your hands like this.

—and added the gelatin to the heated cream mixture. When the gelatin dissolved, he ladled the mixture into individual serving containers.


He placed the containers into the freezer to set the Panne Cotta faster.

Normally we just refrigerate them.

After they firmed up, Savannah finished them with chopped orange segments and chopped pistachio nuts.






Take the salmon and put it on the escarole leaf. Place slices of avocado on top. Take some tomato dice and place on the top. Place matchstick carrots on top. Iron Chef Hillson


Salmon Civeche
Escarole Leaves
Matchstick Carrots
Diced Tomatoes
Avocado Slices


First you cut the salmon:

Using the knife is one of the first things you learn in culinary school.

Every chef has their
own knife. It’s all
personal preference
because the knife's
really an extension
of the hand.

Iron Chef Hillson demonstrated how to cut the salmon into small chunks.

And then showed Savannah how to hold the knife.

Savannah tries her hand at
cutting the salmon.


Now we're going to add to the salmon some sweet
chili sauce, some soy sauce, a squeeze of orange,
grated ginger and minced jalepeno pepper.

It’s not really spicy.


     Savannah places leaves of escarole
     in a taco holder
. . .


     . . . then fills them with the salmon mixture.

  DONE:  Panne Cotta and Salmon Tacos


Now on to the salads!



Yeah, it’s pretty good stuff here. Savannah did a pretty god job here.
I can work with this stuff. You rocked it, girl.
Iron Chef Lee Hillson

I’ve made salad lots of times, but I’ve never cut like Chef Hillson. Savannah Pell




Place three paper-thin slices of tomato on a flat dish and sprinkle
with salt . . .


. . . add paper-thin slices of Purple Carrot . . .

Did you know that’s
the color carrots used to be? They were never
all orange.

    . . . and the same of 
   Butternut Squash . . .

We'll use a peeler to make translucent strips so we don’t have to cook it. It keeps most of the nutrients this way.

   . . . add some slivered
   Brussels Sprouts and
   some sliced radishes . . .

    . . . add dressing made
    of Blood Orange Extra
    Virgin Olive Oil and
    vinegar . . .

    . . . Dot the plate with
    Pesto to decorate.

   Rainbow Salad:  Done!


Cut a Round Carrot into long chunks . . .

. . . cut the chunks into thin slabs . . .

. . . cut the thin slabs into thin strips.



I’m going to take these potatoes and dump them into a bowl. I’ll use some of the same ingredients here—a squeeze of orange juice, vinegar, oil, and orange segments—and add mushrooms.

Iron Chef Hillson had Savannah pull Brussels Sprout leaves and place them in the potato salad while he sauteed the mushrooms. He substituted mushrooms for bacon since Savannah leans toward vegetarian.

Alrightee. Now we’ll just take these mushrooms and add them to the potato salad.



Give me a fist bomb, Savannah!!



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