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Tonight, the Riverfront Times hosted an “Iron Fork” competition among four great St. Louis chefs. The secret ingredient was Grand Marnier orange liqueur, a surprising choice and a difficult ingredient to use in savory dishes because it is so sweet. Flames were shooting up as the chefs liberally added Grand Marnier to their saute pans while a rapt crowd of 1200 foodies watched.

Andy White, the new chef at Balaban’s, made a surf-and-turf of lamb and scallop on pea and morel risotto with a Grand Marnier-flavored sauce.

Gerard Craft, the chef-owner of Niche, served a delicious fish on celery root puree with shaved curly fennel and a tangerine-Grand Marnier sauce.

Ivy Magruder, the chef at Vin de Set, composed a lobster napoleon, interspersed with fried sweet potatoes and pureed English peas with an orange-Grand Marnier sauce. Ivy is teaching a cooking class on Thursday, April 19 called Provence Provisions plus a fish class on Wednesday, May 9.

Brian Hale, the chef at Monarch, presented three scallops prepared in different ways, including seared scallop with Grand Marnier-flavored avocado puree and foie gras-Grand Marnier scallop on peas. Brian is teaching a cooking class on potatoes on Monday, May 14.

All the food was delicious and beautifully presented. Chef Brian Hale was declared the winner because his scallops had the best use of Grand Marnier. Congratulations!