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Philly's Jose Garces Takes Home Next Iron Chef Title

As anticipated by his suspicious "viewing party" in Philly this weekend, Jose Garces won the second season of The Next Iron Chef. Last night's finale pitted Garces against New York chef Jehangir Mehta in Kitchen Stadium, and even though Mehta had some of the best dishes of the night, he also had some flops, allowing Garces to take home the title based on technique and consistency. Garces joins the esteemed Iron Chefs ranks of Mario Batali, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, and season one winner/cackling man Michael Symon.

The Garces Restaurant Group's Philly empire encompasses Amada, Tinto, Distrito, Chifa and Village Whiskey. The new Iron Chef gig should make for a busy 2010 for Garces, because according to the Philly Inquirer, he's got at least three new restaurants in the works: a prepared-foods cafe called Garces Trading Company (due in January), a "small beer-and-brats house" and a more formal farm-to-table concept at the Cira Centre. That's what you call striking while the iron is hot. Baddum-ching.
· Garces cooks up an 'Iron Chef' title [PI]