Schenectady restaurateur Aneesa Waheed gave it her all, but came up short on the Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” show, which aired Thursday night.
In fact, Waheed, owner of the Moroccan restaurant Tara Kitchen on Liberty Street, didn’t even get the chance to beat Flay. She lost in the opening round to culinary school graduate and New York City chef Ryan Lory.
Waheed and Lory were asked to create a dish in which Greek yogurt held the dominant flavor.
Waheed created Chicken Korma with yogurt sauce.
Lory went for aerated yogurt in an heirloom tomato salad.
As the final seconds ticked away in the cooking process, a mildly confident Waheed said, “My texture is a little bit off, but the flavor is there.” She was concerned that the dish may have curdled.
Their creations went before judges Jose Garces (“Iron Chef”) and Anne Burrell (“Worst Cooks in America”).
Of Waheed’s dish, Garces said, “The yogurt sauce is a little grainy.”
Said Burrell: “The flavor is amazing; the sauce is just too cooked.”
Lory got slightly higher praise and, in the end, won the judges’ nod to move on and compete against Flay.
“You win some and lose some. I’m going to talk to my kids about trying, trying, trying until you succeed,” said Waheed, who has also appeared on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” with Guy Fieri.
In the final showdown, Lory and Flay faced off to see who could prepare the best coq au vin, a classic French stew.
The winner? Bobby Flay.
“It stings a little bit, but I had a blast,” said Lory.
Said Flay, “They wanted coq au vin, but I coq au WON!”