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Into the Kitchen and Into the Spotlight
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Into the Kitchen and Into the Spotlight

by QUEEN RAMIREZ

 

“I give my heart and soul to by business.” —Chef Jason Dady

 

Jason Dady is one of San Antonio's hottest and most respected chefs. He will compete on the Food Networks’ Iron Chef Gauntlet beginning on April 16. Jason sat down for a quick chat with CHICAGIRL Magazine to discuss his passion for the culinary arts and what it takes to succeed in the ultra-competitive world of master chefs.

 

From a young age, Dady felt a passion for cooking: “I think I always knew I wanted to be in the restaurant business. Being a chef was not the same career it is today.” Driven by his passion for the kitchen, Dady studied restaurant, hotel, and institutional management at Texas Tech University and later attended the California Culinary Academy. In his career, he has been named “Best Chef San Antonio” by the San Antonio Current and San Antonio Magazine and was awarded the title of “Chef of the Year” in 2016 by CultureMap’s Tastemaker Awards.

 

With inspiration from his family, Dady started and owns multiple restaurants in the San Antonio area. One of the secrets to his amazing success is how highly he values the people he works with. He stated, “Working and living in a professional environment, it is important to show respect to everyone.” And when asked how he would describe himself, he answered, “giving, adventurous, and respectful.”

 

Dady received one of the biggest thrills of his professional life last fall when he got a call from the casting producers at Iron Chef Gauntlet. “They called and asked if I would be interested, and in like half-a-second I signed up, and you know, asking where I had to go.” Despite the stress that comes with competing on one of cooking’s biggest stages, Dady is completely confident in his ability to cook and perform at his highest level on the show. He said, “I think I am starting to get nervous now leading up to the premiere date—sheer excitement from getting to be on the Mount Everest of Cooking. There is not a lot of preparation —you have to be able to face the pressure and cook with confidence and not overthink it. I want to go in fresh-minded.”

 

He knows one of the biggest challenges he will face is competing against other amazing chefs. In the past he has not done much competitive cooking aside from some local events, but as Jason stated, “Cooking, in general, is competitive.” For Dady there is no greater sense of satisfaction than to take a product and put his heart and soul into it.  Jason said, “I am excited to showcase my city of San Antonio in a national spotlight. At the end of day, I have the drive and passion to be the best I can be.”

 

Let’s all wish Jason the best of luck on the show—he has already made San Antonio so very proud!

Photo credit: Courtesy of Food Network