Bolton’s Iron Chef Champ

– Feb. 19, 2016

| February 24, 2016
The International’s Chef William Nemeroff,  Iron Chef champion                                               Courtesy Joe Santa Maria • Kill the Ball Media

The International’s Chef William Nemeroff, Iron Chef champion
Courtesy Joe Santa Maria • Kill the Ball Media

By John Agoglia

Many professions recognize the best of the best through awards, ribbons, and commendations. It is not often, however, that the top accountants, salespeople or even journalists face off live in front of a crowd of more than 1,000 people to show their skills. However, earlier this month, Chef William Nemeroff of The International Golf Club and Resort in Bolton, had just that chance at the Worcester Best Chef competition and walked away with the top prize of Iron Chef Champion.

While the Sturbridge resident has only been with the Fireplace Room for a few months, he certainly isn’t new to the cooking game. Nemeroff has spent the past 20 years as a chef and restaurant manager, most recently as the food and beverage director for Old Sturbridge Village, as well as owning the Cedar Street Restaurant in Sturbridge for six years. Moreover, he is not new to competing at Worcester’s Best Chef.

“I have competed numerous times in Worcester’s Best Chef and have won numerous awards while competing, but this is the first time being crowned champion,” said Nemeroff, who also took the Judges’ third-place slot in preliminary judging. “Winning always feels great,” he said. “However, I am happier for the staff that helped me get there. Some of them that have only worked with me a handful of times.”

With a grueling four-hour-long event that runs through a seven-member panel of judges voting for the top three choices, followed by those three being invited onstage to compete Iron Chef-style, in front of the full crowd, it certainly takes more than one man and some tasty food to be crowned the champ.

During the competition, Nemeroff had to not only show off his cooking skills, but also his people and management skills, to beat out the 20 other chefs in the contest and feed more than 1,000 guests to earn him the title of Iron Chef.

“I had three cooks and three dining room team members that played an important role in the win,” he said. “Sous chef Rene Marty, Banquet Chef Nestor Garcia, and Chef Beau Lamarbe helped with plating and execution, while Paulie Chlebecek led the dining room staff of Liz Zadroga and Kelsey Benoit to help get the food into the hands of 1,000 people.”

Members of the The International’s team that helped Chef William Nemeroff feed 1000 people and win the championship. From left to right: Nestor Garcia, Rene Marty, Paulie Chlebecek, Liz Zadroga and Kelsey Benoit.                                                                                         Courtesy Joe Santa Maria • Kill the Ball Media

Members of the The International’s team that helped Chef William Nemeroff feed 1000 people and win the championship. From left to right: Nestor Garcia, Rene Marty, Paulie Chlebecek, Liz Zadroga and Kelsey Benoit.
Courtesy Joe Santa Maria • Kill the Ball Media 

Additionally, it brings pride to the staff of The International and the Fireplace Room.  “I was not there, unfortunately, but I am certainly very proud of Chef and his accomplishment,” said Dan Weadock, Jr., President and Chief Agent of Change at the International. “It is a great personal achievement for Chef Nemeroff, and we are all thrilled to have Chef leading the culinary team here at The International.”

The best part of having an award-winning chef, according to Weadock, is that he and anyone visiting the open-to-the-public The Fireplace Room restaurant can partake of the same dishes that won the Iron Chef title for Nemeroff.

There were plenty of those tasty dishes and plenty of on-the-fly cooking to win the final crown, according to Nemeroff.

“We won the third-place judges’ choice with a sous vide striploin with parsnip cheddar cream, salt roasted beets and black garlic mashed potatoes. However, the first, second and third judges’ choice winners then compete head-to-head in a mystery basket competition. A lamb meatball with pumpkin purée and white bean ragout took the final crown.”

While Worcester’s Best Chef normally doesn’t allow for repeat winners, Nemeroff is hopeful that he will get to throw his chef’s hat in the ring again next year.

“According to the rules of the competition, I must sit as a judge next year,” he said. “However, it is the 10th  year of the event, and there is some talk of a tournament of champions.”
If he is allowed to defend his title, Nemeroff is sure to cook up a plan to do his best to repeat as Iron Chef Champion.

Category: FEATURES

Comments are closed.