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Meet Iron Chef America's Youngest Competitor – Emma Hearst

If you watch Food Network’s Iron Chef America, you know that they feature some pretty cool chefs to battle it out against one of the iron chefs on the panel. Sunday night’s battle featured Emma Hearst, a 24-year-old chef and owner of Sorella, a restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. What’s so interesting about Emma? She is the youngest chef to ever compete on the show.

Emma’s restaurant Sorella (which means “sister” in Italian) opened in November 2008, so she has been a successful chef and business owner for a few years already. Emma recently opened bakery/cafe called Stellina next door to Sorella. She was also named one of the “top 5 rising chefs” in America for 2011.

When asked about her cooking philosophy, Emma says ” Keep it clean, keep it simple. Don’t mess with it too much. You should keep a high level of integrity while cooking and you should keep the integrity of the ingredients you’re cooking with high, too.” She’s loved food and cooking since the age of four.

As for her last name? Yes, she is related to William Randolph Hearst; he was her great-great-grandfather. Emma’s father George Hearst continued in his grandfather’s footsteps and is the publisher of Times Union; part of the publishing dynasty started by William Randolph Hearst.

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