EUGENE, Ore. - Just after Chef Gabriel Gil of the Rabbit Bistro won the Iron Chef Oregon competition in 2010, KVAL's Tasty Tuesday was born. Exactly 2 years after we kicked off our weekly food segement we find ourselves again in the presence of an Iron Chef - only this time it is Chef Jeff Strom of the Koho Bistro.
Chef Strom's kitchen career began when most people found themselves throwing newspapers at people's front door.
"It was different you know," says Strom, "and kind of once you start getting that feel for that, you realize that kitchens are kind of where the machismo is."
He eventually made his way to culinary school in Portland, graduating with a 4.0 - an accomplishment that landed him in the Playboy Mansion. After completing an externship, he was hired on full time. Los Angeles, however, was not where he wanted to be.
He moved to the Eugene area with his wife Angela. He made a name for himself in kitchens around town, eventually opening his own place with his wife, the Koho Bistro.
Not long after he competed in and won the 2012 Bite of Eugene's Iron Chef competition.
That earned him a spot in the Iron Chef Oregon competition at the Bite of Oregon in Portland. Again the Eugene Chef rose to the occasion, winning the title of Iron Chef Oregon.
"It was out of my element and I never really tried to put myself out there or to win anything," explains Strom, "And once I started doing some events and started winning it's kind of nice to get that recognition."
However, Chef Strom's win is something he credits to his crew and his wife for pushing him to step out of his element. It is also a success he shares with the community.
"It's nice to be able to bring the title back to Eugene after Gabe won it," says Strom, "And it was nice to go up to portland and show them that us little guys here in Eugene, we know what's going on in the food scene."