Two local chefs turned up the heat at the yearly Iron Chef competition in Brighton last night.

The 13th annual Iron Chef Competition to benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank of Livingston County was held at Bordine’s Nursery and well attended, with a rough estimate of 600 guests. Defending his 2016 Iron Chef title, Jeffrey Bane, Dean of Hospitality Management at Cleary University in Howell, went head to head with Chef Craig Myrand, Culinary Directory of Adam Merkle Restaurants.

Each chef was surprised with a secret ingredient they had to incorporate into a three course meal, this year’s ingredient being ginger. Chef Myrand walked away as 2017’s Iron Chef, with a winning dish in the appetizer and entrée category. Chef Myrand's meal included a classic crudo, using pickled ginger, and a roasted sirloin with a ginger beef stock.

Chef Bane had the winning dessert in the competition, which was a pound cake French toast with apple raspberry ginger compote, whipped cream, almonds and a ginger glaze. Win or lose, he says he enjoyed doing what he loves for a good cause.

Judges say choosing a winner from the two meals was tough, but ultimately enjoyed Myrand’s hidden and unexpected flavors. WHMI’s own Renee Chodkowski, the Great Foodini, was a guest judge at the event and says the "flavor explosion" she experience with Myrand's meal was what swayed her vote.

In a drink mixology competition, the secret ingredient was honey, and last year’s champion, Toni Pomranky of Bourbon Smoke in Brighton, came away as the winner once again.

The Iron Chef Competition has helped Gleaners provide approximately 2.1 million meals since its inception. (DK)