Good Karma’s Gohary in line to beat Bobby Flay | ParkRecord.com

Good Karma’s Gohary in line to beat Bobby Flay

Park City residents know Houman Gohary, owner of the Indo-Persian restaurant Good Karma. On Thursday, Dec. 17, many people across the country will know who he is, too.

Gohary, who is also the academic director of the Park City Culinary Institute, will appear on the Food Network’s "Poking and Prodding: Beat Bobby Flay" culinary contest. The show will air locally at 11 p.m.

The program features comedian Judy Gold and "The Kitchen" co-host Katie Lee who make fun of their friend, celebrity chef Bobby Flay.

Gohary will start off his competition run against Las Vegas Chef Alex Stratta.

"The producers matched me with a chef that was at the same caliber as I am," Gohary said during an interview with The Park Record. "I have 35 years of experience, so they found someone who had the same amount of experience and expertise."

Coincidentally, Gohary and Stratta knew each other.

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"We both worked under the same chef at the Bellagio in Las Vegas," Gohary said with a laugh. "When I told him the name of my restaurant was Good Karma he said, ‘It really is a Good Karma.’"

Those wanting to see who wins the round (judged by culinary industry experts Jean-Paul Bourgeois, Maneet Chaunhan and Marco Moreira) and continues to cook against Flay, will have to tune into the show

"I can say that our secret ingredient was polenta and we had 20 minutes to cook," Gohary said. "I made curried vegetables and he made wild mushrooms."

Gohary’s road to this new cooking competition show began a few years ago when the Food Network’s Rachel Ray did a segment on Good Karma. The network kept in touch and recruited Gohary to scout culinary talent for its programming.

"I received an email from the Park City Chamber last year that the network was recruiting for a new program, so I decided to send in my application," Gohary said. "We did a Skype interview and then I went to New York for another interview and we started taping."

Gohary said was an unforgettable experience.

"With the live cooking, the cameras and the audience, it was a high-pressure environment and the time flew by," Gohary said. "We had many specific rules to follow. For example, every time I had to touch a different food, I had to wash my hands or change my gloves or change the cutting board. It was very fun and very interesting."

Gohary, who opened Good Karma in 2006 and whose wife oversees the satellite food distribution of Instant Karma, also enjoyed representing Park City.

"It felt great to do that because people often underestimate the talent that is not only in Park City, but in Utah," he said. "The fact is, Park City has more restaurants and chefs per capita than France."

He also felt honored to represent his heritage, which is Iranian.

"These days, when you say Middle East and Iran, unfortunately, the first things that come to mind is terrorist or other negative connotations," Gohary said. "I feel that there are bad people in all cultures.

"However, through food, people can become closer," he said. "When you share a meal, you are sharing culture and they learn a little bit more about you and your culture. And that brings people together."

Good Karma owner and chef Houman Gohary will compete on the Food Network’s "Poking and Prodding" on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 11 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.foodnetwork.com .