emma hearstLast night on Iron Chef America, the food wasn't the only good looking thing on the menu. Emma Hearst, the youngest chef to appear on the show, and arguably the hottest, battled Iron Chef Michael Symon. The secret ingredient turned out to be mozzarella and Hearst turned up the heat with her talent and smoking hot looks.

Hearst, owner and chef of Sorella on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, is only 24 years old, but her resume, and performance last night, speak for themselves. Giada De Laurentiis has generally held the spot of hottest female chef, but Emma is poised to take over. Named Eater NY's Hottest Chef in 2009, Hearst has the cheekbones and the skill to just about take over the food industry.

If you're wondering about her last name, yes, she's the great-great-granddaughter of William H. Hearst, and her father is still a part of the publishing empire, running Times Union. Emma grew up in upstate New York, and has been working in kitchens since she started as a dishwasher in her teens.

Her talent as an Italian chef has gotten her where she is today, but did her good looks have anything to do with it? A pretty face is nine times out of ten an asset when looking for new opportunities, but the food industry may be one of the last places where it doesn't matter if you're an heiress or a hottie. If your food doesn't cut the mustard, you've got to pack up your knives, and leave. She's just one of those women who's both incredibly talented and incredibly beautiful. Lucky!

Hearst's philosophy in the kitchen is to "keep it clean" and "keep it simple," and apparently it's working. She was named one of the top five rising chefs in 2011 by Gayot.com, a website focused on living the good life.

It will be fun to watch Hearst's career take off. While she didn't win the Iron Chef competition last night (she lost 53 to 48), it spoke volumes that she was invited on the show and was its youngest competitor ever. She's just opened a bakery next to Sorella called Stellina, and more positive reviews keep coming in. Look out, Giada, there's a hot new chef in town.

Are you looking forward to seeing more from Emma Hearst?


Photo via YouTube