FN Dish: What did you take away from the experience of competing on The Next Iron Chef?
Duskie Estes: I loved the chefs I met. I loved going out to dinner with all of them—we all are voracious eaters. I did not think I would like anyone going into it, so I was thrilled that I was so wrong. In restaurant life, you are not challenged to think about food in that way—ever. It was fun to stretch your skill set into unknown direction.
Dish: How did you feel about the dishes that sent you home when you presented them?
D.E.: I hated them. I’d never serve them in my restaurant.
Dish: If you could have a do-over, what would you change about that fateful caramel apple?
D.E: I would not have done a caramel apple on that fire. I would have only done vegetarian food with fair ingredients. That would have been the safest with bad protein sources.
Dish: What advice would you give future Next Iron Chef contestants?
D.E.: Never have a bad day.