Next Iron Chef Exit Interview: Chef Kirschner, First to Go

by in Shows, October 4th, 2010
Chef Andrew Kirschner's advice to future Next Iron Chef rivals: "Have fun; you’re on television."

I have to admit that doing The Next Iron Chef was nerve-racking, but I took away great friendships and an experience I’ll always remember. Cooking can be so subjective and culinary arts have never been a competitive sport for me; this was different from anything I’d ever done.

I felt confident about my dish, Grilled Duck Breast with Green Papaya and Mango. It was familiar and comfortable, and represented one aspect of my cooking style. In retrospect, I could have made something more intricate, with a higher level of skill to impress, but my strategy for the first challenge was to rely more on technique and stay within my comfort zone.

We cooked on a grill out on the beach. Too bad, because I was pleased overall with the dish, and think it would have been a total success if I had more control over my equipment.

I would tell any chef wanting to get into this that they will benefit from the challenge of the show, but at the same time I would warn them to not take themselves too seriously. Enjoy the wonderful relationships you’ll make with other chefs from around the country. And have fun; you’re on television. I just wish I’d been able to compete longer so people could have really gotten to know me, both personally and professionally. Having said that, I hope people will come to Wilshire Restaurant and sample my goods!

–Chef Andrew Kirschner

Look inside Chef Kirschner’s Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 1.

More about Chef Kirschner:
Wilshire Restaurant on Facebook
Follow @wilshirerest on Twitter

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Comments (18)

  1. wilda d. says:

    Why do you let these chef go so quickly? They should be more exposed on Tv, that is, for several weeks, and then begin to judge and vote for them. Nobody's perfect and one bad day is not representative of a chef.Give them more time, please.

    • Jazzy says:

      I agree… There are many great chefs there, and they deserve a better chance. We would be able to see their personality and cooking skills much better if you would just givet hem more time!

  2. Sherry says:

    I disagree with the previous comment. Iron chef is a fast paced, tension filled show and the search for the next one should reflect that. I also appreciate the professionalism and expertise with which the judges interact with the contestants. Love the show as well as Iron Chef.

  3. Nancy R says:

    My son is a recent Culinary School graduate. In applying for jobs, he is often asked to cook for a group of people. It is a one time shot and can go any way the judges happen to feel at the time. It is not a profession for the ultra sensitive but it is perfect for those who have the passion and determination to be the best at what they are trained to do. Chef Kirschner, in my opinion, should not have gone home, but it would not stop me from wanting to taste his cooking or deter me in any way from going to his restaurant. Just to be on the show means he has something special. Kudos to him.

  4. Lisa says:

    I don't think Chef Kirshner should have been the first to go. Asking for a whole pig and then only using a couple of small pieces that you RUINED with pinapple acid certainly seems like a bigger failure than not being ultra creative.

    I will definitely try his restaurant whenever I get the chance and I wish him the best!

    • Guest says:

      Had one of the best meals ever there with my husband. You definitely should go! Also, great atmosphere. A beautiful restaurant.

    • tuscnative says:

      I agree. Estes should have gone first. Not only does she not impress with her food, her personality isn't strong enough for a competition like this. She was in tears when they bashed her food. If she was the next Iron Chef, she would have to endure that every time. Also, with a 5 min head start she still made a horrible dish.

    • Guest says:

      Wilshire is one of my fave spots in Santa Monica! Definitely try it!

  5. Patricia Sixsmith says:

    I think the wrong person was sent home !!!!! I think Personality is also important…….

  6. matisse says:

    Ming Tsai is a very self centered person, I amost stopped watching food network because of how he was showing how he hunted and killed animals. It was nice to see that foodnetwork dropped him and now he is on some other channel. I truly hope he does not make it as the next iron chef.

    • tuscnative says:

      I've been watching Ming for years and have always enjoyed his personality. Where do you think your food comes from, the grocery store? I like the fact that he shows how to get the food and how to prepare it on his program. I agree with the other poster that this competition is as much about personality as it is about cooking acumen. I just can't believe that Ming wasn't an Iron Chef when the program first came to America. I respect him for doing this because he doesn't need the notoriety or the accolades. He just wants to prove to himself that he can do it.

  7. Gansett says:

    I disagree. Chef Kirshner was out of his league and despite clear instructions showed little creativity, almost arrogance by taking no chances. The dish is very similar to one on his restaurant’s menu– playing it safe (and not even doing that well) doesn’t merit Iron Chef status. A novice line-cook could have pulled that dish off

  8. Ed Creekmore says:

    I am not so sure why Food Network is looking for a new Iron Chef, other than to put on this program and attract viewers. They picked Micheal Symon a couple years ago over someone who clearly would have been a superior Iron Chef, John Besh. Symon deserves it too and has proven himself worthy, but Besh also showed superb talents, creativity and consistency, key elements of top level quality. John Besh really, to me, is an uncrowned champion Iron Chef and his picture should be up there on the wall of Kitchen Stadium with the rest of them.

    • junie says:

      I agree. I think Chef Besh should be one of the Iron Chefs. He has the temperament, talent, experience, he loves the camera and the camera loves him. Chef Tsai should not be in this competition; he should compete with Top Chef Masters (BravoTV). Chef Tsai's long term relationship with FN should be a disqualifier. It's conflict of interest in my opinion.

  9. ANDREW HOOVER says:

    I missed the show! (SOB)

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