Next Iron Chef Exit Interview: For Chef Pagan, An “Amazing Ride”

by in Shows, October 11th, 2010
Chef Mario Pagan on the meatloaf that sent him home: "I felt that having been given the most labor-intensive dish, I did a good job."

FN Dish: What did you take away from the experience of competing on The Next Iron Chef?
Mario Pagan: Competing in The Next Iron Chef has been the most amazing and exciting highlight of my career! It’s an honor to have been picked as one of the ten best chefs in the United States. Being amongst so many talented chefs is an opportunity that is hard to come by.

Dish: How did you feel about the meatloaf and potatoes dish that sent you home when you presented it?
M.P.: I felt that having been given the most labor-intensive dish, I did a good job.

Dish: If you could have a do-over, what would you change about that fateful dish?
M.P.: If I had to do it all over again, I have to say that I should have used arrowroot instead of cornstarch to thicken my sauce.

Dish: What advice would you give future Next Iron Chef contestants?
M.P.:
The best advice that I can give is to make sure to pick your proteins first and then set up your “mise en place” for your planned dish. Ask for the remaining time in the battle at all times. But, until you’re there, you’ll never understand the overwhelming feeling of being in that kitchen. What an amazing ride! Stay and cook strong!

Look inside Chef Pagan’s Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 2.

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Comments (41)

  1. Maria says:

    All I can say is whenever to go to PR, go to Chef Pagan's restaurant, food is amaizing! He is a wonderful chef.

  2. Emma says:

    EMMA
    LOS JUECES NO ESTABAN PREPARADOS PARA NUESTRO SAZON BORICUA. ERES UN ORGULLO PARA NOSOTROS . TE FELICITO POR TODOS TUS EXITOS Y POR LOS QUE ESTAN POR VENIR. ERES UN EXCELENTE CHEF.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Chef Pagan, Thank U for being un orgullo para tu Puerto Rico. As others have said, maybe they didn't want another latin chef to win the competition but still, u are one of the best out there and I thank u for representing us in such a renamed competition. Ellos se lo pierden!!!!

  4. eduardo says:

    must be to boycott the program are racist judges should have broad knowledge of international cuisine food renamed network
    the racist food network
    Escuchar
    Leer fonéticamente

  5. eduardo says:

    must be to boycott the program are racist judges should have broad knowledge of international cuisine food renamed network

  6. Danette says:

    Is a shame that exist people that elimates some talented Chef such as Mario Pagan, I dont believe that FoodNetwork permit racism so evident.

  7. Brenda says:

    Mario Pagan is the best chef of the Caribe Hilton Hotel in Puerto Rico Lemongrass i loved the Mario sushi mmmm! Go Mario u r the best, the one and only, Puerto Rican food is often called Comida Criolla and you r the best. Go Mario yo voy a ti,.

  8. Pamela says:

    No he tenido la oportunidad de probar tu comida, pero mi compañera de trabajo te vitorea todo el tiempo. Solo tengo que decir que me dio muchisimo coraje tu eliminacion, me senti decepsionada e insultada por la forma como fuiste tratado, sea una competencia o no….debio ser prudente y con una mente mas abierta a la degustacion. Te Felicito, honor a quien honor merece, hiciste un trabajo excelente y con muy buena presentacion. Ojala mucho fueran como tu. Que Dios te Bendiga

  9. Sandra says:

    It is sad to see people pretending to be judges who are professionals in this field are behaving in a racist manner. There are thousands of viewers watching this program and what they did was to show a lack of education and moral principles and respect for others. Judges should be prepared for all types of food not only American Food. American food, most do not like and I think the test food with different texture, taste or flavor is blocking the sense of taste. Just released an excellent chef and I personally will never again see such a program because of the way in which judges expressed much left to say about who they really are. That day there were many competitors who cooked in a fatal and the judges left because their culture was different from Chef Pagan. People can accept criticism, but they did not like the judges because instead of being critics were racist and I think he crossed the line. Food Network, the program stopped being what it was, is a limited program open to new cultures, opportunities, personalities. Food Network next time take action on issues like this that will lead to lose rating. Look at the votes of the fans and you will see they made a mistake. The judges are a disgrace to society!

  10. Sandra says:

    It is sad to see people pretending to be judges who are professionals in this field are behaving in a racist manner. There are thousands of viewers watching this program and what they did was to show a lack of education and moral principles and respect for others. Judges should be prepared for all types of food not only American Food. American food, most do not like and I think the test food with different texture, taste or flavor is blocking the sense of taste. Just released an excellent chef and I personally will never again see such a program because of the way in which judges expressed much left to say about who they really are. That day there were many competitors who cooked in a fatal and the judges left because their culture was different from Chef Pagan. People can accept criticism, but they did not like the judges because instead of being critics were racist and I think he crossed the line. Food Network, the program stopped being what it was, is a limited program open to new cultures, opportunities, personalities. Food Network next time take action on issues like this that will lead to lose rating. Look at the votes of the fans and you will see they made a mistake. The judges are a disgrace to society!

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