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?
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. Yve. Parnes says:

    The female judge is crude and there has been nothing from her in her other appearances with Iron Chef except negative commentaries. Why would any of the new contestants who are superb in their own right, submit to criticism from less than peers ? Ming Tsai doesn't need the designation, unless it is lucrative. He is class. exceptionally educated and knowledgeable. Some of the challenges are ludicrous. Bow to the chairman ? For what ?

  2. 1Sampson says:

    I guess if things don't go the way you would like them to you can always play the "race" card!

    • Sandra says:

      Here only discuss how they have used to assess the participants, in many cases is in the form of mockery. And a lot of us agree that this is not the best way to assess the participants.
      Read reviews so you can understand that everyone is talking about,,, here

  3. Exshowviewer says:

    Chef comments are OK, but a guy that by just writing a column in a newspaper think that he is the ultimate thing in this world and can judge a meal without considering that every corner in the world have different taste and different ways to do things.

    Most of this guys think that for a meal be spicy have to be hot. They uses halapeno, chiles and hot peppers to flavor their meats, while in many other places we usea lot of different spices that they don't even mentioned in their shows.

    I stopped watching the show that I have been watching for two years because of the nasty comments of the English judge, why you have to be offensive to judge something that you probably like but think that there is something better.

    Last week the Iron chef that is a judge loose in a competition against a rival chef, then I have to think that for not being a winner then I have to make nasty comments of how he plates, etc.

    I check every week who was eliminated, but I will not see that show again.

  4. Vigoreaux says:

    This show is a farce …it is blatantly obvious that they are setting up their ex food network chef Ming to win and bring a Chinese food iron chef to their stable. As far as eliminating Mario that was disgusting the way that blow hard critic treated him. He is obviously a racist and for you as a network to allow such deplorable behavior is mind boggling. I have been a loyal fan of your network since it's inception but no more! The competition is not fair and the judging is a joke. Mario no bajes la cabeza que eres excelente! Representaste a tu isla y a tu gente dignamente.Como comento alguien anteriormente ellos se lo pierden. Nos vemos en Lemongrass!

  5. Bob O says:

    Hey folks,
    You've all got great ideas to share and I'd love to read them all but so many of the comments made do not make sense because of so much poor grammar and poor spelling. SUGGESTION: Write your comment(s) to your computer's "word" program first, run grammar & spell check, make corrections, then copy and paste to this box. If you're posting in a foreign language, so be it.

    And sure the show's fixed, so is the: stock market, world series, superbowls and Perry Mason, for example: watch Ming's "Simply Ming" and check out his personality. He's a fun loving guy who is obviously family oriented. Then compare his personality to this show; all chefs have their arms crossed, serious look, real tough guy BS. Folks, it's all an act! It's been scripted! Accept it. Or maybe go back to some reality TV and watch Get Smart.

    • The JillyBean says:

      Alternately they could use the Mozilla Firefox browser, which at least has a built in spell checker. Anyway this is a nation of loudmouths, accuracy is secondary to being heard.

      It would also help if FN had an edit option, like most other networks sites.

  6. Seattle says:

    Just back from Puerto Rico for the first time and had no idea the food was so amazing. We fell into going to Lemongrass….by chance…and had one of the best meals of our lives. Chef Pagan is amazing. Thanks for incredible tastes and presentation. He so deserved his glory plus more!!

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