Next Iron Chef Exit Interview: Chef Caswell’s Parting Words

by in Shows, November 8th, 2010
Chef Caswell's advice for future NIC rivals: "Keep your head down, work within your comfort zone and push, baby, push."

What did you take away from the experience of competing on The Next Iron Chef?
I walked away with the satisfaction of being able to compete at this high level, and knowing I was competitive. It also gave me the opportunity and platform to do what I do best: Show off my region, the Gulf Coast, and my hometown of Houston.

How did you feel about the dishes that sent you home when you presented them?
I don’t think any chef feels great about dishes that have to be judged two hours after you plate them.

If you could have a do-over, what would you change about that fateful dish?
Probably should have stayed away from the crab.

What advice would you give future Next Iron Chef contestants?
The competition is just as much about endurance as anything else. Keep your head down, work within your comfort zone and push, baby, push.

Look inside Chef Caswell’s Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 6.

More about Bryan Caswell
Follow @wholefish on Twitter
Reef Restaurant
Bryan’s blog: Whole Fish

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Comments (46)

  1. luvcookin says:

    "We’re back! Thanks to the support of our loyal (Food Network) fans, AT&T U-verse customers once again can watch their favorite shows. Tune in now for Next Iron Chef" NO YOU AREN'T! I just checked and FN is NOT BACK ON! At least not yet. We'll see when I get home from work. It's shameful that FN and Scripps Network chose to let its viewers miss any programming due to their greed. I'm thankful for AT&T looking out for me.

    On another note, glad Caswell is gone. Tsai should win, but if he doesn't I'll still watch him on PBS which is FREE!

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      Glad it's worked out for you, luvcookin, I always enjoy your commentary (maybe in part because they agree with what I think too! : ) ).

    • The JillyBean says:

      I hope he keeps his show on PBS. I'm really starting to dislike the circus that is the FN shows. It's quite artificial and overly produced. I much prefer the old style of Molto Mario, Tsai, even Yang Can Cook, as well as Lydia. I remember the old monk who used to make bread, and the Test kitchen shows. FN is just trying too hard anymore.

    • Are you kidding! AT&T looking out for you!!!?? You must be an AT&T employee. Certainly, I am not coming dow on the side of Scrips. However, AT&T knew how they would be charged for these things. The formula ia no different than it has always been. They are balking because they can't make their profitability numbers at what Scrips is asking. Who is getting the short end of the stick. The consumer – ONE MORE TIME. Niether AT&T nor Scripps-Howard caes one whit about you other than what you are willing to pay. I do appreciate your wish to find a hero in this, but frankly, I have yet to be convinced that there is one. They replace Food TV with Ion Life and BRAVO. I say take those off to save money and put FN back on. If they can't save enough there, I can give you a very long list of the junk stations on my list that I would gladly sacrifice.

      • Steve S says:

        You got that right…but FN is back today, though the online schedule is still wrong. Glad to have them back, but still both Scripts and AT&T ought be ashamed considering the mess the economy is in. They just get fatter.

    • josh says:

      look into the entire story before you give att any credit for anything

  2. beachinfrizzy says:

    Eh, I didn't mind Caswell but he deserved to go. Funny how in this article's advice to future IC hopefuls he says to 'work in your comfort zone' – unfortunately for him, I think that's what got him eliminated. He was either unwilling or unable to move beyond his 'Gulf Coast' seafood or barbeque and played it safe, staying in the middle. I'd like to try that crab…but jeez, even I would know enough not to eat something delicate like crabmeat AFTER heavy, spicy meats…I really wonder about the 'judgement' of these judges (i.e., Donatella popping a whole chile pepper in her mouth in the first episode, and then making a big dramatic show about how she 'burned her palate' and couldn't taste anything after that).

    He seemed like a pretty good guy though, not quite as full of himself as some of the others, and I wish him well.

  3. donna thomas says:

    I knew Caswell was doomed to fall this week. He hadn't won any of the challeges, and got up on his haunches when the other chefs, (other than Canora), gave him constructive criticism. Lastly, the judges wanted him to cook with out bringing the 'Ballerina Boy' so much to his dishes. No matter what, he should not have compromised his soul for the judges. He may have gone home anyway, but at least he would have stayed true to himself.

  4. Carol says:

    Actually think Chef Tsai should have been eliminated…he's stuck on Chinese cooking and not looking good out there. He seems uptight and defensive. But on the other hand, FN must keep up its PC image and will most definetly choose him as the new Iron Chef. Good luck with that one!

    • Kim says:

      You know….I have felt the same way! I really think they will choose him. I was really pulling for Caswell..he was my favorite.

    • pat says:

      yep,see my post.

    • Dennis says:

      You do know he beat Bobby Flay 48-42 on Iron Chef America back in 2005.

      • MarshmallOH says:

        … and back in 2005, USC Trojans were on top of the college football world, but now, theyre not even ranked…

        Tsai is outdated and does not deserve to win NIC…

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      Forgione should have been eliminated. Overcooked, oversalty meat is a far worse culinary sin than a 'pasty' pineapple sauce, and his plating is terrible. Besides, even though Symon didn't like Tsai's ribs he did admit that he did the best job of meeting the point of the challenge – which was, lest we forget (as the other judges seemed to) – an inspired take on what you'd typically see offered in a Las Vegas buffet. If anything, his ethnicity works to his disadvantage as there's already a big-name Asian Iron Chef on the roster who almost always makes Asian inspired dishes. If FN really was concerned about being PC they'd pick Tio, not that she wouldn't deserve it on her own merits. I hope she wins it all.

    • Chef Cyn Walker says:

      so what is your background to judge on a level like this? It's TV…they show you what they want

    • bobby_fillet says:

      Never trash Tsai. His fanatics on here will give you 50 thumbs down. They are all blind to what happens on the show. You can't say anything negative about Tsai on this blog. Watch! Here comes the thumbs down! Even the judge called him arrogant.

  5. Kim says:

    I wish we could find a new judge besides Donatella…she is seriously irritating! Each episode she seems rude and condescending and always seems to find something too spicy for her delicate taste buds.

  6. pat says:

    Though I like Chef Tsai, I feel he has an unfair advantage. No other chef has their own line in major venues. A little tired of of" East meets West" presentations. However, I think he would be a great and worthy Iron Chef!

  7. Carlos says:

    Caswell seems very genuine. I love eating at the Reef, his restaurant in Houston

  8. Cyndi C. says:

    I am starting to think any chef with a Southern Accent just doesn't stand a chance on this network. When John Besh competed – I love you Michael – but he was clearly a better cook. But Michael Symon was still chosen on same lame reason. The judges, including Alton – seem to just not take Caswell seriously. They would never tell him his food was bad, but wouldn't state how good it was either. In this challenge, they all sucked – and I'm with most of you – Tsai should have been eliminated. Weeks ago actually. Lastly, existing Iron Chefs should not judge simply because there is always a threat someone will come on and out perform you!! If I have to support someone now, its Tio!

  9. Vicki says:

    Caswell was the best chef…he got a raw deal

  10. Dani says:

    It's Fixed! What a joke! No way should Chef Caswell have gone home! They did not look at everything on a whole! He had a better run from the beginning then anyone! Lame!

    • bobby_fillet says:

      Of course. All of these FN "contests" are predetermined before it starts based on marketing and not cooking. Just look at Artyyyyyy Partyyyyyy.

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