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

by in Shows, November 15th, 2010
Chef Tio's advice to future rivals: "Follow through and listen to your gut."

The experience I had on The Next Iron Chef was “once in a lifetime.” I met and worked with nine great chefs, pushing the boundaries of what I thought I could do each time I approached a challenge. It taught me more about myself and my willingness to take risks in order to make things happen.

I always say you should never look back and say, “What if…?” Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to my own advice. When I was plating my Moi dishes, I literally hesitated when I was on the ginger-braised daikon portion of the dish, thinking I wanted to add a pinch of Maldon salt to add that crunch and add that bright, clean, up-front flavor to the dish. I know Simon Majumdar is more salt-sensitive, so I opted not to add it, and Michael Symon thought that dish needed a touch more salt. If you hesitate, it means you should follow through and listen to your gut. I did not.

In this case, I can’t think about the “what if…”, I focus on the fact that I was a strong competitor who gave all the other chefs a run for their money. I represented myself and my cooking proudly and with integrity every time I stepped into battle.

Celina Tio

Look inside Chef Tio’s Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 7.

More about Celina Tio
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Comments (191)

  1. Pinay says:

    I just finished watching the show and I"m glad that Marc Forgionne won.The A___Canora is gone. Now I will continue watching FN. Next Iron Chef contest if theres any dont put that judge woman what her name donatella to be a judge and judge from another country.This is Iron Chef America… You know AMERICA.. Got it.. Thank you for Bobby Flay and Morimota for being the final judges and disagree with that british judge. again thank you…

  2. Angelique says:

    I read the comments and agree with most of them. Ming Tsai should have been the next Iron Chef, hands down. He blew the competition away and the judges seemed to be intimidated by his mere presence on the show. His new cook book was released this month and is for sale on Amazon and on his website and I’m buying it right after I post this message. It’s just such a shame that they didn’t select Ming as he was by far the most talented and creative chef of the ten. He was obviously the fan favorite of the season and would’ve increased the show’s ratings. Who’s running the show at FN these days anyway? Geesh, get a grip people!

    • D.D. says:

      I'm surprised too that Chef Tsai didn't win. I figured they were "grooming" him as an Iron Chef, as the network had already picked Aarti Sequeira in the last reality cooking show.
      Good luck to all the chefs who competed. All of their careers will advance because of their appearance on the show.

  3. tommy says:

    rigged from the get go. agree tsai would have been a better personality for ICA. but happy its just not canora. well done forgione.

    fyi food network your programming sucks. you should concentrate more on cooking programs instead of worthless shows like building cakes and unwrapped, etc. nothing but junk these days on food network.

  4. Jason P. says:

    I am disappointed in the final outcome of the most recent season of ICA. Chef Ming Tsai should have won. Tell me this, how is it that with all of his previous credentials that he wasnt a gimmie. You didnt even need to have the contest. You should have just picked him. Where did Chef Batali go? Why is Chef Garcis still around? He sucks. I enjoyed watching the original Iron Chef way more than the American version. You might aswell call this version, Iron Flay. After all he is the only one that gets chosen. His ego is so huge that you had to widen the doors just to get him in. Maybe there is a reason Chef Tsai's show isnt on FN any longer. Leds me to believe that FN didnt want him on there to begin with. Why does no one ever choose Chef Moramoto? He is the most talented chef on the program. Does FN tell the guest chefs whom to challange? I am very disappointed. By the way. as much as I like Michael Symon, FN is a rip off for putting him in the new show Food Feuds. Travel Channels Food Wars is much better. FN should be ashamed for stealing the idea.

  5. Wine Country Cook says:

    Ming Tsai already beat Bobby Flay in Iron Chef few years ago.. He should have gotten a "bye" and straight into the final. I think all 4 semifinalist this season are better chef than Garces from last season…

    Iron Chef America is going down the toilet anyway.. If they really want, then they should get some real "judges" for the "next Iron Chef" and should the records of Iron Chef if they dare… And if the Iron Chef keep losing, they should get fired…

    • bobby_fillet says:

      Everyone beats Bobby Flay. Last week an ex- NIC contestant beat him. Just because Tsai won one time doesn't mean anything. It's all about ratings.

  6. Indiana Jones says:

    Chef Tsai should've won! How idiotic!

  7. Sad & Dissapointed says:

    Very sad. The food network (with Chef Tsai) had a chance to have an Iron Chef with an existing large following.
    A very likable Chef in Tio.
    Very Poor Judging.
    You Blew It, Food Network.

  8. Raymond says:

    No more Iron Chef for me. The show has gone to pot (pun intended). I feel sorry for Alton having to endure these tedious shows. Chef Tsai has more talent in his knife than all the others combined. Arrogance and narrow mindedness rule on Iron Chef.

  9. SayNo says:

    Congratulations to Chef Forgionne.

  10. Carole says:

    Ming Tsai should have won and should be on Food Network! He is an Iron Chef!

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