The fourth season of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs is in full swing with 10 new chefs fighting it out for a grand prize that so many would-be chefs covet: joining the ranks of Iron Chefs Marc Forgione, Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, Cat Cora, Jose Garces and Michael Symon. Each chef will try to pull out all their tricks to stay in the competition but, ultimately, one chef must go home each week. Every Monday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest Super Chef to get the boot.
This week, Robert Irvine won the judges over with his hotburg, but still found himself battling it out with Michael Chiarello in a sudden-death challenge.
FN Dish: The creation of the hotburg (hot dog and burger in one) was a complete success. Are you using that great concept somewhere else now?
RI: I have not used nor am I currently using the hotburg in any area. It was a great creation for a spur-of-the-moment challenge.
FN Dish: The deconstructed fish taco, however, was not a success and led you to the sudden-death challenge with Michael. After watching Spike and Marcus battle it out the week before, what were you thinking?
RI: The deconstructed taco was an awesome invention, too. There were problems beyond my control, like going last, which put me in the bottom two.
FN Dish: It looks like you used mascarpone cheese instead of tahini for your hummus. Did you do that on purpose? Tell us why you did that.
RI: I was making humus without chickpeas or tahini as they were unavailable and the secret ingredient was peanuts. I used mascarpone on purpose, as I thought that was a good substitute.
FN Dish: If anyone knows how to work under the pressure of a clock, it’s you. What are some additional lessons you’ve taken away from this experience?
RI: The lessons that I took away from the competition are really simple: Always remain true to yourself, have fun and every day is an adventure. Food is also like wine: Everyone has a different opinion. One man’s meat is another man’s poison.