With almost three years of Iron Chef America battles behind him since winning The Next Iron Chef, Marc Forgione is in no way the rookie of Kitchen Stadium anymore — after all, Iron Chefs Zakarian and Guarnaschelli have both accepted the famed title after him. He clinched the win in 2010, and from that point on he’s been reinventing the secret ingredients to make Chairman-worthy plates in each and every battle, and challenging not only his opposing chefs but also himself to compete at a higher level. Fresh off the opening of his third New York City restaurant, American Cut, FN Dish sat down with Marc to reflect on the past few years of Kitchen Stadium contests and to find out how he balances the demands of restaurant cooking and Iron Chef competitions. Read on below to hear from Iron Chef Forgione and learn which of his restaurants’ dishes he’s re-created on television and more.
It’s been almost three years since you won The Next Iron Chef. What’s been the most-surprising thing you’ve learned in that time? Marc Forgione: Especially being in New York City, you can’t — whether you want to or not — you can’t rest on your laurels. There’ll be somebody just as hungry, or hungrier, or just as hungry as you were right there waiting for you to fall down so that they can start taking your customers and people can start talking about them. New York is the cliche: If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. But once you get there, it’s tough to stay there. You have to make sure that you can.
Just like his attitude in the face of Kitchen Stadium battles, Iron Chef Marc Forgione‘s approach to the restaurant business is fearless. This longtime chef and the winner of The Next Iron Chef, Season 2 opened his first New York City eatery, Restaurant Marc Forgione, in 2008, and since then he’s gone on to launch American Cut in Atlantic City and Khe-Yo, also in New York. To that list of accomplishments Marc can now add one more venture: a Manhattan outpost of American Cut, located in the downtown neighborhood of Tribeca, just blocks away from his other Big Apple businesses. Overflowing with inspired creations like tender hiramasa, fish floating in a sweet and spicy miso broth, and succulent bone marrow with short ribs, plus tried-and-true dishes done correctly, like moist crab cakes, perfectly seared porterhouses and creamed spinach, the menu at American Cut offers perhaps the ultimate steakhouse experience — and in a space that is as comfortable and welcoming as it is chic and refined.
FN Dish visited Marc at American Cut in New York City and chatted with him and John Meadow — a co-founder of LDV Hospitality, which owns and operates the restaurant — about their journey in opening the business. Read on below to learn more about their inspiration for American Cut, and find out what Marc says are a few must-have menu items.
How is American Cut different from your other restaurants? John Meadow: This is our loftiest, most ambitious restaurant we’ve done. It’s the highest design. I think the notion of taking classic American fine-dining cuisine and doing it at that level represents a very ambitious task that we’re glad Marc is our partner in the process of doing so. Marc Forgione: If you go to Restaurant Marc Forgione, it’s for one thing. If you go to Khe-Yo, it’s for another thing. If you go to American cut, it’s for another thing. We want to make it so that you can eat at all three in the same week and have a beautiful, consistently different experience.
It’s probably no surprise that if you ask Bobby Flay to choose between a burger and a hot dog, he’ll probably laugh and expect you to know better. But if given the choice between barbecue chicken and steak — what do you think he’d say?
FN Dish caught up with Bobby, Michael Symon, Guy Fieri, Marc Forgione, Masaharu Morimoto, Aarón Sánchez and Andrew Zimmern to ask them several grilling rapid-fire questions, perfect for the hot summer months.
Click play on the video above to hear what each had to say about charcoal and gas grills, hot dogs versus burgers and barbecue chicken versus steak.
During Season 3 of The Next Iron Chef, I probably gave Chef Forgione more grief than both of the other judges combined did and called him out a number of times for various reasons.
Despite that, he managed to make it all the way to the finale, where his superb take on a Thanksgiving dinner made him my clear winner. Since then, Iron Chef Forgione has gone on to prove himself a very worthy addition to the culinary pantheon.
Here are 10 questions and answers that will hopefully give you more insight into the youngest of their order.
Your father, Larry Forgione, is often called “The Godfather of American Cuisine.” Was coming from a family of such astonishing culinary provenance a help or a hindrance as you climbed the ladder? MF: A little bit of both. I think it definitely helped open doors for me, but at the same time everything I did was a lot more closely watched. There’s nothing worse than getting yelled at by a chef and then having them say to me, “Do you think your father would be happy with that?”
May Madness hits Food Network this spring as Iron Chefs battle it out — one-on-one — in the first-ever Iron Chef America: Tournament of Champions. With five episodes and a panel of revolving judges, the tournament features high-stakes, bracket-style battles between the best of the best in the culinary world. The tournament begins Sunday, May 5 at 10pm/9c with a face-off between the two newest Iron Chefs, Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian.
With just eight days until the premiere (Sunday, November 4 at 9pm/8c), FN Dish decided to heat things up and start the competition early. Starting today and continuing each week, editors will present two chefs with their corresponding dishes in what’s called Rival Recipes. Fans will then pick their favorite dish in a poll: the winner gets bragging rights and fans get two delicious recipes (it’s a win-win situation for the reader).
First up are the two newest Iron Chefs: Chef Marc Forgione (Season 3 winner) and Chef Geoffrey Zakarian (Season 4 winner), who is also a judge this season. Both chefs have mastered and revolutionized American-style cooking and here they offer two classic Italian dishes.
In just 90 seconds, FN Dish uncovered the best bites of 2012 (so far) from Food Network stars and Cooking Channel champs at the recent New York City Wine & Food Festival. Get a taste of their dining and at-home experiences: Click play on the video above for exclusive interviews with Bobby Flay, Jeff Mauro, Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Symon, Robert Irvine, Alton Brown, Bobby and Jamie Deen, Marc Forgione, Marcel Vigneron, Ted Allen and the Neelys.
What’s the best bite you’ve had in 2012, whether it’s something you’ve made or had out? Tell us in the comments below.
In honor of the newest season of The Great Food Truck Race, we asked Food Network stars, as well as some familiar faces from Cooking Channel and Travel Channel to share with us their vision for the ultimate food truck while FN Dish was at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Click the play button on the video below to hear what Marc Forgione, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Aarón Sanchez had to say.
Talk to us: What kind of food truck would you open?
What can you expect when you put 16 star chefs you know and love on the Chopping Block for charity? Inventive dishes, out-of-this-world ingredients, smack talk, laughs, sweat and a grand prize of $50,000 for the winner’s charity — you can expect it all on the newest season of Chopped All-Stars.
Here’s the breakdown. Each Sunday, a new group of All-Stars will compete for a spot in the finale. Last night, four Iron Chefs battled it out. In the coming weeks, you’ll see gourmet globetrotters, former Food Network Star contestants and Chopped judges. That’s right — the judges are coming out from behind their judges’ table to show the world they’ve got the chops to win the grand prize, too.
Last night, Michael Symon, Jose Garces, Cat Cora and Marc Forgione stepped out of the comfort zone of Kitchen Stadium to compete against each other. If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode, divulge the winner and chat with the runner-up.
Chopped All-Stars is back for a second season, and this year’s tournament kicks off with some very heavy hitters. On Sunday night at 9pm/8c, four Iron Chefs will do battle outside their Kitchen Stadium comfort zone. Cat Cora, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces and Michael Symon are all determined to cook their hearts out and take home the win. Of course, only one of them will advance to the final round for a chance to score $50,000 for their charity of choice. Check out our list to see which charity each chef is playing for.
Needless to say, this round should be a nail-biter for judges Scott Conant, Aarón Sanchez and Geoffrey Zakarian. Who won’t make it past the appetizer round? Which two will go head-to-head on dessert? Tune in to watch four seasoned competitors throw down in the Chopped Kitchen this Sunday at 9pm/8c.
Join the #Chopped conversation on Twitter during Sunday’s episode.