You probably know Marc Forgione for his five restaurants, cookbook and Iron Chef title, but did you know that his father was a culinary star long before Marc’s lustrous career? Known as the “Godfather of American Cuisine,” Larry Forgione was one of the first chefs to embrace “farm to table” cooking. He now serves as a director at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif. and continues to influence Marc in the kitchen.
Tag: Marc Forgione
A famed Iron Chef with multiple New York City restaurants, Marc Forgione is certainly no rookie cook, but that doesn’t mean he can’t dole out advice to those just beginning in the kitchen. Recently Marc hosted a hands-on cooking event wherein dozens of fans were tasked with manning the frying pan and making their own dinners, and while many guests were culinary novices, he guided them through the how-tos of making a successful hearty main dish. FN Dish was at this event and caught up with Marc to hear more about his take on elementary cooking, ask which go-to dish a beginner should learn and find out a few of his essential ingredients. Read on below to hear from Marc in an exclusive interview.
What’s the first dish a novice cook should learn to master?
Eggs. ‘Cause if you think about an egg, how many different ways can you cook an egg? Scrambled eggs, soft-scrambled eggs, hard-scrambled eggs, over easy, sunny-side up, soft-boiled, soft-poached, hard-boiled. It’s something that everybody has in their fridge all the time, and it’s almost like culinary school right in your refrigerator. Challenge yourself. When you figure out how to make the perfect sunny-side up, figure out how to make the perfect over easy.
It’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.
Although Marc Forgione may now be considered a long-standing member of the Chairman’s team of Iron Chefs, this famed New York-based chef was appointed to the esteemed position only three years ago. He beat out rival competitors from around the nation on The Next Iron Chef: Season 3, ultimately impressing the Chairman and a panel of judges so much so that he earned the most-coveted title in the industry.
Before he entered Kitchen Stadium, Marc had been cooking professionally for years, and although his father is a renowned master of American cuisine, he sought out his own hands-on training in eateries both domestic and abroad. Today he’s known equally for his fierce culinary prowess in culinary competitions as well as for his multiple restaurants in New York City and New Jersey. Just last year FN Dish caught up with Marc to tour his latest project, a Manhattan outpost of Atlantic City’s American Cut, and he said, “Our goal from the get-go was to bring steakhouses ‘back to their glory.’”
While there’s hardly a replica for the kind of pressure Iron Chefs feel when sprinting around Kitchen Stadium during battle, Iron Chef Marc Forgione and Chef Lorenzo Boni of Barilla cranked up the heat in the makeshift kitchen during last night’s Barilla Interactive Dinner when they tasked partygoers to prepare dinner for their tables. The duo welcomed a sold-out crowd to The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Fla., for an elegant but relaxed meal as part of the 2014 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, but it was only after guests arrived that the all-star chefs revealed to them the multicourse menu they would be cooking.
Outfitted with aprons and chef’s hats, and with pre-prepped ingredients at the ready, seemingly novice and experienced amateur chefs alike manned the saute pans and took charge of dinner, but lucky for them, help wasn’t far away should they need it. Chef Boni led the crowd with detailed suggestions for creating the pasta course, a richly decadent cheese tortellini with morel mushrooms, Marsala wine and prosciutto, while the Iron Chef tackled the entree.
This fall, FN Dish introduced you to Marc Forgione‘s brand-new steakhouse in New York City, American Cut, and looked back on the Iron Chef’s last three years of battle in Kitchen Stadium. But what else is there to know about Marc beyond his experience as a restaurateur and the fierce competition he brings to Iron Chef America? FN Dish sat down with Marc to learn about his personal food preferences, go-to kitchen utensil, must-have at his last supper and least-favorite ingredient. Read on below to hear what Marc had to say and find out more about his culinary tastes.
What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else’s dish?
Marc Forgione: I’m not a huge fan of monkfish liver.
What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
MF: Blood clams.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
MF: I love New York City sliced pizza.
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.