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Home > CHEF SECRETS > New York Chef Secrets > Marc Forgione (Inside the Next Iron Chef Part 2 of 2)

Marc Forgione

Secrets Behind the Next Iron Chef

    Marc Forgione
Chef & Owner Marc Forgione

TravelsinTaste.com: Is it hard to do battles all alone, without a sous chef. Do you have any idea ahead of time what the next challenge will be? With regular "Iron Chef," they tell you beforehand that the secret ingredient might be one of several items.

Forgione: It’s a similar thing. They don't tell you exactly. Usually the first challenge is tied into the elimination challenge. When we did the coffee and doughnuts [Episode 2: Innovation Secret Ingredient Challenge] and we were cooking inside the diner, Alton would give a little sentence like, "Think about your blue plate specials before you go home tonight," which is kind of more annoying than anything because now you're racking your brain for the rest of the night. Then, when you got there the next day, you usually had -- give or take, depending on the challenge -- about 20 minutes before the start of the challenge. And that was really only because they had to set up the set.

TravelsinTaste.com: Is there a pattern that you see in the challenges?

Forgione: It's funny you say that, because Michael Symon's one current theme was flavor, flavor, flavor, flavor. Majumdar's was listen to the challenge, listen to the challenge, listen to the challenge. And then Donatella had a different piece of advice each week. I think the hardest part was trying to figure out what each one of them wanted. What I decided to do was always use someone in my life as an inspiration for each challenge. Like, "Today I'm cooking for my dad." Or, "Today I'm cooking for my mom." You make it real. That way, you're not just cooking for judges; you're cooking for someone who you care about. If a cook is putting something bad in the window, you tell them, "Make believe like everyone is for your girlfriend or boyfriend." It really changes the way you cook.

TravelsinTaste: Who do you admire most of your competitors?

Forgione: I admire them all in their own unique way. I really do. I enjoyed every single one of them. We're all great friends now, and we've all been keeping in contact since the show. We all text each other back and forth during the show. We had a great time. I don't think there were any fights at all. There was no drama. Maybe after a couple of drinks there may have been a couple of raised voices, but there was nothing that wasn't settled with a hug after.

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