INSIDE IRON CHEF
Simon Majumdar’s withering assessments of food cooked by some of the world’s best chefs was a highlight of Iron Chef. While he’s not back in the latest version of the show, Gauntlet, which began its run last month in the US, Simon does let us in on some behind-the-scenes details. Have you ever had a chef not finish his dishes in time? It’s real time – I’ve cooked on it as well as judged it. I’ve never seen it [a chef not get food on a plate] happen. Has a chef served you something you really didn’t want to eat? Oh yeah. A few things. There was one chef who was a pretty good chef from Nice, every dish he made had mayonnaise – it was the weirdest thing, I just got to the point where I was eating so much of this rich mayonnaise that I thought I was going to throw up. His other food was great, though. Which of the Iron Chefs would you like to cook for you? They are all different, and they are friends, and they all have something about them that is different. Bobby Flay, even though he is famous, people don’t realise quite how good he is. He’s magnificent. And incredibly competitive. When I’ve been in the elevator with Bobby after he’s lost, I never ask... If I would say one that I would like to cook at home for me it would be Alex Guarnaschelli. She’s an extraordinarily talented chef, intellectually curious and cooks with heart and soul that is hard to replicate. It was great when Alex joined as a chef. She often she doesn’t do herself justice. When she’s on song, she could beat any of the other Iron Chefs. That’s not to suggest for a minute that I don’t love the other chefs. Geoffrey Zakarian, who is probably the person I am closest too, his food, as Michael Symon said when we judged him on the Next Iron Chef, he cooks so well it makes you angry.
Simon and actor Anthony Anderson moved from judging to cooking with Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Masaharu Morimoto