Chef Eric Greenspan's Culinary Q&A

We checked in with Chef Greenspan, one of 10 rival chefs competing on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, to find out his culinary icon, favorite seasonal ingredients, go-to potluck dish and more.

Chef Eric Greenspan as seen on Food Network's, Next Iron Chef Season 5

Photo by: Kevin Lynch ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Kevin Lynch, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Chef Eric Greenspan as seen on Food Network's, Next Iron Chef Season 5

Who is your culinary icon?
A:
Pierre Gagnaire and David Bouley. They are still ahead of their time.

What's your favorite cookbook written by someone other than yourself? What makes it so great?
A:
White Heat — an inspiration to my entire generation of chefs.

What's your Achilles' heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else's dish?
A:
Grasshoppers

Give us a favorite seasonal ingredient for each season: summer/fall/winter/spring.
A:
Corn in the summer, squash in the fall, citrus in the winter and ramps in the spring.

What was your most memorable meal? What, where, who — details, please!
A:
Coi, this summer in San Francisco. Andrew Miller was my former sous chef at Patina, and he cooked 15 courses for me and four of my best friends from college. Great food, great friends, great time.

What's the first dish you learned to make really well?
A:
Eggs Benedict. I used to make the hollandaise to order because no one told me you could hold it.

What's your signature party or potluck dish to make at home for friends?
A:
A pancake lasagna

What music do you like to listen to when you cook?
A:
In the kitchen I listen to punk rock. At home, jazz.

What’s your favorite "food city" to visit, and what do you like to eat there?
A:
I still think New York is the best food city in the world. From comfort food to high-end cuisine, the city has soul.

If you had not become a chef, which profession would you have chosen?
A:
Secret agent or underwear model

If you have kids, what do you like to cook with your kids?
A:
Not yet, but can't wait to cook latkes with little Greenspans.

Chef and owner of The Foundry and The Roof on Wilshire, Chef Greenspan battled Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America — and won — and competed on The Next Iron Chef Season 2.

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