Chef Elizabeth Falkner's Culinary Q&A

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

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Who is your culinary icon?
Nancy Silverton.

What's your favorite cookbook written by someone other than yourself? What makes it so great?
Au Pied de Cochon: Sugar Shack, Maple Syrup by Martin Picard because it rocks! It is one of the coolest cookbooks ever.

What's your Achilles' heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else's dish?
Too much sugar in any dish, cocktail or wine that throws it off balance.

Give us a favorite seasonal ingredient for each season: summer/fall/winter/spring.
Summer: Tomatoes
Fall: Pomegranates
Winter: Citrus of all kinds
Spring: Peas

What was your most memorable meal? What, where, who — details, please!
Lunch at Pirelli in Rome with my friend Chef Barbara Lynch and Annie Copps and my mother. It was the best pasta I've ever had in my life, and it opened up my mind to go down the Italian path of more cooking.

What's your signature party or potluck dish to make at home for friends?
Pasta con Le Sarde.

What music do you like to listen to when you cook?
Scissor Sisters and Muse.

What's your favorite "food city" to visit, and what do you like to eat there?
Anywhere I haven’t been! It's an adventure.

If you had not become a chef, which profession would you have chosen?
Filmmaker and pro soccer player.

After competing for seven episodes on The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, Chef Falkner fell to Geoffrey Zakarian in the finale battle.