Chef Marcel Vigneron's Culinary Q&A

We checked in with Chef Vigneron, 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.

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Who is your culinary icon?
A:
Thomas Keller

What's your favorite cookbook written by someone other than yourself? What makes it so great?
A:
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, by Harold McGee

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

Give us a favorite seasonal ingredient for each season: summer/fall/winter/spring.
A:
Summer: Tomato
Fall: Apples
Winter: White truffles
Spring: Ramps

What was your most memorable meal? What, where, who — details, please!
A:
Inopia in Barcelona by Albert Adria. This restaurant is no longer open, but I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to get to dine there before it closed. Albert's tapas were some of the best I have ever had in my life, not to mention I loved the casual atmosphere, and the service was fantastic.

What's the first dish you learned to make really well?
A:
My mother taught me to make pumpkin pie when I was about 8 years old.

What's your signature party or potluck dish to make at home for friends?
A:
Salt Baked Branzino With Ratatouille

What music do you like to listen to when you cook?
A:
Alternative electroacoustic

What's your favorite "food city" to visit, and what do you like to eat there?
A:
New York, EVERYTHING!

If you had not become a chef, which profession would you have chosen?
A:
Farming

Owner of the catering company Modern Global Tasting, Chef Vigneron graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and has worked with Chefs Michael Mina and José Andrés, among others.