Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Redemption Exile

By: Sarah De Heer
Chef Guarnaschelli and Chef Vigneron


Rival Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Marcel Vigneron facing for the "Hershey's Chocolate" as seen on Food Network’s , Season 5.

Photo by: Eddy Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eddy Chen/Creel Films, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with now only four familiar chefs battling it out again to prove they’ve got the skills to win the ultimate prize: the title of Iron Chef.

Each chef will try to pull out all their tricks to stay in the competition but, ultimately, one chef must go home each week. Every Sunday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest chef to go home.

The final four rivals meet Alton Brown and a special guest, Master of Illusion, David Copperfield, and together they reveal the Chairman's Challenge of Transcendence in Episode 7. In two pairs, the chefs prepared a buffet focused on salty, succulent bacon, offering three hot dishes and two cold ones for 30 people. On account of several technical flaws, Chefs Guarnaschelli and Vigneron, rivals who faced off against each other in the Chairman's test of Simplicity, were deemed the least-successful cooks of the day and were sent to the Secret Ingredient Showdown. A last-ditch effort to rescue a raw rack of lamb, however, couldn’t save Chef Marcel Vigneron, ousted just one week short of the finale.

This challenge was all about transcending the Vegas buffet. What’s your guilty pleasure at a buffet?

MV: King crab and shrimp cocktail. I could eat my weight in it.

Throughout the season, what were your favorite and least-favorite challenges?

MV: My favorite was the "Risk" challenge and not just because I won, but rather because I loved the auction concept of bidding with time instead of money. I also really enjoyed breaking down and cooking the calves’ heads.

Out of all the rival chefs, which chef (besides Chef Mendelsohn), would be your ultimate teammate?

MV: Besides Chef Mendelsohn, my ultimate teammate would probably be Chef Greenspan because I love his cooking style and we go way back.

How did this competition experience compare to others you’ve done? What have you learned?

MV: I thoroughly enjoyed my experience on The Next Iron Chef! As far as how the experience compares to other competition shows: In my opinion it blows them out of the water because it focuses on the food, which for me is the most important thing in a cooking show.

You’ve proven that you’ve matured and can cook amazing dishes. Do you think you did better without Chef Mendelssohn or at least that you were more focused?

MV: I believe that I did relatively well and was focused the entire time, regardless of whether Chef Mendelsohn was there or not. In the beginning the judges mainly knocked me for presentation. Once I figured out what they were looking for and began to understood their palates, I started to cater my dishes toward their expectations which allowed me to excel in the competition.

What’s next for you?

MV: I will continue to run my catering company through my website, and I have also started working with Summit.

Read more about Chef Vigneron

Relive the episode and take a look at an extended preview of next week’s final episode below (click the play button):

Next Iron Chef Ep. 7: Recap
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