Photo by: brad swonetz ©brad swonetz photography

brad swonetz, brad swonetz photography

Mary Dumont's Bio

Eliminated Week Three

Mary Dumont is the executive chef at Harvest Restaurant, in Cambridge, Mass. A native of New Hampshire, she was raised in a family of restaurateurs and grew up watching her parents grow their businesses into great successes. After attending Simmons College in Boston for literature, she followed a whim and moved to San Francisco at the age of 21. Immersing herself in the culture of food and dining, she realized it was her calling.

After the sudden death of her mother, Mary knew that the only way to succeed was to plan a serious course. She began working with such culinary talents as Traci Des Jardins, of San Francisco's Jardiniere; Laurent Manrique, of Campton Place; and Daniel Patterson, of Elizabeth Daniel. Further honing her skills, she worked at Blackbird, in Chicago and then was called back to California by Chef Manrique to be the executive chef at Sonoma Saveurs, in Sonoma. Chef Manrique had become Mary’s mentor and taught her the art of respecting the past and refining her palate. She returned home to New England in 2005 and, as the opening chef at The Dunaway Restaurant, in Portsmouth, N.H., was honored by Food and Wine magazine as a "Best New Chef" of 2006. In 2007 she became the executive chef of Harvest, in the heart of Harvard Square near Harvard University, a restaurant that began celebrating farm-to-fork New England cuisine long before it became the trend. She has brought the restaurant’s food to a new level of creativity and innovation. Her secret ingredients in the Harvest kitchen are not only local produce but also all the herbs she grows in her own kitchen garden.

Mary's signature is her contemporary New England cuisine with classic French inspiration; she likes to tell a story with the seasons. Known for having a keen respect for local farmers and fishermen, as well as a passion for food preservation, she is famous for creating intricate dishes with a skilled hand. Having long been a proponent of children’s gardening programs and of improving the quality of school lunches, she is planning her own farm dinner series with local farms and friends to support sustainable farming in New England. Straightforward and honest, she doesn't mince words with her humor or her passion for food (she's been told the combination can be intimidating). In addition to the multiple award and accolades she has received, Mary is the first chef from New Hampshire ever to be honored in Food and Wine. She comes to this competition with Iron Chef experience, having battled Cat Cora on Iron Chef America in 2006.

Chef Dumont's Photos

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The Next Iron Chef Journals

Upon arrival on set in Los Angeles, each rival received a red journal to use for dish planning and reflection.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Next to Go

Boston chef Mary Dumont was the next to leave her journal — and the competition — behind.

Eye on the Prize

Chef Dumont kept her focus through six challenges, even after a bad cut in Episode Two.

Photo By: Leanna Creel ©Leanna Creel Inc.

Sandwich Inspiration

The first pages of Chef Dumont's journal reveal her plan for a beach-inspired soup-and-sandwich combo.

"Trip to the Beach"

Her ideas materialized into a tempura oyster sandwich on a biscuit with yellow tomato soup: "All the flavors play into the beach, where I'm from."

Photo By: Leanna Creel ©Leanna Creel Inc.

Challenge: Corn

With corn as her desert island ingredient, Chef Dumont jotted down various ways to use it: in a soup, a salsa and an escabeche.

A Desert Island Success

Judge Michael Symon loved that Chef Dumont used every part of the corn: "It gave the dish depth."

Photo By: Leanna Creel ©Leanna Creel Inc.

Battle Wounds

Chef Dumont's takeaway from the coffee and doughnuts challenge? "Don't cut finger ever again!"

Missing Doughnuts

After that setback, Chef Dumont struggled to make up time and had to present incomplete dishes. She was voted least-favorite that round, and even agreed with her peers: "I'll be honest. My dish was my least favorite."

Photo By: Leanna Creel ©Leanna Creel Inc.

One-Hour Pot Roast

In the next challenge, Chef Dumont had to come up with a way to cook pot roast in an hour. Her solution? The pressure cooker.

Tough Meat, Tough Luck

The judges deemed Chef Dumont's pot roast far too tough. She knew her choice of equipment was a gamble: "I don't use pressure cookers, but it was a risk that I needed to take."

Photo By: Leanna Creel ©Leanna Creel Inc.

Battle Pickle

Chef Estes was also heart-set on butter lettuce for her pickle snack, but Chef Dumont managed to snag it: "I've been super-nice all this time, but there was no way in hell I was going to let her get that lettuce."

Lettuce Victory

In the peer-judging session, Chef Tsai praised Chef Dumont's chicken lettuce cups. He liked that she used the "heat" of the pickle instead of the "sourness" of the pickle.


Catch of the Day

Chef Dumont caught a baby shark on the fishing trip, but she threw it back. She was left with rockfish and scorpion fish, and she sketched out a plan for Billi-Bi soup with clams and a tartare with pineapple.

Final Plates

The dishes that ultimately sent Chef Dumont packing: Seared Rockfish and Cockle Billi-Bi (pictured) and Scorpion Fish Tartare With Pineapple Puree.


Parting Words

On the last page of her journal, Chef Dumont quotes legendary college basketball coach John Wooden. Her final thoughts for the cameras: "I'm disappointed I didn't get more time to show who I really am as a chef."