Photo: Marco Canora / Food Network
Though he didn't win The Next Iron Chef, Marco Canora – one of our Kitchen Daily experts – made more than a solid run at the coveted title. Of all the Iron Chef hopefuls, chef Canora won the most battles, utilizing his simple-speaks-volumes methodology. The owner of New York City's Hearth and Terrior wine bar, Canora has made a name for himself not only in New York, but in Tuscany as well, where he retreats each summer to give hands-on classes.
Slashfood spoke with Canora about what we didn't see on the final episode of The Next Iron Chef and about his vision for his next cookbook.
You didn't become the next Iron Chef, but you did seem happy for Marc.
MC: I was. I was happy for him. We all got along well. There was no animosity, everyone was rooting for each other. Even though it was a competition, we knew nine people were going to go home and one guy was going to be left standing. That's just the nature of the beast. I'm very happy for the guy. Good for him, you know?
You seemed to get frazzled at times. How were your nerves going into this last competition?
MC: I was very nervous going into. There's a lot at stake. Michael Symon said it best, "Winning this is a life-changing thing. No ifs, ands or buts about it." You win this thing, I'm telling you, it's life changing. That's a big statement. So when there's that much on the line, of course it's intense.
How is the kitchen in Kitchen Stadium?
MC: They did a lot of updating; it was pretty damn good. All the equipment in Kitchen Stadium is really top-notch. Much better than the kitchen we cooked in on The Next Iron Chef.
And how is it to cook under those lights?
That never played into things while I was working. It had no impact.
We saw the judges' criticisms of your work. Did they give you compliments as well?
MC: The judging that amounted to ninety seconds of airtime was about thirty-five minutes. Listen. When I left after presenting, I was pretty much convinced I had won it.
The show reminds me of sporting events. Were you in shape going into this?
MC: Very much so. And I'm glad I was. It is physical and it is an endurance test. Mentally, physically, emotionally -- every way possible. I have a personal trainer, I do yoga, and I was exercising pretty much every day throughout the competition. That was important.
How long was that day of the last battle?
MC: The day started at 6:30 a.m. and I didn't walk off the set until 9 o'clock that night.
Do you see yourself going back into Kitchen Stadium down the road?
MC: We'll see if they ask me back. I'll have to assess that when the time comes.
Your book Salt to Taste has been well received. Do you have any other books in the works?
MC: Not right now, but I want to do one.I don't want it to be in the form of bound paper, though. I really think the direction of cookbooks is going towards the app world and more interactive stuff. I don't think it's going to be book deals; it's going to be app deals. So I hope to land a video cookbook or something in that realm.
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