The Next Iron Chef Exit Interview: Dominique Crenn Goes Home Humbled

Dominique Crenn (Food Network)

Dominique Crenn (Food Network)

As the competition dwindles down, the battle for ‘The Next Iron Chef‘ gets kicked up a notch. This time the chefs were given 90 minutes to both shop for ingredients and cook their dishes. Their main ingredient: Tamarind.

A few chefs stumbled including Chef Appleman, who scorched the bottom of his soup but managed to salvage the dish to come in second place for the night. However, it was Chef Dominique Crenn who felt the judges wrath for her under-seasoned tortilla soup and what they deemed to be raw churros.

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Right before the judges announced their decision, you were very confident in your dish. How did it feel when they told you that you were going home?

Well, I mean it was their choice and everyone has their own take on it. I was really confident with my dish and I was totally behind my food. It just happened you know?

You seemed a little upset that Chef Freitag got away with making an clair when the challenge was supposed to be centered around tamarind and Mexican style cuisine.

Exactly. You know she did what she had to do but it was quite confusing because if you remember the challenge before I made a Vietnamese-style Granita (a desert originally from Sicily) and I got a kind of negative response from that. I thought it was kind of unfair and not called out but you know the chefs do whatever they want to do. It’s a little confusing and a little bit biased but that’s the name of the game. Ć’clair is French. It’s not Mexican for sure! [Laughs]

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It seemed like a lot people were bending the rules to their advantage.

It’s quite comforting at times because they tell you this [tamarind] is the king of the dish and you have to use it so I did it. Everything was mine; I infused it with everything, it was a part of the stock. At the end of the day I went home and that’s what I was supposed to do. I’m not going to talk about somebody else’s dish.

The biggest problem the judges had with your dish was that your churros were raw in the middle.

Yeah I guess so. I ate some of it, I refried some and I think we had problems with the fryer. I don’t know, that’s what they say.

Which challenge was the hardest challenge for you during your time on the show?

Every challenge was different you know? I just went into it and tried to do my best. The only. I just went into it with my eyes open and tried to do my best so I didn’t compare anything.

Even in this part of the challenge, where tensions get higher as the show gets closer to the end, everyone is still getting along for the most part. People haven’t been trash talking one another.

Well I knew some of the other chefs and I definitely have a lot of respect for them. I’m very close to a few of them also. We’re all professional and you just go on the show to do your best. For me it was a pleasure to be around them and be able to work with them. It’s been very positive. At the end of the day it’s just a show. It’s not about winning or losing it’s about putting yourself out there as a person.

I was talking about it to someone last night. There’s a lot of reality shows out there, not just cooking, that people get so involved with it. The bottom line is you get the opportunity to be on those shows you just have to take them. You know that something good is going to come out of it. I mean I just got a Michelin star!


Thank you. I mean I was fortunate enough to show myself to a lot of people and be a part of it. I hope a lot of people understood what I did. I’ve been meeting a lot of people just from being on this show and I’m humbled by it.

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