On Christmas night, Culina’s Chef Victor Casanova will face off against prolific restaurateur and resident Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. We asked him to give us a little preview of what to expect. He couldn’t say much (darn confidentiality agreements) but he did say (twice) that it was a dream come true. How’s that for a Christmas miracle?
LAMAG: So, Geoffrey Zakarian? How was it facing off against him?
VC: It was fun! A dream come true for me. It was probably one of the most exciting days of my life.
LAMAG: How do you prepare for a challenge like this?
VC: It was more of a mental preparation than anything. Understanding that if you’re cooking in front of everyone there is no stopping and planning. Everything you work for your whole life is put on display in this block of time. You just have to give it all you have and keep going. I’m really proud of what we did and what we came up with.
LAMAG: Where does Iron Chef rank on a difficulty scale in terms of your career as a chef?
VC: It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I work really hard to remove uncertainty in work. I think very methodically. When I was in the competition, I couldn’t think like that. There were no “take twos.” You have to work quickly, knowing that you’re putting your best foot forward. It really was a dream come true to work with someone so great and to know that I held my own.