Iron Man

Michael Nagrant / 11.29.09

Vie chef/owner paul Virant, the king of preserving and pickling local ingredients, takes on sushi master Masaharu Morimoto on food network’s iron chef america on november 1.

How did you prepare for the show?

For six weeks we cooked a bunch of potential menus against a timer at the restaurant. Te first couple of times we finished in an hour, but the last few minutes were always a disaster.

Were you nervous?

I’m pretty good about keeping stress to a minimum until it’s game time. We went to Café Boulud the night before to relax. Of course, I’m speaking for myself. Nathan [Vie’s sous chef] maybe didn’t sleep that night.

Did you want to face Morimoto?

The guy’s been an Iron Chef forever, so it’s intimidating. He came up to us before the taping and he told us he’d been looking at Vie’s menu on the website. He’s a gamer. We also heard this was his last battle. If that’s the case, it’ll be cool to be part of it.

This article first appeared in CS in a different form.