MARC FORGIONE

Iron Chef and owner of Marc Forgione and American Cut

Robin Marchant/Getty Images

EDUCATION

Kellenberg Memorial High School, Uniondale, N.Y., class of 1996

“I thought everybody knew how to cook. It was just as normal as whiffle ball — you get hungry, so you cook. My dad [famous American chef Larry Forgione] was working a lot, so in the earlier part of my life, my mom was my teacher in the kitchen.”

University of Massachusetts at Amherst, class of 2000

“I majored in psychiatry. I was interested in knowing what makes a psychopath psycho. That lasted a year. I ended up picking hotel and restaurant management. But I never got any pressure to go into the family business.”

WORK EXPERIENCE

1994-97

Dishwasher, busboy, line cook, An American Place, The Grill Room, Restaurant Above

2000

Line cook, An American Place

“My dad said, ‘Say goodbye to weekends, say goodbye to your friends. Understand that you have to sacrifice everything if you really want to do this.’ ”

2001

Line cook, Pazo

2001

Sous-chef, AZ

“I didn’t like that they made me a sous-chef. I thought it was way too fast. Every time I made a mistake as a cook, my dad’s name came up. But it made me work harder.”

2002

Trained with chef Laurent Tourondel

“I spent two months with him, just testing recipes and talking about what an American steakhouse really is.”

2003

Trained at Michel Guérard’s Les Prés d’Eugénie

“It was a three-star Michelin palace in the south of France. You worked from 7 in the morning and got out at 11 at night. I had a lot of alone time, and I learned a lot about myself.”

2004-08

Corporate chef, BLT empire

Opened 14 BLT restaurants around the U.S.

“The opening night at BLT Steak, 85 people sat down and ordered at the same time. We didn’t even know how to turn on the stove yet. It took four hours for the last person to get their food.”

2008

Opened Marc Forgione

“When I first walked into the space, I got a chill. It was like the first time you see the person you love.”

In 2009, almost sold Forgione’s space to restaurateur Danny Abrams

2010

Won The Next Iron Chef, received first Michelin star

“Nobody was more surprised than I was. We all thought it was fixed, that Ming Tsai was going to win.”

2012

Opened American Cut

Opening a second American Cut this summer in New York

LIFE LESSONS

1. Sometimes you don’t know if you’re ready for something until you do it. 2. You can’t make something bad taste good. 3. If something doesn’t go wrong, it’s bad luck.

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