Curtis Stone Reveals His Strategy For Success On Iron Chef: Quest For An Iron Legend - Exclusive

There's no doubt that walking into Kitchen Stadium is a daunting experience for any chef. Whether you're new to competing or have outcooked the best of them, all bets are off when you find yourself in the midst of an "Iron Chef" battle. That's never been more true than now, with the latest reboot of the show: "Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend." This season welcomes a whole new slate of world class Iron Chefs to the stadium, not to mention the fierce challengers who are hungry to join their ranks. Regardless of how much culinary talent one may bring into the competition, the challenges, the time limits, and the sheer pressure of it all is enough to test any chef, no matter their resume.

Just ask Michelin-starred celebrity chef Curtis Stone. He's one of the newest Iron Chefs, and he'll be the first to tell you there's nothing that comes close to an "Iron Chef" face-off. Between the number of dishes each chef has to turn out, the time constraints that keep everything down to the wire, and the fiercely critical palate of the judges, it can feel like nothing short of chaos. "It's like running a little mini restaurant in there," says Stone.

In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Stone revealed how he keeps his cool in Kitchen Stadium, and shared the strategy for success that's made him the Iron Chef he is today.

For an Iron Chef, the key to succeed is actually doing less

For a chef as experienced as Curtis Stone, you'd think walking into battle would be a piece of cake. The possibilities in Kitchen Stadium are endless, and yet, that's exactly what can become the Achilles' heel of an "Iron Chef," according to Stone. "You obviously have a giant repertoire of things you've done in the past as a chef," he says, and "as soon as you see the ingredient, it starts triggering all these different ideas."

The key, says Stone, is "to try and rein it in." It's not just about doing everything you can. It's about balancing flavor, technique, and time management, "because at the end of the day, you've got to get it finished." It's not like other cooking shows where the chefs are presenting one dish to the judges. "We do five or six of each dish. It's 30 plates that you have to plate," says Stone. And those plates aren't just being judged on how they taste. Stone adds, "it's got to look right [and] you've got to get the volume done, which is part of the fun."

The way that Stone manages to succeed in Kitchen Stadium is by staying "super composed," he says. "You've got to quiet the noise in your brain, because you have this ridiculous internal dialogue of jumping around from spot to spot ... somehow, you've got to calm that down so you can focus exactly on what it is that you're cooking and do a good job of it."

"Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend" is now available to stream on Netflix.