You have 30 minutes to read this interview, watch at least part of each video, and bake a birthday cake – starting . . . . now! We learned of Chef Robert Irvine on his groundbreaking Food Network show, Dinner Impossible, and since then he’s gone on to multiple successful TV shows and cookbooks, been established as a well-known fitness authority, and has worked as a tireless advocate for veterans. As a special Holiday treat, we were so excited to have Chef Robert Irvine join us for an #8isEnoughQuestions interview!
Our #8isEnoughQuestions Farm to Family Food Chain series with farmers, chefs, retailers, and more. Previous Farm to Family Food Chain interviews have included Chef Jernard Wells, Chef Jonathon Sawyer, Chef Justin Warner, Molly Kroiz of Georges Mill Farm Artisan Cheese, “Cooking Priest” Father Leo Patalinghug, Chef Fabio Viviani, Chef Marc Murphy and Jesse Straight from Whiffletree Farm. For this 8isEnoughQuestions interview, each question was written and asked by one of our Full Van Fun family members and answered directly by Chef Robert Irvine.
What is your favorite meal to cook?
My absolute favorite meal is a perfectly roasted chicken with mashed potatoes. It’s simple and comfortable and reminds me of my home in England and preparing a Sunday roast with my mother as a child.
How has hosting your talk show impacted your approach to life?
It’s very eye-opening to learn about every obstacle someone is up against and then try to problem-solve. When you’re able to really hit the nail on the head and help someone reach their full potential, there’s no other feeling like it.
My favorite kitchen tool is a cake plate, what is yours?
For me, knives are essential and as I always say, quality is better than quantity.
As the host of Restaurant Impossible for so many years, what was the hardest part of renovating restaurants and adjusting their menus?
Renovating the physical space and fixing the menu – as difficult as that might be do in two days – that’s actually the easy part. Most of the time there were deeper psychological issues and interpersonal conflicts that were causing the restaurant to fail. The decay of the restaurant, its menu, and its clientele – those were just symptoms of the real issues at play. I had to cut through a lot of layers to get to the root cause and it was never easy. After that, the hardest part was making the changes stick. The renovations and the menu changes don’t mean a thing if the owners and staff aren’t committed to making real change. All we could do was give people a second chance. It was up to them if they were going to seize it.
Have you ever made pickles?
I have made pickles and they are delicious! There’s nothing quite like the sweet tenderness of a juicy, homemade pickle on top of a burger.
Do you think it is important to cook with fresh local produce, meats, dairy, etc?
Absolutely. It’s extremely important to know where the ingredients in your meal are coming from, how they’re grown and how they wind up on your plate.
How do you make the impossible, possible?
I give it all I’ve got and never walk away. I’m here to help people, no matter their attitude or circumstances.
What is your favorite flavor of birthday cake?
I love British cakes – raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream.
Thank you Chef Robert Irvine for a special and spicy inspired #8isEnoughQuestions interview. Full Van Fun is all about families, parents and children together sharing farm to family food, epic travel, great music, and more. If you’ve missed any of our great fall related content, don’t forget to check out posts like “Corn like Candy and Monster Machines“, our #8isEnoughQuestions interviews with James Beard award winning Chef Jonathon Sawyer or turkey farmer Whiffletree Farm, or our farm to family recipes like “Sugary Spicy Delicata Squash” or “Cheesy Herb-Roasted Potatoes”! Sign up for our mailing list so you don’t miss any more of our Full Van Fun posts and follow Us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for even more interesting content.