Chef Robert Irvine likes the heat in the kitchen. Youll often find him jumping from the frying pan into the fire on his popular Food Network shows Dinner: Impossible, which is now in reruns, and its spinoff Restaurant: Impossible
In both shows, he puts himself in difficult seemingly impossible situations such as preparing a buffet for 500 at the Mall of America, using only what he can buy or find there.
Now the British chef walks in blind to rescue floundering restaurants by teaching owners and staff good business, culinary and service practices.
Some people cant deal with stress, but I thrive on it, Irvine says. He spoke while driving with his wife, TNA Impact Wrestling star Gail Kim, in Orlando after he appeared at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival last month.
Through his exploits, bodybuilding poses and controversy over his resume, Irvines magnetic personality and sense of humor have kept him one of the top Food Network stars.
You dont have to be a foodie to enjoy Irvines show, and now hes bringing it to the stage. Irvine will be in the Treasure Valley Nov. 18 with his high-energy theatrical show Robert Irvine Live:
Question: Whats the live show like?
Answer: Its sort of Dinner: Impossible meets Survivor. Its a very theatrical show. Its not just about cooking. There are leg irons, straitjackets, ropes and things that are involved in that. Theres a computer called Chad (Automated Impossible Culinary Challenge Initiating Robotic Life Form) that tries to trip me up. And the audience has a huge role in this show. The food is amongst them, and they get a chance to do all kinds of things.
Q: Like what? Do you drag them up on stage and give them knives?
A: No, well, yeah, sometimes. But theres side-splitting laughter when you see these things they have me doing. Im not going to tell you because that would take the fun out of it. There are always surprises. Its the most interactive show there is.
Q: Why did you want to do a show like this?
A: I wanted people to get to know the real Robert Irvine, not just the guy you see on television who is this task master getting it done. They get to meet me; they get to hear stories they dont hear or see on television. We spend a lot of time together. I literally take a picture with every person there. Its an opportunity that you dont often get. Especially from me because Im on the road all the time.
Q: You are very busy, when do you find time to do this show?
A: In between my filming schedule. (Irvine films one show a week, nearly year-round.) We will have done 20 by Christmas this year. I hope to do more next year.
Q: In 2008, there was all that controversy about your resume.
A: Theres a lot of that controversy that people dont know, because there was legal stuff involved, but they will soon. (Irvine is in talks about a book deal.) Not that anyone cares anymore but I do. I want to set the record straight.
I still say I worked for the Royal Family, which I did, I worked at the White House which I have and I still do. I have nothing to hide.
Q: How did that affect or change you?
A: Im the same guy. You know when youre a public figure, you open yourself up to a lot of whatever, and you expect that to come with the territory.