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Marc Forgione  

Winner of the Food Network's Next Iron Chef (Season 3)

Winner of the Food Networks Next Iron Chef (Season 3), Chef Marc Forgione began his career at the age of 16, joining his father, Larry Forgione (a culinary legend who revolutionized American-style cooking in the '70s and '80s), in the kitchen at An American Place. Forgione fully embraced his father's livelihood and has built on his unique culinary foundation to carve out an identity of his own.

Forgione opted for a traditional four-year education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he graduated from the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management. He spent his summers working the line at restaurants such as Above in New York, with acclaimed chef Kazuto Matsusaka. These stints would lay the groundwork for Forgione's post-collegiate toils, again alongside his father at An American Place and later under Patricia Yeo at AZ. When Yeo and celebrated chef Pino Maffeo opened Pazo, they took Forgione along to serve as sous chef at the short-lived eatery. When Laurent Tourondel set out to develop his flagship, BLT Steak, he recruited Forgione as his sous chef.

In an effort to diversify his experience, Forgione left for France, where he secured a series of humble posts under Michel Guerard in Eugenie les Bains. Working at three of the region's finest restaurants, Le Pres D'Eugenie, Ferme aux Grives and Le Cuisine Minceur, Forgione absorbed the nuances of classic French techniques and further developed what had already become a meaningful relationship with ingredients.

When he returned to New York, Forgione promptly reunited with Tourondel, who invited the now seasoned chef to serve as chef de cuisine at BLT Prime. The restaurant would go on to earn sterling accolades from relevant publications nationwide, culminating in a 27 in the Zagat Guide, making it the highest-ranking steakhouse in the history of New York City. Following his role as chef de cuisine, Forgione was named corporate chef for the BLT Restaurant Group, a position that enabled him to develop recipes and maintain the quality of the BLT brand as it went on to include more restaurants across the country. Forgione has played a key role in the openings of BLT Fish and BLT Market, as well as the Washington, D.C., San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Dallas locations of BLT Steak.

With Marc Forgione, formerly known as Forge, Forgione's first restaurant, he has created an approachable place "that people walk by and are compelled to enter and where the ingredients are the star." Forgione was most recently coveted with his second Michelin star in the 2011 guide, making him the youngest American-born chef and owner to receive the honor in consecutive years (2010, 2011). In addition, Forgione received a two-star review from Sam Sifton of The New York Times, who noted, Mr. Forgiones food is sometimes sweet. Other times, it is salty, sour or spicy. Sometimes it is all four and loudly so. The brashness is deeply and above all American: an augmentation of international cuisines in a land of plenty. The restaurant also earned the distinction of being named "Key Newcomer" by Zagat Guide 2009, "Top 25 Restaurants in NYC" by Modern Luxury magazine and "All Star Eatery" by Forbes magazine. Forgione was awarded "Star Chefs Rising Star of the Year Award 2010"; named "Rising Star 2008" from Restaurant Hospitality magazine and mentioned "New Formalist" by Esquire magazine in 2008.

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