chef
    07/16/08

    Getting On With It

    “Time and tide wait for no man,” to me, is a great way of saying, “get over yourself and get on with it.” That pretty well describes the frame of mind I find myself in these days, having been through the mill of public opinion in the past few months, gone through the worst of it and come out the other side feeling good, refreshed in a way, definitely a bit wiser for the wear and ready- as always- to keep working and keep the momentum going.

    One of the places I’ve decided to start is on this blog. My hope is that this provides a way for me to communicate with so many of you who have supported me with thousands of emails and letters and good wishes. I’d like to use it to talk about things that are important to me and may be informative to you, causes that I think are worth attention, my ideas about food, interesting stories and events, things like that. I’d also like to use it, at least in these early days, to set the record straight and correct some notions that have been circulating out there that need correction.

    To begin with, it’s true that I have moved on from Dinner: Impossible in as amiable a fashion as possible. I had a great time working on the show and feel that the episodes with which I was involved, now running on Food Network, speak for themselves and I’m proud of the work. As for the manner in which I left the show, I will refrain from commenting publicly, except to say that in situations like these, you find out pretty quickly who your friends are.

    There are some rumors and stories that have spread over the internet and in the papers, some containing only a grain of truth, most untrue, some wildly inaccurate. I’m not going to bore anyone by rehashing old tales or defending against every misinformed accusation. There are two that trouble me more than the others, though, and those concern my service in the British Royal Navy with the Royal Family and the time I’ve spent working at the White House in Washington, DC. I’ll try to keep it simple.

    I joined the Royal Navy in my teens, signed up as a cook and was lucky enough to find my life’s calling early. There I met with a great opportunity, to cook for Prince Charles in the Officer’s Mess at RNAS Culdrose whilst he was reupping his flight certification. I was recommended shortly after meeting him for service on the Royal yacht, Britannia. I served as Leading Cook on the Britannia for many years, as attested by my military record and by the multiple passports I filled up with stamps from countries all over the world. I traveled with the Royals, learned a great deal about my profession in their service and was honored to prepare meals in many locales and under many circumstances for Her Majesty, the Queen, for Prince Charles, Princess Diana and many members of the Royal household as well as for their honored guests over the ensuing years.

    When I left the military and came eventually to America, I was employed for a time as Executive Chef for Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal. I did a favor in the course of my work for a gentleman from the US Navy, a Commander of Naval Supply, through whom I met a great man and made a great friend, Clive “Tony” Powell, then Deputy Director for Presidential Food Service for the White House. He invited me to cook and train chefs that work in the Naval Mess at the White House under the Guest Chef program, not as “the White House Chef,” a title which I never claimed. I’ve been going to the White House since the 1990’s. I’ve cooked for heads of state, senior staff, senators and congressmen, celebrities and VIP guests, been aboard Air Force One, and yes, have served my food to US Presidents. I’ve made lifelong friends there and if you’ll permit me, and with their permission, I’ve lifted a couple of quotes from letters they’ve sent me over the years.

    Michael H. Miller, Rear Admiral, Deputy Assistant to the President, Director, White House Military Office. Admiral Miller was the first active-duty officer to direct the White House Military Office, which includes all military support to the White House, including for Air Force One, Camp David and Presidential Food Service, from a letter dated 1/21/05: “… the White House Mess has always served good food; what it needed was a master’s touch to provide truly exceptional dining experiences. And that is precisely what you taught us… by lending your name, your time and your talents to the White House, you have helped us to literally recraft the image of this most exclusive mess. Your involvement and active support… created a revolution of sorts in the Presidential Food Service...”

    Letter from F.X Fuller, Director, Presidential Food Service, June 14, 2002:
    “Dear Robert, Thank you very much for volunteering your valuable time for coming to the White House to train our chefs. Your culinary skills and current cooking techniques you shared with our staff have enabled us to take our service to an even higher level. The fact that you are giving back to your community clearly demonstrates that you are a great mentor, true professional and above all, loyal citizen of the United States. You can be assured your efforts have already been recognized by President Bush and senior White House staff…”

    I’m putting these out there not to be self-serving, but to get some sort of third party validation on the record. When you are fortunate enough to be of service to powerful people for whom you have the deepest respect, they rely on your discretion. I’m loath to put out anything further on either of these matters for public consumption and hope this puts them to rest.

    Regarding resumes; I am a professional chef, trained by great chefs and instructors, some of whom are world-renowned. I think it is worth mentioning that, as an Executive Chef, I have been in charge of kitchens in the Navy, on cruise ships and in hotels and casinos and have hired and fired hundreds of chefs and I didn’t hire a single one of them based on what I might have read on their resume. I listened to personal recommendations about them from other chefs and then I found out for myself if they could cook. If they could cook and were willing to work hard, they got the job, case closed.

    Interestingly, my resume is not what got me the job on Dinner: Impossible. The show was created by Brian O'Reilly, a writer and producer who became executive producer of the show, and was based on events from my life and on skills that I had developed over the course of my career that were unique to me: cooking at a high culinary level under pressure, often for large numbers of people, sometimes with limited resources and an ability to improvise with whatever I had on hand to get the job done. We arranged a date to fix a gourmet luncheon for the players and coaches of the NY Rangers and the NY Knicks at their training facility in New York (21 dishes served in a buffet line for 60 people in 3 hours) and from there produced a “sizzle” reel that demonstrated the concept for the show (which was originally called “Fit For A King”). Food Network saw the sizzle reel, loved it, added the element of keeping each “mission” a secret from me until I arrived on the scene, changed the name, bought the show, and the rest is history.

    I had a great run on Dinner: Impossible and I know that there’s more excitement on the horizon, so stay tuned. My deep and heartfelt thanks goes out to Randall Williams, my business partner and friend, to Brian and Virginia O’Reilly and to my incredible family for their steadfast and unwavering support through all of this. Let’s all look to the future and get this party started!

    Robert Irvine

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    88 comments

    # Marc Email on 07/17/08 at 12:15
    *****
    Stay strong. I got to meet you last year in Disney and I thought you were one of the best tv personalities I've ever met. I have a story and pic about you on my website here too. Thanks for the memories.
    # bill grammaticas on 07/17/08 at 12:29
    *****
    Robert

    Excellent, concise and right from the heart blog.
    Linda and I are happy to hear you are building bigger bridges and we know that takes time.

    If possible, would you be putting out a calendar of your scheduled appearances? We try to catch up with you whenever you are in New Jersey. and of course would love to get a chance to taste that fine cooking once again!

    Best of Success!

    Bill and Linda
    # Scott Babbidge Email on 07/17/08 at 12:30
    *****
    Robert,

    I had the incredible fortune of meeting you on September 11th, 2007 as I was on my way to New York City to appear (and unashamedly fall on face) on the game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire". I missed a ridiculously easy question, the result of, for the first ime in my life, allowing myself to get caught up in the moment of having the most fun I have ever had, and the resulting bout of temporary mindlessness made for m y early exit from the show. However, if someone were to tell me tomorrow I could go do it again with the same result, I would jump at the chance.

    Anyway, I had bumped my seat to first class for the flight to NYC, and about 30 seconds after I took my seat, none other than you and your Dad sat in the row behind me. You were on your way to NYC for a publicity tour of your new book, we talked about many things, including my passion for food and cooking and how like you, I get great pleasure in seeing people eat and enjoy the food I prepare. In fact, you actually offered me a job at your new restaurants in St. Pete. An offer I still think about daily...and if I was able to afford moving my family to FL to work for you, I assure you I would absolutely have that conversation with my wife tonight!

    I was so impressed with your kindness and generosity and sincerity, the fact that we didn't know each other from Adam, but, with your Dad, had a conversation that felt like we were old friends reacquainted after years apart to this day amazes me.

    Upon our conversation on that flight, I proceeded to have the time of my life in NYC. I failed on the show, then spent the next 6 hours walking around the city. At first, feeling sorry for myself. But, eventually, meeting people from all over the world that left everything they knew and everyone they loved to follow their dreams of making it in NYC. I realized that just maybe there was a higher power at work on my trip, having met you, "failed" by conventional definitions on the show but still to this day, knowing that trip and experience changed me in ways I needed to be changed.

    Life is full of surprises. Some, like bonking on a game show, to show us what is really important in life. Each of the other people with me as contestants that day on the show needed the money so much more than me....I ultimately walked away not feeling sorry for me, but hoping and praying that each of them did better than me. I've since started writing my own blog, about issues that I am passionate toward. I've stopped, for the most part, putting off til tomorrow things I have dreamed of doing and when possible I am making those things happen for me and my family.

    As you have likely discovered, it is when we originally view something as negative, that the truth in the world, our place in it, and the people in our lives, becomes crystal clear. In the end it is the adversity that not only makes us stronger, but points us in the direction we are supposed to follow.

    We all make mistakes during life. And sometimes life takes twists and turns we never see coming.

    I don't care about all the details regarding the show and what went down. I know that if you knocked on my door tomorrow needing a place to stay, you would be welcomed in with open arms. In the brief meeting and time we spent on that plane, I met Chef Robert Irvine, one of the most genuine, sincere and good people I have ever had the good fortune to meet.

    Next time you are in Charlotte, NC, let me know so I can take you out for a pint!

    Scott
    # LeAnn Hampton on 07/17/08 at 12:30
    *****
    Good news to hear from you. We will miss your version of DI, but look forward to new developments. Good luck!
    # smoke [Member] Email on 07/17/08 at 12:36
    Glad to see things are getting back to normal and on with your career!

    # kagai on 07/17/08 at 12:39
    Robert, I just wanted you to know that I loved your show and will miss it. Hopefully, you will find a new TV home elsewhere.

    Also, I wanted to add that I have been turned off by the conduct of the higher ups of Food TV and it's parent company and I have stopped watching their programming, except for your new episodes.

    It's unfortunate that they chose to not stand up for you and your talents I have lost all respect for all involved that didn't have your back.

    Keep up the great work!

    Later.
    # WYNNE on 07/17/08 at 12:41
    I DON'T PUT MUCH STOCK IN RUMORS AND INNUENDOS. ALL I KNOW IS THAT I HAVE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED EVERY "DINNER: IMPOSSIBLE" SHOW THAT I HAVE SEEN. ROBERT IS A TALENTED, THOROUGHLY ENTERTAINING CHEF WHO BLOWS ME AWAY WITH THE FACT THAT HE CAN THINK UP MENUS AND RECIPES SO FAST AND PUT IT ALL TOGETHER UNDER "IMPOSSIBLE" CONDITIONS. I'M SORRY TO SEE HIM LEAVE THE SHOW, BUT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO WHAT HE WILL DO NEXT! ROBERT, IF YOU EVER NEED A SOUS CHEF WHO DOESN'T HAVE MUCH EXPERIENCE BUT WHO WILL JUMP IN WITH BOTH FEET, FOLLOW DIRECTIONS AND DO IT ALL WITH A SENSE OF HUMOR....CALL ME! GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS.
    # Lisa Spannaus on 07/17/08 at 12:53
    *****
    Robert - those who have come to know you through your show still have unwavering support for you. We all look forward to your future.......congratulations!!
    # Adrienne Email on 07/17/08 at 12:53
    *****
    Chef Robert-

    I really wanted to say that I enjoyed reading the current blog
    posting.

    As a chef myself and admirer of yours, I totally understand how
    the incident on food network would make any professional feel.

    I just wanted to say I totally admire your work, passion,dedication
    to the profession, and sticking your morals.

    Most people that are not/ or have ever worked in culinary could
    understand how much pride a true culinarian has. It is a crazy
    business,and if a person is not strong willed, assertive, determinded.
    and a multi-tasker, this profession is not for them. One has to
    deal with unique sitiuations daily, and sometimes very diffucult
    ones. We do this willingly, and make everything perfect without
    guests even being aware of our challanges. That is what makes the
    career, in my option, great.

    One can not be a great chef if they can not take pressure and
    stress with ease. I usually don't even realize the stress invovled
    until the event is finished, and I have time to reflect. I just take
    the issue at hand and deal with it. For me it has to be perfect in
    the guest eyes, no matter what it takes to achieve their happiness.

    I want to wish many sucesses and hope only the best, for one
    of the best.
    # Justin Bradford Email on 07/17/08 at 12:54
    *****
    Robert-

    You're an inspiration my friend. I have had a run of bad luck myself too and am looking for a complete career change. It's not easy but anything involving hard work and determination is WORTH doing for best end results. Anyway I just wanted to say that you and Guy Fieri were the only reasons I watched the unnamed network. I will miss Dinner Impossible. I hope the future is bright because if it is; we've got our shades!!!

    Any DVD's of Dinner Impossible?

    -If ever in Minneapolis look me up-->

    Justin

    # Kay McCullough on 07/17/08 at 12:57
    *****
    Dear Chef Robert,

    'Nuff said. As always, you have my unwavering admiration and support. Faith, family and food -- what more do you need?! ;)

    Thanks for the lovely e-mails. Virginia is a wonderful "assistant" to you and I know you are blessed by her presence.

    Jim and I especially enjoyed the WDW "Dinner: Impossible" as both kids work for the Mouse. James Jr. hopes to bring me to the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival to meet you!!! He also enjoyed seeing the firehouse episode; we wanted you to know that he builds E-One fire trucks here in Ocala (one was in the Philly station). Small world.

    I finally was able to order your book, which will arrive during my recuperation from major surgery. Right now I am just resting and having a lot of time to reflect on my life, my goals, and my "middle ages." Supposedly, I will be a NEW WOMAN come the end of August! HA I don't know about that, but one of the things I am thankful for is I am so glad to have found you as a mentor and friend.

    Don't sweat the small stuff. Look how many windows God has opened since one door was closed!

    Sincerely, your friend, ---kay
    # A loyal fan on 07/17/08 at 13:01
    "YOU", Chef Robert, are Dinner Impossible, nobody will ever be able to take your place, and I will miss seeing you and your challenges in my living room.

    Just know I support you all the way and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
    # David The Food Dude Email on 07/17/08 at 13:05
    *****
    Well stated, Chef - I, for one, will miss you on the show
    # catyandcoug [Member] Email on 07/17/08 at 13:08
    *****
    Robert,
    Not only do I personally wish you and your family the very BEST I must say that the Food Network will miss you dearly. Your show was one of the best...my fav.
    I did not, could not believe what I was hearing several months ago. I was so disappointed in the lack of support that you felt when attacked with so many degrading accusations. I think we all know how things can easily get blown out of proportion don't we? IN the end here, you are coming out the winner.
    Your style, your expertise and your charm is what kept many of your viewers interested! Keep up your chin and keep on! I look forward to this great blog but more importantly, hearing what you experienced while in Iraq this past week! Can't wait to hear how our troops are doing and God Bless you for doing that! Hope it was fun! Traverse City, Michigan loves you! Sincerely, Caty..mother of 5 and love to cook!
    # christel from canada on 07/17/08 at 13:22
    *****
    I'm really glad he's setting the record straight.

    I'll be quick to judge and say he is a talented well-accomplished chef, and he should be proud based on his show and his history
    # sharon on 07/17/08 at 13:49
    I greatly enjoyed watching your show on Food Network, but am more excited to see what you have in store for us. Glad to hear you're back & can't wait to enjoy more of your talent!
    # evan on 07/17/08 at 14:01
    *****
    I hadn't heard anything about this whole flap until just now but it sounds like you got railroaded. Dinner: Impossible is one of the 3, *maybe* 4 watchable shows on Food Network and if they're dumb enough to cancel it- not because it has bad ratings, but because of some nonsense drama- that just reflects poorly on them.

    Good luck in the future, hope to see you back on TV soon. I'm thinking, Hell's Kitchen Impossible?
    # Cindy on 07/17/08 at 14:22
    *****
    Welcome back Robert! I cannot express how much you have been missed! It's good to hear that you've had some enjoyable adventures and culinary pursuits since we last heard from you in April. Thank you for the blog and for not forgetting your fans are routing for you! Best wishes and mountains of success.
    # Pila on 07/17/08 at 14:43
    ****-
    Hello Robert,

    Enjoyed reading about you and getting to know you better; I learned a long time ago never to trust what the media prints, they are far from reality and the truth, and they can most definitely ruin a person's life!!! (telling you from my own experience here in St. Petersburg).

    I wish you much success in your future endeavors, keep on moving forward.

    Look forward to reading on as you share your blog with the outside world.

    All the best always,

    Pila Cadena-Vega
    # Cynthia McCaskey on 07/17/08 at 14:43
    ****-
    Well done, Chef! Kudos to you for keeping your chin up. We're looking forward to seeing you and your work again soon!
    Best, as always,
    Cynthia
    # JaimeK on 07/17/08 at 15:40
    *****
    Robert: I think you rock! I look forward to what ever endeavors you are pursuing...hope it is on television.

    Peace.
    # Rick on 07/17/08 at 15:51
    *****
    I am saddened to see that you are no longer going to be busting culinary magic out on D:I. You were one of our regularly watched shows on Food.

    However, it is very nice to see that you are picking up the pieces of a situation made worse by multimedia speculation and working with what you have. Hmm, sounds like something you are already good at, working with what you have.

    My wife and I both look forward to seeing what you come up with next and I personally will enjoy seeing what you sling out onto your blog.
    # Annie S on 07/17/08 at 16:11
    *****
    Dear Chef Irvine,
    Dinner Impossible was one of the best shows on the Food Network and I want you to know its their loss for cancelling you from the show. I have been cooking for a large family ever since I was 12 years of age and could boil water. I have mastered many of my grandmothers wonderful recipes and concocted a few of my own. Then your show came along and you taught me that I can take the simplest of ingredience and make gourmet meals not only for my family and friends but for large gatherings too.
    Eating all day long is a favorite pastime of my large Italian Family and when I say we eat all day long we eat all day long. Its a regular food fest at our family reunion every summer.
    I've cooked several of your dishes that you shared with us from Dinner Impossible and they were big hits. The only problem is they were so delish that we've all packed on the pounds.
    I was wondering if you plan on writing a cookbook for the food challenged chubby?
    I would like to make more healthful meals that taste good, for our large crowd without everyone putting on too many pounds, especially since we are getting older. I can only serve veggies and low cal dips for so long before cries of protests turn into a stampede of chubby chicks and burly boys heading in my direction to do me harm because they are unhappy with the food I serve.
    With your expertise I hope you will think about concocting delicious recipes that good for the waistline.
    In the meantime I like your blog and look forward to some new recipes from you. I and my friends also hope to see you back on television and in fine cooking form soon.
    Rock On Chef, Your the Best
    Annie
    # lisa Email on 07/17/08 at 16:37
    *****
    Well written. I loved the shows and your energy.

    I applaud you not letting this stop you from further greatness.

    Thanks for starting the blog.. it will be nice following your career...


    ~Lisa.
    # Jennifer on 07/17/08 at 16:52
    *****
    I know one thing and that is you can cook. I wish you all the best. I only hope that some day I would get the opportunity to meet you let alone help in your kitchen. In the meantime your cook book has helped in my kitchen. I can hardly wait to see what is next for you. I wait in anticipation for your new book. I will be one of the first in line to purchase it. Thank you for sticking with it and creating this blog. Best of luck to you.
    # judyvonbon [Member] Email on 07/17/08 at 17:41
    *****
    All I want is the whole Dinner Impossible series with Chef Robert released on DVD or available for downloads. I work full time and do find time to cook a complete dinner every night. I kind a kinship with Chef Robert cooking under pressure and needing to meet a deadline. My husband thought cooking shows were just girly, until he saw Chef Robert. Now he keeps asking me when is that big guy Mission dude going to on again? I had to break the bad news o him.
    judy in Wixom, MI
    # Joane Farrell on 07/17/08 at 18:53
    *****
    Chef Robert,

    Three cheers for you for having the stamina to move on. I work in a highly competative industry myself and I feel in the long run hard work, dedication and loyalty means so much more than the words typed on a resume.

    I wish you good luck and continued success.

    Joanne
    # Amy on 07/17/08 at 19:00
    *****
    Thank you Robert - for continuing to be a role model/ mentor
    to those of us who enjoy watching you, believe in your talents and and skills, and continue to learn from you. It says a great
    deal about one's character when they can come through an
    experience such as you've had with such eloquence and tact.
    I'm certain that I am not alone in saying that I hope whatever the future holds for your cooking career - it includes a public
    element that your fans can share in as well!!

    Much luck and happiness to you.
    # Kathie Email on 07/17/08 at 19:23
    *****
    So glad to read your blog.
    I read somw where that you may have a show on the Travel Network. If this is true, I look forward to it.
    Any time you want to come back to RWJ Hamilton, please let me know. You are always welcomed there.
    That was a great event and we have not had one as good as that since!
    I look forward to reading your blog and will pass it on to others I know who will enjoy it as well.
    Stay well!
    KathieW
    # Jim Webb on 07/17/08 at 20:17
    *****
    Food Networks loss

    Chef Irvine,
    My wife and I have enjoyed D.I. since the first episode,now it's over and we'll watch the reruns (alla Tony Bourdains) when Food Net. figures out that they
    lost yet another great talent.
    We have your book,bought it the day it came out--
    great read,great recipes.Write another I'll buy it too.
    Hope some network out there is smart enough to offer you a new show soon! Until then best wishes and best of lunk to you and your family.
    Jim
    # Linda Smith on 07/17/08 at 21:16
    *****
    Robert, my dad was in the Navy and was the cook. He is called 1st class petty officer Harry, by one of the veterens at the VFW we go to. He was like you, didn't measure anything, did everything by taste. He had his own catering business for over 30 years. He was one of the best! He now has alzheimers and doesn't cook at all. I love your show Dinner Impossible. It reminds me so much of when my dad cooked. I hope to see more of you.

    Thank you for you
    Linda
    # Chef LJ Ames Email on 07/17/08 at 22:21
    *****
    Thank you for sharing Chef. I am honoured to share this profession with talents of your caliber. I am looking forward to reading more from you in the near future. I know you are a very busy man with numerous obligations but I hope you are able to follow up with your blogs somewhat regularly unlike some Chefs that do this only for the publicity not to share with others in our community and our profession.
    # Steven on 07/17/08 at 22:47
    ****-
    Good to finally hear your side of the story. I'll be waiting for your next book to come out.
    # Amy on 07/18/08 at 05:16
    *****
    I will miss you on Dinner: Impossible. I know from that show that you know your stuff. I can't wait to see what you do next!!!
    # Stacey Oellinger on 07/18/08 at 05:30
    *****
    Robert, great to hear from you again and to see that you've come out fighting! While anyone who has seen you work knows that you do not need to defend your culinary skills, it was good to hear from you on setting the record straight. There is no Dinner Impossible without you, no matter who they cast. In any event, this is a terrific forum you've set up, and I look forward to posing my food and cooking questions to you. Good luck in all your endeavors! Stacey
    # Jennifer Albertson on 07/18/08 at 06:35
    *****
    Chef,

    No explanation was necessary but your words reinforced my opinion of you - you are an eloquent man with a strong sense of self. I was mortified by comments written about you and it made my support of you even stronger. I'll miss seeing Dinner: Impossible but look forward to new adventures from you.

    Keep your chin up!! There are people out there that think you are amazing.

    Sincerely,
    Jennifer Albertson
    Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
    # Keita M. Rieckhoff Email on 07/18/08 at 06:53
    *****
    Bravo! Thanks for putting out there what I always believed! Keep up the good work and keep us posted - I, for one, can't wait for your new book to be released.
    # Rose H. on 07/18/08 at 08:06
    *****
    Dear Chef Irvine,

    My daughter and I had the privilege of meeting you in September 2007 at one of your book signings in New Jersey. My daughter told you she wanted to be a NASA chef. Also, my nephew had the honor of being one of the “Knowlton Boys”. I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your zest and zeal with us and to let you know that we had written letters of support to your former network. We continue to be huge enthusiasts of your culinary skills and you yourself. We wish you continued success and hope to see more of you on the telly.

    regards, Rose
    # Jen Kooper on 07/18/08 at 08:21
    *****
    Glad you are doing well and I am also glad you are doing this blog so we can all keep track of you! p.s. I will never watch the Food Network again....
    # Janet on 07/18/08 at 08:36
    *****
    Thank goodness for reruns! I'm still enjoying your shows and I'm sorry that they will eventually cease. Love the way you cook. Sometimes I feel like I'm under the same pressure even though it's just my small family! Pressure is pressure, right? Hope to see some of your recipes soon. Thanks, Janet
    # Kim Huckaby Email on 07/18/08 at 09:23
    *****
    Chef Robert, I wanted you to know just how much my husband and I enjoyed your Dinner:Impossible shows. You simply amazed us! I was in awe of how you could take the given ingredients and a short amount of time, in strange kitchens, and prepare meals fit for a king! I envied the people getting the honor to sit and eat one of your meals. How lucky! I will miss your show, but look forward to what the future holds for you. I will be watching for any new shows you have on television. I see in your blog that you will be at EPCOT'S Wine and Food Festival this year. We will be there but probably not at the same time you will. Too bad, as I would love to see you in action. We are excited about going, as we have heard what a wonderful experience the Festival is. Hope you will have fun too. Don't forget to ride Spaceship Earth and Test Track. Two of our favorite rides! Thank you, Chef Robert, for your love and passion for cooking. You inspire me to be a better cook too.

    Peace,
    Kim Huckaby
    # Jeane Bell on 07/18/08 at 13:30
    *****
    Welcome back Robert-I have really missed you. I always watch the Mission Impossible shows and re-runs. I hope you get another show like this one.
    This was the most entertaining show on FN.
    Best of luck.
    # Chowbelly Email on 07/18/08 at 13:36
    *****
    Robert,

    I can imagine the hurt feelings and pain you have gone through. I have never had a similar experience, but have had people and organizations turn on me for reasons that were irrelevant, untrue and completely inaccurate. Unfortunately, perception is 99% of truth in our world.

    I don't doubt your abilities as a chef, entertainer or author - I am convinced you will land on your feet and success will find you again.

    Good luck!

    -Scott Priestley
    http://chowbelly.wordpress.com
    # Meliniece Bowman on 07/18/08 at 14:03
    *****
    I wish you the best and hope that whatever it is you go I get a chance to see and enjoy it.
    # Carol A. Allen Email on 07/18/08 at 15:49
    I guess next to losing you on the airways, it is the vicious gossip people start, and end up causing pain and distress to people involved. There is in my estimation nothing worse than falsehoods being circulated. God be with you and the best of everything in the years ahead.
    Happy Cooking
    CA
    # crlamury [Member] Email on 07/18/08 at 21:42
    *****
    You are an inspiration to me and my family! Perserverance and overcoming obstacles is key ~ and yes, "getting on" is a very good thing to do (for everyone!)
    # Kevin Email on 07/18/08 at 21:59
    *****
    Keep up the good work! I am sorry that you aren't doing the show anymore. You will be missed.

    Kevin
    # Ron Breaux Email on 07/19/08 at 00:22
    *****
    Has to be excellent! I've watched you since the first of that weird show, Dinner:Impossible.
    I admire the way you just appear to go in and do it, (Has to be some scripting there, right?) If not, you are spectacular.
    I'd like to know if you are ever going to vist Southwest Louisiana, if you do, please advertise widely, I'd love to attend one of your shows.
    Ron B.
    # Norman on 07/19/08 at 05:35
    *****
    Chef Robert: You will always be aces in my family's book. You may likely will not remember, but we met you at the AC Food & Wine event about 4 years ago, and my 4 y/o daughter Marissa was completely taken with you....she still treasures in her room the autographed photo you provided her, as I treasure the Porsche Knife that you gave my wife to surprise me with. We always watched you in Dinner: Impossible with glee, and look forward to soon seening you in some new venue.

    Hold your head high! Don't let those who don't really know you (especially the scalawag media) get you down. Your true fans know better. Best of luck!!
    # John Nanni Email on 07/19/08 at 09:10
    *****
    Chef Robert,

    I, too, rely on personal interaction before making a decision on someone. We met at a book signing in Hamilton, NJ.

    You ARE the real deal and I have an incredible respect for you; not only as a chef, but as a person.

    Keep your head held I and know there are a lot of people who feel the same way that I feel.

    Sincerely,
    John Nanni
    www.Rhapsodyin2.com
    # Amy Shelton Email on 07/19/08 at 09:52
    *****
    I am one of your true, loyal fans.
    I never doubted you for a second!
    Keep on keeping on.
    "Let’s all look to the future and get this party started!"

    Well said, Chef! Life is too short to dwell on the past! As you continue the journey, I wish you further success, personal fulfillment and much joy!

    # Lyn from Georgia, USA on 07/19/08 at 19:11
    Chef Robert,

    Thank you for all the AWESOME shows you did. I knew there was more to this than the media allowed. Thank you for the clarification. I never doubted you.

    Onward and upward with your endeavors!

    Know that there are TONS of people behind you with whatever you decide to do.

    Your heart and can-do spirit are an inspiration to people in all lines of work. THANK YOU!

    Sincerely,

    Lyn
    # Claudia Email on 07/19/08 at 21:55
    *****
    Robert,

    You have made me laugh, cry,nod quietly, scream approval at appropriate(or would that be inappropriate) times of DI. You nailed me right on the head with the show DI. I have been in the industry for 34 years with some years as a chef, some as a cook. As a single mom I have taken jobs as a cook, when I really wanted a position of a chef, but spending more time with my two boys was paramount. I feel like we connected as I can see that you have a true passion for what you are doing. I love the craziness of our industry and the uniqueness that it presents anew every day. I take my toque off to you, and just want to let you know that you have my support!
    # judyvonbon [Member] Email on 07/20/08 at 15:03
    *****
    I was reading the Mission: Cook cookbook today...ribs in plastic wrap?? I run my smoker at 225 never of covering them in the oven in plastic wrap, but heck I will give it a go. First I'm going to get an oven temp gauge to make sure it's accurate.
    # Lois Jones Email on 07/20/08 at 21:49
    Hi Robert,

    We were very happy to read your blog. We never watched Food Network until last summer and were lucky enough to discover Dinner: Impossible. You and your sous chefs, George, George and David captivated us. Your humor and expertise are unsurpassed and we look forward to hearing of your new endeavor.
    We enjoy a few of Food Network's chefs, but not having you is their loss. We are behind you 100%. I might add that I have enjoyed trying recipes from your Mission: Cook book.
    # Randy Berry on 07/20/08 at 22:22
    *****
    To Robert,
    I just wanted to let you know my entire family will miss watching the show. I just saw the new version and well..... it sucked!

    To Food Network,
    You can fool alot of people but I for one am a former cop, and sorry to say can't be fooled so easy. You cannot tell me that you all of the suddenly found out about the "padded resume" until just now! Come on if Robert's resume was as really as "padded" as you claimed. We would have found out a long time ago. Everyone makes enemies during there life. So I find it IMPOSSIBLE that Robert would have been on TV and making lots of money, being a celebrity, and NONE of his enemies spoke out about things being untrue. But not only that, even if a resume was padded. YOU kept quite because HE was making YOU MONEY. And you didn't want to kill the golden goose so to speak. Which makes what your network did worse than anything he may have done. You are the ones that have LIED to us, the viewers. And it's time you have a bite of humble pie!

    To Robert,
    Take care and best wishes to you and your family.
    # Gloria on 07/21/08 at 19:55
    *****
    Dear Robert the food net work did not know what they let go, you were the show !!!! Good luck and God Bless Gloria
    # Judy on 07/22/08 at 11:06
    *****
    So glad to hear you're moving forward and on to bigger and better things!

    Always a fan and an admirer!
    # hotrodmom [Member] Email on 07/22/08 at 13:08
    *****
    Chef Irvine,

    Your show was one of the best on FN...I'm glad that other networks are smart enough to pick up on that. My family is looking forward to watching you again, in whatever form your new show takes. I admire your skill, knowledge, and ability in the kitchen, and would consider it an honor if I were ever able to work with you.

    Rock On!
    # Shawn on 07/22/08 at 22:17
    *****
    You are a great guy. Please do not go away.
    # Nicole on 07/22/08 at 23:48
    Hi Chef Robert.

    I'm a fan from Australia and I must say that when I found out that you had been given the short shaft by the food network I was shocked!

    My family and I have so enjoyed watching you on the lifestyle food channel here in Australia. My children cant wait for each episode of Dinner Impossible and because it is on late, we record it, and they watch when they get home from school.

    Let me just say, we all think that your skill and ability to cater is amazing and your ability to entertain is phenomonal!

    I hope to see your new venture here in Australia, cause, no matter what anyone says, we have seen your talent and we know that you are one exceptional and capable chef.
    # Aaron on 07/23/08 at 11:41
    Everyone in my family adores you!! Besides your obvious cooking talent and your love of physical fitness, you come across as a truly caring person! Please keep your head up, and let us know how we can support your future endeavors!!
    # bksond2008 [Member] Email on 07/24/08 at 00:45
    *****
    Chef Robert,

    I was terribly disappointed when I found out you were no longer the host of Dinner Impossible. It was a show that both my husband and I looked forward to watching.

    I'm happy I found your blog after doing a search on the internet for you. At least now I can keep in touch with you this way and know that you havent' completely disappeared from the public eye.

    Thank you for several wonderful seasons of Dinner Impossible. I hope you will be able to return to Food Network or maybe some day host your own TV show. And, too thank you for explaning why you left the Food Network and your show.

    I wish you the best always and hope that you will continue to write in this blog. Your fans will want to hear from you still and know what you are doing. Always your biggest fan.
    # Walter Email on 07/24/08 at 08:11
    *****
    Chef Robert,

    I enjoyed watching every episode of your show on FN. I thought you had a great show and was extremely dissapointed when I learned that FN was replacing you. You made D:I and without you I have no reason to watch it.
    There are only a handful of shows that I watch on FN especially with all the reruns so I always eagerly looked forward to your new episodes.
    I wish you all the best in your new endeavors.

    Sincerely,
    Walter in New York City
    # Deb Rountree Email on 07/24/08 at 13:58
    *****
    Hi Chef Robert, I am so sorry to hear about your series of unfortunate events. The FN made a huge mistake to take you off Dinner Impossible. As a matter of fact I will no longer be watching that show. I remain a great fan of you and you could cook for me anytime! Your fans will remain loyal to you at a time like this. Remember time is the greatest healer. When life gives you lemons make Lemoncello!!!!! Keep you chin up and your shoulders high!
    # Kylie on 07/24/08 at 14:08
    *****
    Chef:

    Thank you so much for so precisly telling your side of the story and setting the record straight. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read the rumors and newsblips of the controversy.

    As much as I knew of you as the host of D:I, I couldn't see you being the type of person they were making you out to be.

    My family and I will truely miss seeing you on D:I however look forward to new endeavors you choose to do.

    Please know your are supported and loved by all your fans.

    ~The Klock Family, Minneapolis
    # mastereaster [Member] Email on 07/24/08 at 20:41
    *****
    You rocked on Mission Impossible. Your accent and skills complemented the theme of the show. I hope to see you again busting out high quality products straight out of the kitchen.
    peace-
    # Steve on 07/25/08 at 13:19
    *****
    Here in our Alaskan home, all five of us (three who cook) love to watch your work. We are thrilled to see you moving onward and upward, and can't wait to see what you come up with next. But then, we knew you would come through this. Your true charachter comes shining right through, a real leader. I hope your next endeavor involves recruiting others to work with you as they seem to love following you into "battle", and that really comes across. Like the old story of "Stone Soup", in the end, it is the process of everyone working together, bringing the meal into existence, seemingly out of the ether, that is the true magic we all can share, every day. We'll definately be watching for you. Cheers.
    # Larry ReMillard on 07/25/08 at 23:17
    It's already been said many times here, but my wife and I
    both enjoyed your show, it's really the only show we watch
    regularly. The good news is I have all this years episodes
    saved on tivo. The first show I saw that got me hooked was
    the cowboy episode, which required "900 pieces of cornbread.
    Well, the best line of the show seems somehow appropriate
    here.."the cornbread just ain't gittin it!" The new DI "ain't
    gittin it" either. Love your show, and we miss like a memeber
    of the family is gone. Good luck with future endeavors.
    You really are the best thing on FN.
    # Dawn Julieanna [Member] Email on 07/27/08 at 14:39
    *****
    ~ Greetings & Salutations ~

    Robert,

    I have been out of touch for awhile and did not know anything about your leaving Food Network. My Daddy fell and injured himself June 22nd and was transferred from Orlando Hospital to a Physical Therapy Facility on July 14th, where he is currently residing. While in the hospital we found out that my father has Multiple Myleoma (Bone Marrow Cancer). So my entire world has been turned upside down and every which way. I am now in the process of moving into my father's residence so that I may care for him. I have not had much opportunity to watch television lately.

    I am sorry to hear that there were uncomfortable (putting it nicely, I bet) situations and I will miss you and "Dinner Impossible" GREATLY!

    Watching you and hearing your words always seemed to get me going. After watching YOUR "Dinner Impossible" episodes, I felt that I had more strength and courage to get up and do things. I started playing around more with food/various ingredients. I seemed to demonstrate overall a greater sense of creativity. I want to thank you for the positive impact that you have had on my life. Food Network may have helped you with an outlet but the inspiration came from you and your crew. I guess being away from the television set, I forgot about those things. I will, in the future, consciously remind myself of you and your courage, strength, inspiration and creativity so that I can realize those qualities within me to get through the coming days with grace and gratitude.

    Please keep us informed of what, where and when you will be back on television. Hopefully soon!

    I love this Blog. I think this will be a great way to stay in touch with your fans or me (your cheerleader). When I am near a computer, no laptop yet, I will be checking in and touching base with you.

    I was still hopeful that you were not going to dismiss the idea of opening 2 restaurants in Florida. Are you still thinking of opening the restaurants in Florida? If so, do you have any type of time table for the openings?

    I wish you and your family good health, happiness, joy, love and extra smiles so that you may share with others.

    As always, Thanks Bunches for your inspiration, courage, strength and creativity !!!

    With Sincerest Gratitude,
    Dawn Julieanna
    (Cheerleader for Chef Robert Irvine)

    P.S. We are all human therefore we will all flub up in our lives, some more than others. We learn & grow from our errors, flubs, mistakes, etc. and then it is how we decide to get back on our feet again that is the real testament to our character. BRAVO for handling your situations with dignity and integrity!
    # Karlynn on 07/27/08 at 18:46
    *****
    In my opinion, there is no other host of Dinner: Impossible, and that show should be retired with your excellence, entertaining personality and fantastic on the spot menus. I am very disappointed in the Food Network executives. Regardless of any resume, the fact that it's the third top-rated show can't be ignored, it was you that brought that show to life.

    My husband and I had the privilege to meet you briefly at the Food & Wine Festival last year at Epcot. We were pleasantly surprised to see your on screen persona translated enthusiatically in-person - a warm, engaging, friendly and gracious individual.

    When a door closes; a window always opens. Can't wait to see what's next in your endaevors. Best of luck!
    # Steven on 07/27/08 at 21:04
    *****
    Its a shame how people search out to hurt others. I enjoyed your shows and I look forward to seeing you on some other show. Keep strong, and keep those food fires burning!
    # gcislo [Member] Email on 07/28/08 at 19:02
    Chef Robert,

    Quiet honestly I know a lot of people who watched your show and cared less about the whole controversy. It's your personality that made DI. Just like Rachael Ray and her shows. She has no professional cooking experience at all. I have no plans on watching DI anymore. My wife and I saw the first show, hated it and will never watch again.

    After watching "The Next Food Network Star" it showed how little talent is at the top management of the Food Network. The person from last season flopped and this one will fair no better. In the end I think that they will see the error they made in letting you go. None of their new shows have been that interesting.

    I can't wait for your new show. My wife and I will make sure we set our DVR. Good luck in all your endevors.

    Thanks for the email, but no matter what you say I don't like Michael Symon. My wife and I think he is weird and I can't stand his laugh.

    Regards,

    Sherry and Greg Cislo
    # ethan Email on 07/28/08 at 20:58
    *****
    I don't care if you are chef boy-ar-dee, no one can pretend to cook and perform that well under such pressure.

    Shame on the network for not having the vision and chutzpah to keep you on the air.

    What the heck am I supposed to watch at 10 pm on Wednesday's now?

    Keep us posted.

    Chef E
    # kelli wilson [Member] Email on 07/29/08 at 03:34
    We were suprised (to say the least) to see you were no longer hosting D:I. So I did a little research.

    What is so scandalous about all this? I'm baffled.

    Fact is, some of the better chefs w/ shows on FN had no formal training. If the chef and recipes are fantastic, who cares what their history is?

    If it (Dinner: Impossible) was the 3rd watched show on FN, that speaks for itself. Great chef, great recipes.

    I don't care if you worked @ a hotdog stand. You got the job done, have incredible charisma, and gave us access to your knowledge... mission accomplished.

    PLEASE... please don't let this take up a dot of space in your head, or take time out of your life. It's in no way worth it.

    Entertainment is a fickle industry which only watches out for #1. When you find your new deal, they'll be saying they discovered you.

    I love Michael Symon, but YOU are the reason people tuned in. NOT THE CONCEPT.

    Be proud of yourself Mr. Irvine!

    Hope to see you again soon.

    Wishing you the best of the best in life,

    Kelli Wilson
    # Steve Youngblood on 07/29/08 at 10:30
    *****
    I was glad to find this site after reading the comment on the next food tv star. i was very disappointed that food tv didn't keep on your show. where would we be without forgiveness and second chances. i cook for around 200 people at our church on wednesday night and would love to have eat my food anytime. i hope i hear from you. steve
    # Kelly Email on 07/29/08 at 12:20
    *****
    I am only now hearing about your misfortune, Chef. What a loss on the network, and I have to say, I will not be watching the new season without you. YOU made the show and without YOU, it is nothing.

    Best wishes for the future.
    # Rachaelle English on 07/29/08 at 14:12
    *****
    hi ROBERT!! very Proud of you I knew you could do it! come out on top. Dont worry about a thing,your fans will always love you and your friends do and I will as well always LOVE U FOREVER.No one can do that D.I as well as u,but better things are ahead for you.I know this, God WILLS IT.You have Our Fathers word on it.He Father God, will Take care of you, you rest assurred on this.We all LOVE U and always will. I think youll do Great things here.Ill back you up 100 percent no matter what.I love you, Good things to you.Your the BEST in my opinion,THE VERY BEST.lets (LIGHT THIS CANDLE!! GO for it!!) your sweet and always a GENTILEMAN,Kind considerate and great. I LOVE that. You bring out the BEST ON ME, you really do.you INSPIRE me to do better and never give up but to keep trying.You are what makes being a chef GREAT. Ilove you.Rachaelle
    # Gwen on 07/29/08 at 15:59
    *****
    Regarding: Getting On With It
    I just have to say this: I don't watch food net nearly as much as I used to. And after finding out that you were leaving the show, I told them I have become rather disenchanted with Food TV. What ever happened to 2nd chances? What ever happened to "lets hear Robert's side of things"? Robert, I think you are a man of true honesty and integrity, I loved watching you, I love your cook book and I look forward to watching your next show.
    # Dan Wade on 07/30/08 at 00:16
    *****
    Greets Chef Irvine,

    firstly dinner impossible will not be the same. Nor would I enjoy seeing it without your humour, wit and dignity. Secondly, resumes are usually to be read by those who have no experience actually doing work. LOL

    Please keep us posted on what's going on... future plans..etc

    Cheers,

    Dan & Lori Wade
    Port Orchard, WA
    # Terry B Email on 07/30/08 at 06:24
    *****
    Chef, From all I have read/seen it is the idiots at TFN that have the problem. Your show was one of those definately on my DVR list of Record All. Great show with exceptional talent. A great addition to the blog would be your personal appearance calendar. I for one would love to shake your hand! I will look forward to your regular installments.
    # jgarydys [Member] Email on 07/30/08 at 08:25
    *****
    Robert, while I think Michael Symon will bring a different slant to DI, I thought your presence on the show was terrific. Thanks for the opportunity to watch you and i hope something comes along where I can again get that opportunity. In the meantime I will be an avid reader of your blog.

    Regards,
    Gary Donnelly
    Hedgesville, WV
    # Mary H on 07/30/08 at 12:10
    *****
    We will miss you Chef Robert. Hopefully you will be back on the tube soon. The best to you and your family in your future endeavors. Someday TFN will realize their stupidity....
    # Renee' B. on 07/30/08 at 21:04
    *****
    My Mum always said 'Chalk it up to experience and keep going.' I loved watching you on Dinner: Impossible and agree that you are a fine chef and have an entertaining demeanor in front of the camera. I've taken what I've read about the allegations with a grain of salt. My initial reaction was, 'Uhoh, bad choice,' but I was very disappointed at what FN did. I am looking forward to when you will be on tv again, and will continue to watch the reruns of your episodes. The new ones hold no interest for me. As a matter of fact, the one with Guy Fietti is currently playing in the background ( I like his shows too). Good Luck, Robert. Stay Strong! *hugs*
    # Linda McCormic on 07/30/08 at 23:58
    *****
    Mr. Irvine:

    Well said!

    I am in a line of work in which I deal with the public and have had the misfortune to be taken out of context and misquoted a few occasions. Never in such a public and disecting way.

    I always have felt the high-road is the only road to take.

    You are an eloquent and talented man. I for one will miss seeing you every week.

    Kindest Regards from San Diego.

    Linda


    # Tyreena on 07/31/08 at 11:43
    *****
    Robert: I am sorry that you'll no longer host D:I.

    I caught a glimpse of you on D:I while flipping channels and
    I was captivated because you are so handsome and tall and
    muscular and you moved around those makeshift kitchens
    with the grace of a gazelle.

    Then as I watched the show, I found you to be a very
    competent and versatile chef able making miracles out of
    molehills while maintaining a good rapport with those you work
    with.

    I watched several episodes and still can't understand how you pulled some meals together, but you did and everyone was
    elated with the results.

    I sincerely wish you the best of luck and I really hope
    D:I goes on DVD or download. Also, I hope to catch you
    next time you're in the Nation's Capital.
    # SW on 07/31/08 at 12:03
    ****-
    Your show was the only reason I was watching Food Network lately. Above and beyond the controversy, you're still a great chef. I loved your commentary on DI - you kept your sense of humor and the ridiculous in every situation. And your sous chefs were great, especially George, George, and David!

    I'll watch for you in other venues. You'll do better than the Food Network - their programming is terrible lately.

    Go forth and conquer!

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