'Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend': Who is Mason Hereford? Meet the owner of America’s Best New Restaurant 2016 by Bon Appétit
When it comes to the 'Iron Chef' kitchen, the challengers and the chefs are certainly out to prove their worth in the kitchen -- it's as cutthroat as it gets. And now, with 'Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend', the show sees "five new trailblazing Iron Chefs will welcome brave Challenger Chefs to the reimagined Kitchen Stadium, where they'll face off and be pushed to the limits of endurance and creativity, as they cook up extraordinary culinary creations. The competition’s most successful Challenger will return to battle in a grand finale for the chance to be named the first ever "Iron Legend.""
While the Kitchen Stadium has the likes of Curtis Stone, Marcus Samuelsson, Gabriela Camara, Dominique Crenn and Ming Tsai waiting to see is going up against them, the challenges are more than ready to prove their worth! Meanwhile, you're on the prowl for culinary reality shows to sink your teeth in, you might want to consider 'MasterChef Junior' and 'MasterChef: Back to Win'.
Who is Mason Hereford?
Chef Mason Hereford was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and is the grandson of the University of Virginia’s president, Frank Hereford (Col '43, Grad '47). As per his website, having grown up in and around the university, Hereford developed a love for a turkey and cranberry relish sandwich called the Jefferson. This affiliation for dining out and sandwiches continues to blossom over the years. In a conversation with Tilit, Hereford explained what led him down the path of culinary arts. "yeah, I guess as much as the next guy. I didn’t have like romantic feelings, like stuff on the kitchen floor while my mom cooked. But you know I was always obsessed with eating and I’ve always had an affinity for dining out," he noted.
"And then I started working at bars. I really liked partying. And then I found out in the service industry you never have to grow up, but you still get to do cool shit. And then I kind of fell in love with cooking professionally. But yeah, I’ve always been into dining. I really like eating food. It’s like up there with anything else in the world," he explained.
Hereford's advice to young chefs
While he has worked with restaurants around the country, his claim to fame was certainly his own sandwich shop, Turkey and the Wolf, known for its fried bologna sandwich. It even won the title of America’s Best New Restaurant in 2016 by Bon Appétit Magazine. He also went on to open Molly’s Rise and Shine in 2019. With the success he's earned so far, Hereford doesn't believe that there is a one-size-fits-all recipe when it comes down to it.
"Oof. It’s hard to give advice without sounding like a f--king asshole. It’s like you want to say something like don’t be afraid to be yourself and do something that just seems cool to you," he noted, when asked to give advice to fellow aspiring chefs. "But also, if I say that as advice that comes off as me trying to say that’s what I did. I’m not trying to sit here and talk about what I’ve done. Yeah, I guess I’d say do you. Don’t be afraid, it’s something we all have to deal with. Doing things for the first time is going to be scary but keep trying," he added.
'Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend' premieres on June 15, 2022 only on Netflix.