Verdun-based chef takes on ‘Iron Chef Canada’ challenge

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WATCH: The chef and owner of Restaurant Su on Wellington street in Verdun is taking on the best of the best in the industry. Chef Fisun Ercan will be a contestant on the Food Network show "Iron Chef Canada". – Aug 9, 2019

When Fisun Ercan got an email inviting her to compete in Iron Chef Canada, she thought it was a joke.

“I didn’t even believe it because this was my dream since a very, very long time,” she said.

But then, someone called a few days later asking if she was interested.

“I was like aaaaaaaaaaah!!! yes,” she laughed.

Iron Chef Canada is a TV show in which guest chefs face off against the show’s Iron Chef in a head-to-head competition. Each has to prepare five dishes using one secret ingredient in front of judges.  They have just 60 minutes.

READ MORE: Iron Chef Hamachi recipe from Iron Chef Canada

Ercan said it was intense.

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“The kitchen stadium is a platform that you can test yourself, or showcase how flexible you are and how adaptable you are to spontaneous changes,” she explained.  “There are many distractions but you just have to focus and stay calm without losing your creativity.”

Even now she remembers the pressure, and the thrill.

“My god, I’m talking about it and my heart is like pounding,” she exclaimed.  “It was so exciting!”

The stress wasn’t all that unfamiliar to her, though.  Her daily job as owner and chef at Su, a Turkish restaurant on Wellingtom Street in Verdun, prepared her for the challenge.  There’s a lot to juggle: staff, clients, and general operations.

READ MORE: Gail Simmons and Chris Nuttall-Smith, from ‘Iron Chef Canada,’ talk making show uniquely Canadian

“But then we have to stay focused and keep going, keep going, keep going,” she pointed out.

Cooking is a way of life for the former computer programmer.  She learned to cook as a child growing up in Turkey.

“My mother, my grandmother taught me how to cook so it was normal for me,” she told Global News.

Now her clients — like Janice Weinman — love what she makes.

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“The food’s insane,” she said.  “I’ve eaten here a couple of times and it’s fantastic.”

Others, like Traci Allen who lives in the area, are thrilled that one of their own will be on the show, noting that it’ll likely bring some visibility to the restaurant, and to Wellington Street as well.

“It’s really exciting,”she said beaming.  “It’s really exciting for this community here.”

“So good,” agrees Weinman.  “She’s gonna nail it!”

The show has already been taped but Ercan won’t say how she did because of her contract with the show.

She appears on Iron Chef Canada this fall.

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