Where Do All The Fallen Iron Chefs Go?

Back in good ole 2006, I hit many great Vancouver restaurants. My first real fine dining experience was at WEST, one of Vancouver’s top restaurants. However, for the longest time, I really wanted to try Rob Feenie’s flagship restaurant LUMIERE. I finally got a chance to go at the tail end of 2006 and was somewhat disappointed with the food despite being showered with the over the top service. I mean, they even had a frickin’ Bread Boy. Probably the highest paid Bread Boy in town!


I mentioned how it felt like the great Iron Chef was losing his focus on his food as the food at WEST was, in my opinion, definitely much better. Vancouver Magazine agreed with me too as they took away Lumiere’s top spot in 2005 and handed it to WEST. Lumiere responded by doing a 1.2 million dollar renovation of their kitchen. With the hot new kitchen, they still couldn’t reclaim the spot when 2006 rolled along. It would seem that the rolling would roll Feenie right to the curb…

 Courtesy of Foodtv.ca

Rob Feenie is definitely one of Canada’s culinary stars. He beat Iron Chef Morimoto in the famous “Crab Battle” on Iron Chef America. He’s also had his own TV shows, a whole ton of cookbooks, and of course, he’s been the head of upscale Lumiere and Feenies, which was named after him. Wait a sec…Was? Had?

Unfortunately, in 2007, something happened to our Iron Chef. After getting the money to do that huge kitchen renovation, he ended up mortgaging himself out of his own restaurants. He had a falling out with his partners and now Lumiere has no Iron Chef and he even took his weenie out of Feenies. The burger too. It would seem that his whole culinary empire was falling apart and the Iron Chef would be left rusting in scrap metal heap of kitchen utensils.

Today, I found out where our fallen Iron Chef ended up. He’s going to be slinging his Feenie Weenies and Burgers at the Cactus Club. Rob is quoted as saying “This is definitely not a step down. This is a step up for me.” How can cooking for drunk gangsta wannabes and clubbers be a step up? He goes on to say that “Cooking is a wide range of things, from caviar to truffles to burgers.” Hmm… Somehow I don’t quite buy that. I mean, once you eat KOBE beef, does a regular steak really taste the same? It’s like saying Foie Gras is a step down from liver and onions. Rob will be joining the Cactus Club as their new “Food Concept Architect.” Damn, I wonder how long it took them to make that up.

I hope that Rob Feenie finds his inner chef again. Sometimes it takes tumbling all the way to the bottom to get back up to the top again.