SEATTLE, Wash -- His restaurant, Adana, has become a Capitol Hill hot spot. And the man behind the stove, a rising star in Seattle’s food scene.
"We do kind of a homemade Japanese food. A lot of stuff my mom use to make growing up. Nothing too crazy fancy but there are some tweaks on it so it looks like chef-y food."
"I got a call one day from a few casting directors and I was like yeah, that sounds like fun."
Little did he know they wanted him as a contestant on a revamped version of Iron Chef called, Iron Chef Gauntlet.
"I actually watched a lot of it when I was growing up with the Japanese version when I was in elementary school with my family,” Said Nakajima. "So it was kind of a trip being on a show I watched growing up."
The new version of the show differs quite a bit from the original recipe.
"The original Iron Chef and how they do it is more one to one, but this one there's seven competitors in the beginning and they battle each other to get to the next round."
As soon as cameras started rolling, the challenges began.
"It's a kitchen that I never worked in before. That was one of the hardest things. Understanding the pantry station all that stuff and trying to learn it really quick was definitely a challenge."
He says his focus was on his food. Not his competition.
"I wasn't trying like, looking around like what was going on, not trying to pressure myself more, it's more like I see ingredients, I'm going to cook with it,” Said Nakajima. "I kind of had the same mentality that I had in my, like if I was in my own kitchen."
"It was hard, but it was fun at the same time cause it's challenging and it made my brain twist all over the place."
You’ll have to tune in Sunday to see how Chef Nakajima does. But no matter how his performance turns out, he wouldn't mind going back into battle on more time.
"I'd definitely do it again."