Chef Robert Irvine ready for SoBe fest

Judging by Robert Irvine’s chiseled physique, you pretty much know instantly this guy doesn’t shy away from a challenge. Whether it’s lifting weights or aiding failing restaurants, the super muscular chef likes to be front and center, literally sweating it out. The Restaurant Impossible star likes doing things for other people, even at his own expense.

With Irvine’s new Food Network series Restaurant Express, premiering at 9 p.m. Nov. 3, the 49-year-old Brit heads to Las Vegas to give nine chefs a chance of fulfilling their lifelong dream of launching their own place.

The winner gets the sweet executive-chef spot at M Resort Spa Casino.

In February, Irvine will hop into the South Beach Wine & Food Festival fray, attending numerous events including the always entertaining Fun and Fit as a Family at Jungle Island. He loves teaching kids about food, starting with his own two daughters Annalise, 16, and Talia 12, (he is married to wrestler Gail Kim; the girls are from a previous relationship).

“You don’t want them sitting inside and letting the computer be the babysitter,” says the Tampa based chef. “Nothing can replace the one-on-one time you get with your kids.” They inherited his love of food. “They’re just not mac and cheese and chicken fingers. They just came back from Paris and were eating snails! I used to shop for food with them when they were little. Kids listen if you make education fun.”

Tickets on sale for the SoBe Wine & Food Fest at or 877-762-3933.