|BY JULIETTE ROSSANT |
[Editor: To read about the winner, click here.]
The Food Network is mining Japan's Iron Chef again.
Super Chef has been making suggestions for years (see previous article "Iron Chef America Meets Survivor") about how to improve the show, and it seems that the Food Network has been studying suggestions.
This time around, the Food Network is going for the not-so-novel set up of a reality TV show competition to choose the next Iron Chef America. Eight American chefs will compete against each other – but not the original four Iron Chefs, to win the fifth spot. The result is The Next Iron Chef, a six-part series premiering October 7 (Sunday) at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
The show begs several question. How were the first four (Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Masahara Morimoto and Cat Cora) chosen? Why aren't the current Iron Chefs involved? It is not easy to figure out what the criteria are for becoming an Iron Chef. Is it owning a restaurant? Cat doesn't own one. Is it mastery of a single cuisine? Bobby cooks both Spanish, American barbecue and regional specialties. They all have previous Food Network experience: most likely, network executives chose them for TV appeal or to leverage their popularity on other shows.
What about the new contenders? These eight chefs are called "finalists" in the press release, but it doesn't make clear if they have competed regionally or in some national competition. Who to root for? The list includes:
Happily, the able Alton Brown is hosting this show, in addition to his hosting Iron Chef America, Good Eats and Feasting on Asphalt.
Will The Next Iron Chef America make for good food television? Perhaps, since all eight chefs can cook and should be fun to watch. Why would top chefs want to compete on national TV against each other? The money, the exposure, the book and consulting deals to come. Or perhaps cooking in front of a large TV audience is lots of fun.
Get ready: if things work out, then we might be seeing a sixth, seventh and eighth Iron Chef America joining the team.
Anyone taking bets on who will win?
Iron Chef America: Judge Karine Bakhoum
Iron Chef America: Milliken and Feniger v. Bobby Flay
Cooking Under Fire: Doused
Cooking Under Fire: Already Over Done?
Iron Chef America Meets Survivor
In the Audience of Iron Chef America
Cat Cora Wins on Iron Chef America
The Today Show Emulates Iron Chef America
Anita Lo Defeats Mario Batali on Iron Chef America
Iron Chef Pizza Wars: Batali vs. Puck
Cat Cora: Iron Chef America's First Lady
Iron Chef America: Running on Empty
Iron Chef America v. USA
[Food Television - complete]
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