HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Your top 3 choices for new Iron Chefs?

Lets say you got to select up to 3 new Iron Chefs for "Iron Chef America" ... who would you choose?

Mine would be (in no particular order):

Marcus Samuelsson
Susur Lee
Anita Lo

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Susur, definitely. He's serious business, man.
    Richard Blais would be fun to watch, or Wylie Dufresne... get a little more MG goin' in Kitchen Stadium.
    And, just because I will always carry a torch for him and he would SO entertaining, Fabio Viviani.
    When I want to make myself laugh, I go find that list of quotes from whatever season of Top Chef he competed on (there's a few videos, too) and give myself the giggles. I live within a few hours' driving distance of his restaurant... I'm going to go someday. My spouse teases me that if Fabio were there and came out to our table that I would dissolve into a babbling, googly-eyed mess. tee hee.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CapreseStacy

      jose andres
      thomas keller
      Michael White

    2. i think IC definitely needs a molecular gastronomy chef. that would be a blast to watch! so i second blaise (DID YOU HEAR HE HAS A NEW SHOW ON THE SCIENCE CHANNEL??) or dufrense

      1. Going to throw out a possibly unknown.... Linton Hopkins and agree with Blais or Dufresne.

        7 Replies
        1. re: chris2269

          The thing is with molecular gastronomy is that I don't think it's mainstream enough to garner a good TV audience. Not yet, anyway. Maybe in a few more years, perhaps. But then by then the whole molecular food movement may be passe.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            thats why i think they would be exceptional as Iron Chefs. molec. gastronomy is such a interesting and exciting cuisine, i really think more people need to become aware of it!! not only that, but how many people honestly do better asian cuisine than morimoto? or italian than batali? they have alot of the most popular cuisines covered by real masters (with the exception that rick bayless should take over for jose garces).

            so unless they could grab themselves a master of Spanish cuisine, i think molecular gastronomy is the next logical step!

            1. re: mattstolz

              José Andrés perhaps?

              Maybe Bobby Flay would object since Andrés whipped his butt already on ICA.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                read my mind on that one. andres would make a great IC

                1. re: mattstolz

                  Yeah, Andrés just has that certain gravitas you want in an IC.

                  The current contenders -- Forgione and Canora -- are sorely lacking in that dept.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    completely agree. whenever people ask me who i want to win, i normally tell them that i didnt think this season had any excellent choices to begin with, and neither of these two could come close to touching batali in the italian department to begin with.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  crap i missed that episode ..going to wiki right now to get the episode and downloading. Thanks

          2. you hit two of mine already - Marcus & Susur. the other would be Jose Andres.

            though i also think Wolfgang Puck & Hubert Keller would be fun to watch...

            4 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Puck WAS a iron chef for at least a episode or two right?

              1. re: mattstolz

                Puck was an iron chef for the very first Iron Chef America (the special where they brought ICs from Japan) and he was a blast to watch. As i recall he was clearly having tons of fun and was cooking circles around everyone else. It's been a few years though so not sure where his skills are these days.

                1. re: Ladycale

                  oh, right! i have a vague memory of that. he really was good. ok, i second my own vote for Puck :)

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Does Puck even remember how to cook anymore? He's been on the business side of things for so long that I have my doubts. Same for Flay, really.

              3. Susur Lee is fantastic! I agree.

                1. Blais
                  The Fat Guy with the weird white glasses

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    the one from Masterchef?

                    i think we can all just agree that the "Next Iron Chef" procedure for selecting new Iron Chefs, while it makes for a decent TV show, hasnt produced a good IC since Symon. when the show doesnt have good selection to start with, youre not gunna end up with a good choice.

                    1. re: mattstolz

                      How many Next Iron Chef competitions have there been since Symon? 2? Such a long track record!

                      1. re: mattstolz

                        "hasnt produced a good IC since Symon"
                        while i agree that Garces has been a disappointment, we haven't even seen a single episode of Forgione in his IC role yet. it's hardly fair to write him off already.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          thats fair enough. i will most certainly give him a shot. i was just underwhelmed with him during the competition so far.

                          1. re: mattstolz

                            glad you're keeping an open mind. i think it's better to judge them based on their performance in ICA battles *as* an Iron Chef, not in the competition to get there. his first battle airs tomorrow night...


                            of course, if he turns out to be another Garces, i'll have to agree with your initial statement ;)

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              lets hope he doesnt! i like watching Iron Chef alot more when it is a good battle between two master chefs

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                Anyone disappointed with Forgione's performance in this latest battle? He scored quite a bit better than the challenger.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  i actually enjoyed watching him. he was so calm & serene - meanwhile Cooper was sweating bullets & running around in the weeds. it felt like Forgione vs Canora again ;)

                                  i wasn't crazy about the secret ingredient, but i thought he had some fun with it. i think he could have stretched the creativity/originality a little more, but it sounded like the judges loved his flavors.

                                  speaking of the judges, i wonder if the extra discussion & Chairman's participation (and the comparisons between the two chefs) was a onetime thing to assess the new IC, or if they're going to use this format now...?

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    speaking of the judges, i wonder if the extra discussion & Chairman's participation (and the comparisons between the two chefs) was a onetime thing to assess the new IC, or if they're going to use this format now...?


                                    I really like the new judging discussion portion that they seemed to have added. Plus, I though Adam Richman and Nigella Lawson were great choices for IC judges.

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      i agree i think the creativity was a little limited by the secret ingredient this time (i couldnt think of too many other things i would do with a bell pepper as the main ingredient either) but i thought he did well. i think itll be interesting to see how he does with a ingredient that does better with more experimentation i think.

                                      i was wondering about the new questions as well. that was interesting.

                                      as for nigella, im not a huge fan of hers, so i wasnt a fan of her being a judge, but i was happy surprised with adam!

                                    2. re: paulj

                                      Nope. Thought Forgione did well. He was fairly inventive, and behaved like an IC. Good for him. I do think he will bring a lot of creativity to the show and do well because of that as a big factor but will also bomb on occasions because of what seems to be a variability of his overall concept and/or execution as shown on his season of TNIC. I'll take him over Canora - I'll prefer to be surprised by some wonderful concoction of his from time to time rather than the safe middling route of Canora.

                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  How about hasn't produced a good Iron Chef in competiotion since Symon?

                              2. re: C. Hamster

                                "The Fat Guy with the weird white glasses"
                                Graham Elliot Bowles?

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet


                                  I think he would be entertaining, at least.

                              3. The first season had a lot of strong chefs - Chris Cosentino, John Besh, Aaron Sanchez and of course Symon.

                                I think each season seems to be less and less stronger chefs. I think some of the chefs from Top Chef could fair a lot better, (Blais, Voltagio Brothers, Jen Carrol, for example)

                                I would like to see a super strong season next year

                                something like

                                Susur Lee
                                Richard Blais
                                Marcus Samuelson
                                Tom Douglas
                                Wylie Dufrense
                                Susan Feniger
                                Jennifer Carrol
                                Michael Voltagio
                                John Besh
                                Chris Cosentino

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                  Season 2 had several strong chefs as well, but you're right, they seem to be fewer & farther between as the seasons progress.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Yes and I'm not meaning that those who have been on the show are untalented because it takes more than just talent. It's not just about being a chef.

                                    Thinking on your feet
                                    Obeying a time limit
                                    Charisma / Charm
                                    The ability to do well on camera

                                    Some just don't lend well to these kinds of competitions

                                2. April Bloomfied
                                  David Chang
                                  Fergus Henderson
                                  Great inventive food and FUN to watch!