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Coming Soon to a TV Near You...Next Iron Chef 4

Food TV just released the line-up for the Next IC 4, and I have to say it looks like a strong line-up. About 90% of the list is culled from the stable of existing FTV "talent".

For everyone that was disappointed Alex Guarnaschelli didn't compete in the recent Chopped All-Stars, you'll get your chance to see her compete on IC 4.

Here's the complete run down on the list of competitors - http://eater.com/archives/2011/04/19/...

Donatella Arpia is gone as a judge. I'm okay with that; she was pretty much a loose cannon last season.

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  1. Spike Mendelsohn?

    He must have a great PR/booking agent.

    1. No Donatella? Thank GOD. She didn't impress me as knowledgable, fair, balanced, or consistent. Plus, she's the most annoying Food Network judge since Karine.

      1. now, if they would just get rid of that smarmy, phony, Alton Brown.

        1. jeeez..
          are they just going to keep going every year?
          at the rate they are going there wont be anybody to challenge them...cuz everybody will be an iron chef..

          in 10 years there were only 6 iron chefs japan...
          and they only replaced someone when they left/retired...

          1. I noticed Cat's name missing from the line up of current Iron Chefs.

            Impressive list but they should just give it to Ann and be done with it. She's a monster in the kitchen!

            2 Replies
              1. re: Dee S

                I'm not a big fan of Cat Cora and she always seems to lose on Iron Chef (she won last week but that was the first time in ages I remember that happening).

                I'm pretty excited about the lineup though there's a few oddballs that seem to be there only for ratings/celebrity quotient. I'm pulling for Anne or Marcus!

              2. Didn't Marcus Samuelson compete in a past TNIC season?

                Michael Symon is the only TNIC winner who ever really seems to compete in the show. I've seen a couple of episodes with Garcia, but I think only one with the most recent winner (can't even remember his name). There does seem to be a lot less Bobby Flay on ICA though, Morimoto is only a rare guest, and I haven't seen Battali compete in years. I can see how there could be some room for some new chefs, but they should go ahead and officially retire some of the current bunch.

                Also, it would be fun to see some non-FN talent compete. Then again, even TCM is having to really scrape for who could be considered a 'Master' in this season. If these shows keep airing once a year, eventually you will run out of the true top notch talent.

                8 Replies
                1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                  Wikipedia is a great resource for wins/losses, battles, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Che...

                  Battali hasn't appeared in a while, but hasn't been dropped and still hopes to compete according to wiki. And it's Garces, not Garcia, and Forgione is the recent NIC winner.

                  This lineup looks good, it should make for good TV, at least. But I think they could have done a lot better than Spike.

                  1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                    Didn't Marcus Samuelson compete in a past TNIC season?
                    no, he's been a judge and a challenger on ICA - he lost to Flay in Battle Corn - but never a competitor on TNIC. he won season 2 of Top Chef Masters, that's probably what you're remembering.

                    re: Batali, he cut all ties with the network back in '07 after they canceled his shows: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national...

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      That is not true about Batali, how could it be when he's been on ICA since 2007? Not often, but he was on in the middle of season 6 (2008) and also once in season 8 (2010). According to this interview from July 2010: http://www.slashfood.com/2010/07/29/b... he may or may not be on some more (starts around 6:40).

                      1. re: LurkerDan

                        if you watch any episode from '09 or '10, you'll see that Batali is NOT among the IC's when they're introduced in the opening sequence. he was on it until about halfway through '08, which makes sense if they already had those episodes in the can...and his sole appearance in 2010 was a one-off for the special White House episode. who knows, maybe things will change, but i didn't fabricate that article.


                        ETA: by the way, i did watch the video - thanks for the link. but it is from 9 months ago, and he still hasn't appeared in an episode since the White House battle...which he mentioned.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Mario was one of the last respectable chefs FN had on their roster...not giving him a show said volumes for the direction the network was heading. Their ratings decline reflect that direction as well.

                          1. re: Bunson

                            agree on all counts! i just *finally* called the cable company last week and had them add the Cooking Channel to my lineup, and i'm loving the old Molto Mario episodes :)

                            1. re: Bunson

                              Who were the other respectable chefs on FN?

                              How do you account for the climb in FN ratings up to 2009, well after Mario had a regular series with them? Molto Mario was last filmed in 2004 and not aired after 2007.

                              Is it possible that Mario has lost some of his TV charm? His Spain travel/cooking show on PBS did not garner great reviews on Chow. At times I felt like I was the only one who liked it.

                              1. re: paulj

                                FN phased out their "better" chefs for TV personalities and game show contestants. If Food Network had to replace all of their competition programming what would they be left with? A whole bunch of Guy Fieri and "The Best Thing I Ever Ate". Oh, and at least it looks like they're putting on new episodes of Good Eats that they can piggy back with re-runs to fill an entire hour.

                                Best food show on TV for me right now is Eric Ripert's "Avec Eric"...well-produced show with lots of good information.

                    2. Jeebus Christmas, Anne and Robert AGAIN????

                      I love love love Anne but FFS. Has America run out of chefs?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: coney with everything

                        anne burrell sucks
                        chuck hughes is great but i dont understand why he would tarnish his name by associating himself with this inane show

                        1. re: celfie

                          Anne annoys me with all of her gutter talk when cooking, I don't want to hear fond called crud ect.

                          I do find her competitions with Robert Irvine amusing though.

                      2. I personally like Chuck Hughes the best, but if I were a bettin' girl, I'd put all my money on Ann Burrell. She's also fun to watch, and she'd be too busy on Iron Chef to talk to all her food in her growly voice.

                        1. Spike Mendelsohn ?

                          I was under the impression that Iron Chef was supposed to be the epitome for serious, accomplished chefs, not a place for chefs that have achieved fame for showboating on television and operating successful burger joints. Is FN really that desperate?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: taos

                            Spike was a challenger on ICA and lost, I suspect he's only there because he has that "young edgy" personality that Food Network hopes draws in the young hip demographic, and also makes for a good Iron Chef personality. I can't really stand the guy and hope he's out of the competition early.

                            1. re: Bunson

                              the young and hip dont take their eyes off a iwhatever long enough to even care.....

                            2. i'd love to see Marcus take this...it would be pretty darned impressive if he won TNIC after winning TCM.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I have to agree that this is a boring line-up though it is in line with my waning interest in the show except when Symon competes. While Anne Burrell was a good sous chef under Batalli I don't think she holds up well on her own. Her restaurant in the Village IMO is awful. In fact I found the food close to inedible. Irvine is good at what he does (massive quantities of food) and if I catered a huge event he's be my guy but he is simply not and Iron Chef. It is a dreary line-up and I doubt I will watch. The same is holding true for this season of TCM - it is a singularly uninteresting group. Sometimes these tv networks need to know when a format is played out and move on

                              2. Why don't they stop? To paraphrase an old saying they already have too many chefs and not enough Indians.

                                Burrell was great with Batali, but I don't know about her being an Iron Chef. irvine's good on his shows too, but I can just hear him yelling "Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa!" several times during the competition and that would turn me off. I like Alex G a lot. I was rooting for Aaron Sanchez when he was competing, but he was eliminated way earlier than I would have guessed.

                                I don't think they need another Iron Chef, actually, although I think it might be good if there was another female IC, even up the ranks a little.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: EWSflash

                                  If you have seen the most recent ICA shows, Cat Cora is no longer there so she si being replaced.

                                  1. re: LikestoEatout

                                    good riddance, never really liked her cooking anyway.

                                    1. re: LikestoEatout

                                      She has been on two of the current season's shows, once on a team with Irvine, and once with leg of lamb. The lamb episode is only 7 episodes back.