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Cheftestants announced for THE NEXT IRON CHEF AMERICA

From the Food Network Press Release:


Anne Burrell - Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Worst Cooks in America (Food Network)

Michael Chiarello - Bottega Restaurant (Napa Valley), Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello (Cooking Channel)

Elizabeth Faulkner - Citizen Cake, Orson (San Francisco), Iron Chef America - challenger (Food Network)

Alex Guarnaschelli - Butter, The Darby (New York), Alex’s Day Off, Chopped (Food Network)

Chuck Hughes - Garde Manger (Montreal), Chuck’s Day Off (Cooking Channel), Iron Chef America - challenger (Food Network)

Robert Irvine - Robert Irvine’s eat! (Hilton Head Island), Dinner: Impossible, Restaurant: Impossible, Worst Cooks in America (Food Network)

Beau MacMillan - Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (Phoenix), Challenge, Iron Chef America - challenger (Food Network)

Spike Mendelsohn - Good Stuff Eatery (Washington D.C.), Kelsey & Spike Cook (Food2.com)

Marcus Samuelsson - Red Rooster Harlem (New York), 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped (Food Network)

Geoffrey Zakarian - The National, The Lambs Club (New York), 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped (Food Network)


I can hardly wait. Should be a great competition.

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  1. No way! How did they get all those celebs to go for it against all those other celebs?
    I was hoping to see Chef's Anne and Robert because those two are a kick to watch together. That will be quite a season if true.

    1 Reply
    1. wow, Spike's got one hell of a publicist. how'd he wiggle his way into such an impressive lineup?

      thanks so much for posting this, ipse. looks like it's gonna be a great season. go Marcus!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Interesting how the press release doesn't note Spike's two turns on Top Chef, however. ;-)

        1. re: LindaWhit

          'course not. notice they didn't mention Marcus' TCM win either :)

      2. Go get 'em (again), Chuck!

        1. What an underwhelming lineup. And how does Spike manage to keep getting on TV?

          1. New chefs just like the old chefs. This game's over for me.

            1. Oh man. Not Chiarello. I can't imagine him having to cook anything in an hour.
              Anne and Robert - let's see if she kicks his butt again.
              Zakarian seems better suited to OWNING not COOKING. Just as valuable, but different.

              I wish they had some amazing unknown chefs in there. There is so much more talent out there than they seem to be tapping. Come on, guys! Expend some effort and get us some more chefs. Why are there so few Asian chefs in the TV/media circuit? Some amazing food in Thailand, Viet Nam, China/HK/Taiwan/Singapore? What gives?

              1. your a little late Ipse...

                dining diva had this post two days ago...

                1. I'm not saying it ever had all that much, but the title Iron Chef is rapidly losing any credibility or respect it once held. The whole concept is that the Iron Chefs are an elite group of the best, but they've practically tripled the number in just a few years, and now they're going for level of celebrity rather than level of talent.

                  Oh well, I haven't cared to watch the show in over a year. I used to watch every episode, but it seems like it's gone downhill over the past couple of years.

                  I just can't stand to see or hear Alton Brown anymore. His narration used to be funny and clever, but now he just seems like a total douche. Some of the comments he makes towards the challengers have crossed the line from gentle ribbing to coarse, rude, and condescending judgments.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ryansm

                    Regarding your first two paragraphs, spot on. My family used to watch the original IC for hours on end and I still watch those on The Cooking Channel. It took me a little while to warm up to ICA but eventually I did, mainly because of Morimoto and Batali, who are certainly worthy of the title. Flay, for the most part as well, and also Symon. Plus, the challengers were big guns as well.

                    Cat Cora underwhelms, Garces is boring (and sweaty), and the new guy means nothing to me.

                    I tried watching the latest ep -- Battle Radish -- and could barely pay attention. Garces vs some guy I never heard of? zzzz

                    So now they are going to give us this collection? Pu-leez.

                    1. re: Bob W

                      As they say on IC(Japan) 'get that man a towel!'

                      1. re: Bob W

                        Michael Symon drives me absolutely insane. I can't stand that nervous laugh of his.

                        1. re: jbsiegel

                          It is a little kooky but it grows on you. I think he is the only interesting chef left on that show. I think Iron Chef's time has come and gone. I have grown bored

                    2. I think the problem is that they are doing this too often. It's all too soon. Maybe every 2 years would be better.

                      I'm not thrilled at how many existing celebrity chefs are on the list. Probably with the exception of Anne Burrell since she was first noticed on ICA.

                      There could of been more of a mix, and I'm not a Spike hater but for the sake of keeping the quality of Iron Chef Name from going down hill shouldn't they only Pick those TC contestants that won their season.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                        But isn't the purpose of TNIC:A to find someone who wants to continue to compete in Iron Chef America competitions? I can't see Harold Dieterle, Stephanie Izard, or Michael Voltaggio wanting to do so what with them keeping their own restaurants going.

                        And I can't see Hosea Rosenberg even being able to be a right-hand person to any of the Iron Chefs, much less competing against them. :-/

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          you make a good point. Totally agree about Hosea as well. lol

                          1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                            Hosea is certainly as good as Spike, and I would say better. And FTR, he won a number of local Iron Chef type contests before going on Top Chef. He certainly was one of the weaker TC winners, but is way better than he's often spoken of on this board.

                        2. re: Sandwich_Sister

                          The Iron Chef title lost it's luster when they turned it into a competition. The new Iron Chefs are basically game show winners, instead of what used to be, or at least perceived to be, an elite invite-only group based on skill and merit ("You don't apply to be an Iron Chef, you get asked.")

                          Cat Cora as the last "invited" Iron Chef has been awful and loses too often; Michael Symon however is the one "game show winner" Iron Chef that I'd put up there with any of the old guard.

                          1. re: Bunson

                            Yes, I agree. I am not impressed with Garces and even Cora is not all that- I am tired of Flay and only Symon is genuinely engaging. Perhaps the show is played out... In addition, the FOOD Network is not really for serious foodies or home cooks (with a few exceptions). If you notice many of the shows focus on the best diner or mass consumed food, how processed food is made ("Unwrapped") or how to cook by not doing the serious work involved in it (best example is Sara Lee with Rachel Ray being a serious contender for 2d place). The segue commercials almost all focus on processed, prepared foods...what more to say? Foodiness and enjoying the real art of cooking is, like anything else, a personal preference and the Food Network ( as a rule ) is not geared for us. There has been a bit more effort to attract us in the Cooking Channel. That said, I understand the this new competition and the contestants chosen are designed to attract their target audience and I am sure it will.

                        3. I'm a fan of Anne Burrell, she performs well under pressure and has a competitive spirit. I have noticed the changes in the show...the "wooshes" when the Chairman turns his head, etc, but it's still fun to watch. I'm amazed Robert Irvine was able to retain his status after the controversy over his resume, but I guess anyone who proves themselves deserves another chance.

                          I saw an interview with Alton Brown in which he said it was becoming difficult to find willing contestants, as a lot of chefs don't want to take the time away from their establishments, or aren't willing to be in the position of losing.

                          Just one request: When the Chairman says "In the Words of my Uncle..." Wouldn't it be funny if he said "Wop Bop a Loo Mop, a Wop Bam Boom!" instead of "Allez Cuisine!"?

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: MsDiPesto

                            haven't the 'wooshes' been there all along? They've hyped his martial arts skill since the beginning, along with the fictional relationship with the Japanese chairman.

                            1. re: paulj

                              The whooshes are pretty recent. The intro is definitely more campy than it was at the beginning of ICA.

                              1. re: Bob W

                                Really? It's always seem campy to me. Even IC Japan is campy. When did the chairman start the bell pepper - apple switcheroo? How about the handstand?


                                But after looking at this compilation of 'secrets' I may concede that Chairman has gotten more dramatic with time.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  Oh sure, it's degrees of camp. But watch the Chairman's repartee with the challengers. At first, he's very sincere and earnest, and he just says things like, "How do you think you will do tonight?" But now, he says things like, "Which chef will cringe at the mention of your mandoline??"

                                  1. re: Bob W

                                    LOL Waltz with schmaltz. Next it will be Dancing with the Next Food Network Star. ツ

                                    1. re: Bob W

                                      Yes, the show's writers have attempted to add some variety to the introduction. I don't see anything wrong or out of character with that. The campy storylines on Good Eats don't detract from the good instructional content.

                                      Have you also noticed that the MC (whether the Decarlo or Brown) has been asking the judges to give their overall impression of a contestant's offerings?

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        I personally have not been watching it for a while. Got Food Networked out I guess. All the competitions, the traveling shows, weird cuisines (worms and bugs) etc. etc. have taken up my time, my appetite and my DVR. I even haven't watched all of Melissa's and Aarti's shows yet! Let alone Rachel and Paula, and the quiet-spoken Barefoot Contessa. I received Guy Fieri's Triple D cookbook for a birthday signed by him over a year ago. Now my husband records all the Drinking Made Easy shows now that Zane no longer does Three Sheets.
                                        I want to watch a chick flick every once in a while! ツ Or even Deniro or Nicholson.

                                        OK thanks for letting me get all that out. Whew!

                                        1. re: luganrn

                                          I don't watch much FN either, except for Chopped and ICA.

                                          I don't get much out of instructional shows, either because the pace is too slow, or the content isn't very novel. Also I look to recipe for ideas rather than the details. Travel and bugs shows give me more ideas, as do some of the food trend shows on Cooking Channel. Even their table top lounge lizard is informative.

                            2. That's an impressive list. I can't wait to see it. Seeing Spike there is like seeing the losers of the Food Network Stars on Chopped All Stars. One of these things is not like the other...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chowser

                                exactly. The guy finished 5th in his season and 14th on All-Stars. But I guess he was willing to do it and nobody else was?

                              2. Wow, it is already that time again? It does seem to come around pretty quickly.

                                I am looking forward to it. It should make for great entertainment.

                                1. I'm looking forward to watching Guarnaschelli and Zakarian. I like them on Chopped.

                                  When does the next competition start?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                    it doesn't begin airing until October 30th...IMO they jumped the gun on the announcement :)

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      NIC 1 - October 2007
                                      NIC 2 - October 2009
                                      NIC 3 - October 2010
                                      NIC 4 - October 2011

                                      So initially there was a 2 year gap, but now it is an annual event.

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        i meant that the *announcement* was pretty far in advance - more than 6 months before the show airs.

                                  2. Wow! I know everyone except Spike. They are dragging everyone off their shows. And who is Spike, anyway?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: luganrn

                                      best known for two stints on Top Chef - most recently on the All-Stars season:

                                      for the record, if you look at the discussion threads about his seasons of Top Chef, i don't think you'll find a single CH who was actually *rooting* for him during either one.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        He was also a contestant on ICA and got waxed.

                                      2. re: luganrn

                                        Maybe they should give it a rest this year.