Introducing ‘The Next Iron Chef’

The Next Iron Chef

Apparently the Food Network has decided that reality TV is a good place for the network to go after a few seasons of The Next Food Network Star. Back in July, a new show for this October called The Next Iron Chef was announced. Now we know a bit more of the details behind the need for an additional Iron Chef. YumSugar has the scoop on the announced departure of Iron Chef Mario Batali for presumably greener pastures on PBS. Batali has been a fixture on the network since 1996.

The new Iron Chef will join the continuing 3 Iron Chefs. The new show debuts October 7, 2007 and will be hosted by Alton Brown. The judges include Michael Ruhlman, a frequent buddy of Anthony Bourdain and winner of a James Beard Foundation Award. The most exciting aspect of the new show is the quality of the contestants. Gone are the questionable cooking talents of contestants on The Next Food Network Star. In a change from The Next Food Network Star, the contestants didn’t audition for the show, they were handpicked. This is the announced roster of chefs vying for the Iron Chef title:

  • John Besh (New Orleans, LA) Executive Chef, Restaurant August, Besh Steak, Luke and La Provence
  • Chris Cosentino (San Francisco, CA) Executive Chef, Incanto
  • Jill Davie (Santa Monica, CA) Executive Chef, JOSIE
  • Traci Des Jardins (San Francisco, CA) Executive Chef & Co-Owner, Jardiniere, Mijita and Acme Chophouse
  • Gavin Kaysen (San Diego, CA) Chef de Cuisine, El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn
  • Morou Ouattara (Washington, DC) Executive Chef & Owner, Farrah Olivia
  • Aaron Sanchez (New York, NY) Executive Chef & Owner, Centrico and Paladar
  • Michael Symon (Cleveland, OH) Executive Chef & Owner, Lola and Lolita