Growing up watching Iron Chef, I was mesmerized by both the original Japanese program as well as the American rendition. Watching chefs actually battle each other in competition using specifically designated ingredients proved to be the jolt of adrenaline my teenage self needed to help me replace whatever I was pumping into me from endless servings of Surge soda.
Fast forward to today and the thrill is back, knowing Iron Chef will be returning this summer to Netflix to help remind folks that it’s still the biggest and baddest cooking competition, as well as the OG. In Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, the battle royale format returns, pitting challenging chefs against culinary icons, thee Iron Chefs.
This latest iteration of Iron Chef sees host Alton Brown and Chairman Mark Dacascos reprising their roles, with new co-host, Chef Kristen Kish joining the two. Its format will have five new Iron Chefs doing battle with Challenger Chefs in the reimagined Kitchen Stadium. The most successful Challenger will return for more culinary combat in a grand finale for the chance to be named the first ever “Iron Legend.”
Catch Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend on Netflix this summer, when it premiers on June 15, 2022.
Susur Lee is a Canadian celebrity chef who’s accrued accolades such as being an official Iron Chef in Iron Chef Canada and “Top Chefs of the Millenium” by Food & Wine, so the stats alone speak for how heavy his game is in the kitchen.
His son, Jet Bent-Lee, has a dedicated following on YouTube and TikTok, where one particular clip on the latter platform has garnered nearly 16 million views. The viral visual shows Jet’s father, Chef Lee, transforming a meal from Panda Express into a five-star gourmet dish.
The popular TikTok vid displays a flourish of technique from Chef Lee, who even resorts to rinsing clean the Panda Express noodles to recreate it into a crispy nest that serves as a cozy landing for an egg crepe filled with his retooled fried rice.
Chef really pressed the reset button on Panda Express and reloaded the game with the house special at any one of his restaurants.
Bobby Flay made his name with over 15 years worth of Iron Chef showdowns, but his Food Network competition days came to an abrupt end back in October after he made a dramatic exit from the show.
On-set sources revealed to Vanity Fair that during the taping of the new Iron Chef Showdown, Flay took off his apron and revealed a shirt that read, “THIS IS MY LAST IRON CHEF BATTLE EVER.”
It was definitely not something the show’s producers were expecting, and when they rushed the stage to tell Flay that it would be hard to edit out his shirt, he reportedly said, “I know. That’s the point.”
After the incident, Flay tried to say it was a joke, but at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival this weekend, he confirmed that he indeed is done with Iron Chef, saying:
“I’ve done over 100 Iron Chef competitions and frankly they are exhausting. When I do a season, I do between 6 and 8 [battles] in a week and it crushes me because it’s 60 minutes of pure energy, creativity and execution. So at some point I was like, ‘I’ve been doing this for a long time and I want to go out on a high note.'”
Flay then went on to say that he wanted it to be a surprise, and boy was Food Network surprised, as Flay said they were a little peeved at him for the shirt stunt.
Still, Flay said no bridges were burned and he’s still proud of his time on Iron Chef, but it’s a young man’s game now, and he seems at peace with that.
The only thing we love more than eating and cooking is watching others eat and cook. Whether it’s real-life kitchen masters or fictional hungry patrons, we cannot get enough of people preparing wonderful-looking food or dining on it. We sit from the comfort of our couch, bed, or theater seat and revel in the idea of enjoying such tasty treats, even if we must briefly live vicariously through those on the big or small screen. So let’s talk about our favorite food-themed movies and television shows.
In Jon Favreau’s love letter to cooking and the DIY approach, Chef shows what it’s like for one man to bail on a popular L.A. restaurant to find his culinary truth in a food truck. He lovingly serves up Cuban sandwiches across the country with his best friend and son, rediscovering what made him fall in love with being a chef in the first place. Plus, there are so many close-ups and sound clips of food being cooked, that you can’t get through the flick without eating.
With some legitimately gorgeous shots of Paris, Ratatouille tells the story of a seasoning expert, foodie rat teaming up with a young goofball in a highly touted restaurant’s kitchen. Remy the rat is mocked by his family for his love of flavor (although they come around) as Alfredo the human is mocked for his lack of skill (although he comes around, too). It’s a cute tale that focuses on what food-lovers will do in order to earn their keep in the culinary world.
A Cook’s Tour / No Reservations / The Layover / Parts Unknown
It seems like we could just watch Anthony Bourdain bounce around the globe and eat forever. He’s our favorite person to send out into the world to try, taste, and savor the cuisine we don’t have the luxury or luck to do ourselves. He’s respected by his peers and he seems like a guy who’s ready to have a beer with you. He can be all things, but, aside from his life as a chef, he’s best at being a guide.
When an exceptional chocolatier and daughter move to a French village filled with rather stiff religious traditionalists, they don’t exactly fit in. But the charming confectionary shop begins to turn the tide, transforming the stern locals into colorful enthusiasts one by one, all as the mayor rallies against such a nest of temptation. It’s hard not to treat your sweet tooth after watching Chocolat.
In The Trip, both a show and a movie, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play fictionalized versions of themselves on a restaurant tour in England. It’s largely an effort for Coogan to impress his foodie girlfriend, despite being a pretty unhappy person. Throughout the adventure, the two men bicker like brothers and attempt to outdo each other, especially when it comes to impressions, always eating at fancy eateries. And then The Trip to Italy came a few years later.
Iron Chef / Iron Chef America
Iron Chef has been a fascinating staple of the culinary world since it began in mid-90s Japan. Its original incarnation only lasted until the turn of the century, but the cooking show’s since splintered off into individual country concepts, including Iron Chef America. It’s a dramatic timed cook-off, with each episode focused on a specific secret ingredient. Given the hosts’ passionate delivery of each competition, a standard set by “Chairman Kaga” back in the day, it’s pretty dang memorable.
So much happens around a family’s dining room table that we tend to forget its importance. It’s so constant and true that it seems too obvious to be valued. But in this movie about a Chicago family that has Sunday dinners together every week, we’re reminded of how much we engage each other sitting around and eating. While every event of our lives certainly doesn’t happen in the dining room, we discuss, debate, and catch-up at the table, ideally over good, hearty food.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
In the fascinating documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, we behold Jiro Ono and his journey to serve his life goal of perfecting sushi. He’s no novice, though. When we meet him, he’s already the 85-year-old owner of a celebrated sushi restaurant in Tokyo known as Sukiyabashi Jiro and been a qualified sushi chef since 1951. Many consider him the most masterful sushi craftsman alive, with even former President Barack Obama once claiming that Ono’s sushi is the best he’s ever had in his life. It’s magical to behold a professional so dedicated to and passionate about his craft.
There are many programs like Top Chef, and even some spin-offs, but this has always been a favorite. Chefs compete against each other and try their best to impress a panel of celebrated figures from the food industry. It’s been around for more than a decade now, having brought in such big names as Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, and Anthony Bourdain along the way.
Julie & Julia
Scrumptious food and the people behind it have a tremendous impact on us. Such was the case when Julie Powell tried to make all 524 recipes from Julia Child’s bestselling book Mastering the Art of French Cooking (written alongside Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle). Powell kept tabs on her progress via a blog that later became this film adaptation, telling the story of Powell figuring out life in the process of her self-appointed cooking challenge as well as Child making her way through Paris and Le Cordon Bleu. It’s lovely.
On Good Eats, Alton Brown dove into the what lead to the final result of food. He was all about history, science, technique, and equipment. People compared him to the likes of Bill Nye and Mr. Wizard, if they only focused on food. Brown seemed to love what he did over the course of more than a dozen seasons. In fact, the show earned him both a Peabody Award and a James Beard Foundation award nomination for “Best T.V. Food Journalism.”
Stanley Tucci’s film about two Italian brothers trying to make it on the New Jersey restaurant scene in the 1950s is a masterpiece. Even Roger Ebert started off his glowing review by claiming that Big Night was “one of the great food movies.” It’s not hard to see why. The film shows and talks of food as if it is the most powerful and wonderful force in the world. The process of cooking is as celebrated as it is honored, but always with the acknowledgement that you can’t satisfy every single eater.
The French Chef
Julia Child’s cooking show in the ’60s and ’70s celebrated the encouraging chef’s love for all things food. The French Chef was one of the first shows of its kind in the United States and it made the fanciest of French cuisine seem doable in the homes of American audiences. She was like the Mr. Rogers of the culinary world, and the show won her a Primetime Emmy as well as a Peabody Award.
Not too long ago, Food Network revived one of their most iconic series: Iron Chef. Named Iron Chef Gauntlet, the show brought back fan-favorite host Alton Brown as he introduced the world to a new generation of chefs hungry for the Iron Chef title.
Well, it looks like fans will get another hearty serving of Iron Chef with a new series called Iron Chef Showdownaccording to Food Network. This series, however, will have something that Gauntlet was gravely missing: Mark Dacascos, ‘The Chairman’ from the original US series.
Fans of the original US series will remember Dacascos’ eccentric Chairman who would announce the secret ingredient at the beginning of every episode. His flamboyant personality and gratuitous backflips made him a beloved figure in Iron Chef lore.
Notable food celebrities slated to appear include Bobby Flay, Jose Garces, Michael Symon, and many others. Grubstreet reports that the series will air sometime in the 4th quarter of 2017 with Alton Brown returning to host.
The hit Food Network show Iron Chef is back… well, kind of.
The channel’s new spin on this classic show, Iron Chef Gauntlet, just premiered yesterday, and it feels more like a modern-age competition/reality show than the Iron Chef of old.
Instead of the traditional Iron Chef style of two top-rated chefs squaring off in an intense culinary showdown, seven chefs will now be trekking through a series of episodes in an elimination-style reality/cooking competition show to have the chance to face three Iron Chefs and join their ranks if all three are defeated.
The pilot episode had chefs making a single dish based around a specific theme (in this case, wilderness food) and presenting them to host Alton Brown for tasting and judging. This was very akin to several of the dish challenges you’d find in the first half of a Hell’s Kitchen or Top Chef episode, since they also have single dish challenges based around themes for the individual chefs to cook, even when on separate teams.
Alton put on his best Gordon Ramsay impression while tasting, even pretending not to like someone’s dish before praising it. The drama of that moment definitely made me feel like I was watching Hell’s Kitchen or some other contemporary reality cooking show, not Iron Chef.
Afterwards, the worst chef from the challenge and one chef picked by the winner faced off in an elimination challenge. This is where two chefs make a trio of dishes based on a secret ingredient, which then gets judged. The loser of that challenge gets eliminated, and the remaining chefs move on to the next episode.
Basically, this TV show keeps the essence of Iron Chef with the secret ingredients, but all of the challenges are ones you’d find in already existing and successful shows, like MasterChef, Top Chef, and Hell’s Kitchen.
If that sounds interesting to you, definitely check out the first episode above and see if you’re down to continue watching. If so, you can catch new episodes on Sundays at 9 pm EST/ 8 PM CST on Food Network.
While it may be a mashup of modern shows and concepts and not really like the original show, Iron Chef Gauntlet is still an interesting concept nonetheless.
Fans of Iron Chef America will be stoked to hear that the show is coming back. According to Variety, Food Network announced a brand new retooling of the show with culinary mad genius and funny man Alton Brown returning as the host.
The new series will be called Iron Chef Gauntlet and viewers can expect some new twists on the series’ classic format. While the original series featured notable chefs like Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, and Michael Symon, there’s still no word on who will appear in Gauntlet. Though with Food Network’s extensive talent pool of chefs, it’s safe to say we’ll get some pretty big fish from the culinary waters.
Iron Chef aired for 12 seasons and concluded in 2015. Iron Chef Gauntlet begins production in early 2017.
Here’s hoping Mark Dacascos returns as well. Dude’s a national treasure.
The first time we met Chrissy Teigen she was scarfing down chalupa stuffing at a Taco Bell Thanksgiving dinner (they exist). She’s one of the most charming, potty-mouthed people we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, well versed in both froufrou gourmet and fast food munchie talk. Foodbeast got the chance to catch up with her a few weeks ago, getting the word on her stint as a judge on Snack Off — think Iron Chef for Stoners — and the vilest thing she’s ever put in her mouth.
Sheesh, she’s a homie.
If Nancy Grace came over for dinner, what would you cook her?
That depends if she has any allergies, because I would cook all of those foods. Inside one fantastic pie.
John Legend’s [her husband] most impressive dish?
My personal favorite thing that John makes is his fried chicken. I bought him a deep fryer for each house, for each coast, because I needed him to make it whenever I need. He does an amazing mac n cheese. A little more intricate, three cheeses. It’s wonderful. People demand it every barbecue we have.
In-N-Out or Five Guys?
I’ve actually never had Five Guys before. I think maybe I did in the DC airport. I don’t recall it because I was probably a little hungover. I’ve had In-N-Out so many times. I absolutely love In-N-Out but those fries kill me. The In-N-Out burger over any other burger, but I will take McDonald’s fries.
Have you ever gone Monkey Style?
Wait! What’s Monkey Style?
Animal Style Fries stuffed in an In-N-Out Burger.
Oh. My. God. That’s Bonkers Style. I’m a 100 percent down.
If you could run your own restaurant, what would you have on deck?
I don’t think I’d ever own a restaurant really. I think that anyone that thinks that they can do it are usually the wrong people.
I would love to open up a bed and breakfast. I would love to have a very small menu, with 3 apps, 5 main, and maybe 2 desserts and 1 special or something. I think all menus should be super limited, do they best you can with them, rather than those large menus. I would do my mom’s scalloped potato dish, a shepard’s pie or chicken pot pie. I love anything with a poached egg on it. So a salad with lardons, honey mustard vinegrette, with a poached egg. Tomato soup. I make the best tomato soup. Definitely a beautiful roasted chicken dish with seasonal vegetables. Fish and Chips with my dad’s famous tartar sauce.
As you can see this menu has no clear vision. It’s a very classy b&b.
Just throw on some truffle sauce and you’ll be fine… Do you watch Kitchen Nightmares?
I’ve seen every single episode. What I don’t understand is why don’t they clean up if they know he’s coming and why are those mistakes so fixable?
That being said: Guy Fieri or Gordon Ramsay?
I would rather hang out and have a good time with Guy. I might want to go to a fancy restaurant with Gordon. I actually did go to his restaurant [Fieri’s] in NYC. We went in with every intention of making fun of it and we walked away tail-between-our legs. The food was excellent and the decor was hysterical. You have to take it for what it is and enjoy it.
Most ridiculous thing you’ve judged on Snack Off?
The most vile I’ve put in my mouth on the show was a smoked salmon tartar olive baguette topped with a red maraschino cherry. It was horrific.