Alton Brown Talks The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 30th, 2011

The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs kicks off on Sunday night, and we chatted with host Alton Brown about the fourth season of this all-star culinary competition.

After four years of hosting The Next Iron Chef and 10 on Iron Chef America, Alton has witnessed hundreds of culinary battles, experienced a myriad of secret ingredients and tasted thousands of gourmet plates. We asked him about the difference between a typical Iron Chef battle and that between Super Chefs. He explained, “It’s professional, but there’s the added tension of having a lot to lose. Every one of those chefs doesn’t need to prove anything, but losing still really kind of sucks. There’s a lot of tension there because of that.”

Of the rivalry between the 10 Super-Chefs, Alton assured us that the battles would be aggressive, but never malicious. “You’re never going to see any backstabbing or cattiness; they don’t do that,” he noted. We would expect nothing less from such professionals as Robert Irvine, Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell and Michael Chiarello, among others, as they are friends and colleagues outside of the competition, as well.

Always one to watch from the sidelines of the battles and observe chefs’ every chop, sauté and presentation, Alton offered what he thinks is the most common mistake made in Kitchen Stadium: “Time management. The back end of the clock running away with them. That’s the number one thing.  The last five minutes disappear like vapor. Poof. They’re gone.” Alton noted that most chefs are able to succeed in plating five dishes within the allotted 60 minutes, though they may not do so “with the level of finesse that they want.”

Though Alton has hosted a range of battles including crawfish, hot dog and seaweed, he says there’s one that has yet to be challenged that he would enjoy experiencing. “I’d love to see a broccoli battle where the judges are all kids. That’s the one that I really want, but I think that it makes the Iron Chefs too afraid. They don’t know if they can deal with that, because kids are honest; they don’t care who you are,” he says. Something tells me that Iron Chef Bobby Flay could make a mean broccoli burger that even children would devour.

Find out whose cuisine will reign supreme on The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs on Sunday, October 30, at 9pm/8c.

Related: Alton Brown Plays a Bigger Role in The Next Iron Chef Than You Might Think

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Comments (218)

  1. chris says:

    Just a thought, everybody. Several of you have commented that the judging has lowered your opinion of Alton Brown. You know, he's one of my favorites too, but please at least be fair. He's the host, but he's not really one of the judges. He offers his own opinions, but the judges are not required (and usually do not) follow his advice. And he doesn't have a vote. So, Alton, you're still tops in my book, but I do have to say, the blatant favoritism shown by one judge in particular to one chef in particular is very obvious and does reflect poorly on the food network in general. After all, why call it Super Stars when you begin with a chef no one has ever heard of?

  2. jeri says:

    Oh, and by the way, all you MS haters. Guess who's in the lead, according to the fan vote, as the favorite Iron Chef?

  3. Jenna says:

    Anne Burrell… We all know you have it, it's time to start turning it up a knotch or 2, bring it! I think it's all apart of your strategy… Very smart! Keep it up, you go gurl! You are the only one who deserves… the only one who is TRULY worthy of being an IRON CHEF! Infact you could kick Cat Cora's a$$ around the world twice! I have been a Iron Chef fan from the beginning… since the Japanese version. Alex is probably your biggest threat right now… My only concern is that you have to learn how to perform under pressure… Relax, and don't go safe anymore because the competition is starting to heat up now… & Even if I've been an Iron Chef & FoodNetwork fan all these years, I swear I will NEVER watch it again if you lose this… Good luck, my heart is with you…

  4. kit54 says:

    After tonight, 12/4, you can pretty well figure it's going to come down to Jeffrey & Alex. YUCK! Can't stand either one of them on chopped – if they're on there as judges, the channel gets changed. Such condescending attitudes when judging. One dream I have: to walk into both of their restaurants, order something & send it back to the kitchen as unfit to eat!

    • Carol says:

      I won't be surprised if Jeffrey wins…Seems that's where its been going from day one. He should not have survived to cook another day after 12/4. Anne B. was the obvious winner. I'm not sure if I'm going to watch the series until the end.

  5. lulubelle says:

    Yet another ignorant move on the part of the Food Network. Why do the judges sit there and LIE about the dishes and then select the person they made the most issues with???? I will never figure out how Chiarello stayed in the competition by making risotto….it was not a part of the challenge in any manner. He should have been able to cook Lobster in 5 minutes. I guess it isn't really about the "selected ingredient" at all but merely what Michael Symon and Alton Brown want because it sure is obvious. I would think the network could hide it a little better but over the years they continue to do it and get away with it because it seems people keep watching. Absolutely amazing some of the trash they call cooking. I sure would like to see some improvements.

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  7. Robin says:

    I am a big fan of Iron Chef America, but the show/Alton Brown need to remember that the viewing audience are not chefs and do not necessarily understand the terminology. On the episode that aired Sunday, April 8th, the chefs made many dishes or components to dishes that were referred to cavalierly and not explained. What is a pomodoro sauce? A croquette? It is no fun to watch, if we have to take notes and look up all the unfamiliar terms as we watch. PLEASE take the time to give us a little more info!

  8. You’ll find some intriguing points in time in this post but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is certainly some validity but I will take hold opinion till I look into it further. Great post , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner too

  9. Occubyeduck says:


  10. FoodNetwork-ExFan says:

    Alton Brown if you want this show to survive then it has to be just….which can only be by firing Zakarian from the judges table…

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