Behind the scenes on the Next Iron Chef, Food Network’s culinary production team is responsible for making sure that the rival chefs have everything they need to cook and present their dishes — from a stocked pantry to plenty of serving vessels. Executive culinary producer Jill Novatt shared some fun facts about what it took to pull off the ballpark challenge at San Diego’s Petco Park in episode two.
How many hours did it take to film the Petco Park baseball challenge?
Seventeen hours. We started setting up at the stadium at 4am and loaded up our truck and rolled out at 9pm to drive back to L.A.
What pantry ingredients were provided in addition to the food the chefs collected from ballpark stands?
Dried spices, fresh herbs, olive oil, canola oil, salt and pepper, and that was it.
How many concession stands were open for the chefs to shop for ingredients?
Four concession stands and three food carts. Each chef’s bag [of ingredients] weighed a ton! They were so heavy we could barely carry them.
What was provided for each chef’s cooking station?
Each chef just got salt and pepper and a cutting board and then there was a shared equipment bank that included pots, pans, bowls, fryers, food processors, stand mixers (with meat grinder/sausage attachments), meat grinders, meat slicers, ice cream machines and blenders. All equipment was communal.