Ballpark Fun Facts — The Next Iron Chef

by in Shows, November 9th, 2011

marcus samuelsson and robert irvine on the next iron chef
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.

michael chiarello on the next iron chef

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.

More behind-the-scenes extras from Super Chefs, episode 2:

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Comments (161)

  1. Souluna says:

    I felt that the decision was spot on. The minute I saw Chiarello's plate, I knew he had it, pesto was genius. Even though I am a fan of Zakarian's I did kinda enjoy watching him get scolded, I'm glad he dodged the bullet I'd like to see him cook some more, it's nice to see him in the trenches. I'm looking forward to watching this season, great group of Chefs …I think we will often be surprised by who is on the bottom, and who leaves every week. I"m loving it.

  2. guestnothappy says:

    I agree with all the comments–BRING BACK ROBERT IRVINE! Robert Irvine would be a wonderful Iron Chef. His dishes were creative and he followed the rules that were very CLEARLY stated by Alton. Michael Chiarello did not use peanuts in a creative way–come on, FN–if your viewers can see this, why can't you? I'm so upset about Robert being booted off. WRONG choice. It should have been Geoffrey (who did not do ballpark food) vs. Michael (who didn't really use peanuts in this dish). PLEASE RETURN ROBERT IRVINE TO THE SHOW!!!!!

    • 1Dishy says:

      I so agree with you!! I Love Chef Irvine!! Plus he made that cleaver mix of hot dogs and hamburgers as a patty. And he used the peanuts 3 ways on his dish. So what that the humus was a little thick? He had no chickpeas to work with. And Zakarian didn't even do ball park food. Idiot; listen to the rules!! But I doubt they will bring chef Irvine back now that he has been booted. And if they did ask him back, he probably would say "no thanks," I already have a job. Chef Irvine has class!!

  3. robertC says:

    Michael Simon’s true colors have emerged. In strong-arming the panel to axe Robert Irvine, his disgraceful bias has become apparent. Remember, last year he strong-armed the panel to axe the talented and charismatic Marco Canora in order to crown Marc Forgione as the next Iron Chef. Forgione has since become a bust. Simon should be removed from the judge’s panel, and the FN should install a judge that does not have a stake in the outcome. I will never watch a show with Simon again.

    • FoodFan2 says:

      I agree with your inference that Forgione's food seemed less stellar than Canora's. However, I thought Canora was far from charming. When he misplaced his ingredients, he suspected his competitors or screamed at them. I actually felt he lost due solely to his personality. Iron Chefs can't be flipping out and act like sore losers. They have to take things in stride and handle pressure with a good humor.

    • exSimonFan says:

      You guys need to stay on topic! RobertC’s post was not about Canora. It was about the biased choices that Michael Simon is enforcing. I agree with RobertC. Simon needs to be removed as a judge. Whether Simon has a personal vendetta against Robert Irvine, or the fact that Simon won’t allow a chef that could become more popular, his judging is biased. Robert Irvine should not have been Chopped. The Next Iron Chef has become a farce!

    • Babbs says:

      It certainly appears that Symon has a lot of sway and the final say as to who goes home…as well as Bobby Flay during the final showdowns. Remember the fuss between Jeffrey Steingarten and Flay over chef Garces during the IC final…haven't seen Steingarten since? It was the same when John Besh and Micheal Symon squared off; personally, I have a hard time believing that Symon out cooked Besh.

  4. Paula says:

    On a recent episode of Chopped, one of the judges said that Zakarian does not like the other judges to disagree with him. Zakarian turned to look at the other 2 judges and smugly said "no I don't." He wasn't smiling so I didn't take it as a joke. So maybe the judges on Next iron Chef are afraid of him. That is the only explanation I can come up with for him not being voted off immediately for not following instructions.
    I just could not believe it when he got a pass but Chef Irvine was "voted" off. This show has lost all credibility with me. The judges have lost credibility, too. And what exactly is Alton Brown's job here. Is he just a fluff piece or might he have some influence with the judging? Someone need to have some influence as these 3 as they don't seem to follow the rules themselves.

    Thanks for letting me get this off my chest………..it's been buggin me all week. I just hope Foodnetwork execs pay attention to viewer comments. Without us viewers, you don't have a show!!!

  5. bobby_fillet says:

    I don't know why Irvine even signed up for the show. It's not his style of cooking. I like his cooking. He cooks great food for the masses and not to please hooty potooty judges. I would eat at his restaurant over all of the other candidates but he doesn't cook the Iron Chef type meal where it's all about haute cuisine and 95% of the plate is still visible after they've plated. I'll take his cooking over the others but he isn't a good fit for ICA. The only other one who cooks food that I would make or eat is Anne which is why she won't be selected either.

  6. momslifeponderings says:

    I hated to see Robert go. My 12 year old son and I are huge Chef Irvin fans with Dinner Impossible and now Restaurant Impossible. Hot burger (or was it hamdog?) was genius! It broke my heart to see him at the end tearing up. He has a huge heart. And Alton…loved the hat and coat! Michael, I completly get your comments regarding the judges' comments! With Robert gone, I've shifted my support to Michael, Anne, and Alex.

  7. kakers9 says:

    I am rewatching the show and I still believe Irvin should NOT have gone home. I don't know what the judges are looking for. When the judges were at judging the ballpark plates they had more negative things to say about a lot of the other people than they did Irvin. I usually like Symone but I think he is 100% wrong in sending Irvin home. I think Alton agrees and it shows when he brings the other chef's back to let them know why Irvin went home.

  8. Jose says:

    Somehow when Robert Irvine was "chopped" (I know wrong show) the show lost it's luster. I don't think I care about the rest. Yes, I like a few others but not really interested anymore. A contestant can "forget" to follow the rules and be saved, what a crock. No pun intended.

  9. Guest says:

    I agree with the majority here. Chef Robert Irvine shouldn't have left Iron Chef. I was truly heartbroken to see him go. Chef Robert Irvine, is the best of the best! He deserves another shot at Iron Chef! I agree that Symon seemed to have this apparent grudge or something toward Robert. Altogether, I stopped tunning out when Robert left. Robert didn't recieve fair treatment. We got to bring him back!

    • JoeR says:

      I certainly agree. How did Symon sway the other two judges to oust Robert. They should have stuck by their decision. Get rid of Symon. He seem biased every time that I see him judge.

  10. Dan says:

    Well it goes without saying that Symon couldn't put his dislike of Irvine behind him – I guess the defense his fans could give is "well symon is just an idiot who doesn't understand the IC rules"? I don't think he's THAT stupid but if you do that's up to you.

    Anyway what I was laughing about while watching this with my wife was how obviously staged this was. Now we were told that these chefs RAN from hope plate to the outfield – while picking up items – carrying them and all – in a very short time.
    Yet when they get to the outfield – these ovbiously great athletes (sarcasm) were not only NOT out of breat at all but not a DROP of sweet, a hair out of place or a smudge to their make up! Amazing! lol
    When you stop pretending it's a competition and realize it's a show – predetermined "winner" you'll stop sounding like a pro rasslin fan thinking it's REAL! lol

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