During more than 10 seasons of Iron Chef America competition, five new Iron Chefs have been welcomed to the Chairman’s elite team of culinary superstars, an ever-changing judges panel has filled the seats at the table, new rules and altered expectations have changed the way battles are done, and hundreds of Secret Ingredients have been unveiled beneath a single altar. Throughout the years of transformation and growth, have you, Iron Chef fans, kept up with what’s gone down inside Kitchen Stadium?
As you prepare for the upcoming tournament of champions (premiering Sunday, May 5 at 10pm/9c) in which the Chairman’s standing Iron Chefs will compete against one another in an unprecedented series of battles to become the Grand Champion, brush up on the ins and outs of this ultimate culinary contest. Test your memory of past battles and Iron Chefs’ winning records, plus your understanding of judging criteria and the significance of Secret Ingredients to find out if your knowledge of Iron Chef America reigns supreme.
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One of the very great pleasures of the last few years has been getting to know Geoffrey Zakarian better, both personally and professionally.
While we may disagree a lot on the show, I have always been hugely impressed with his culinary talents and can now state, for a fact, there is no more-entertaining person on the planet with whom to break bread off set.
As Iron Chef Zakarian prepares for another season of battles in Kitchen Stadium, I caught up with him (over a martini, of course) and demanded responses to these 10 probing questions.
Read the full interview
May Madness hits Food Network this spring as Iron Chefs battle it out — one-on-one — in the first-ever Iron Chef America: Tournament of Champions
. With five episodes and a panel of revolving judges, the tournament features high-stakes, bracket-style battles between the best of the best in the culinary world. The tournament begins Sunday, May 5 at 10pm/9c
with a face-off between the two newest Iron Chefs, Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Get the full schedule
This weekend Food Network has a bunch of competition shows that show off the competitors’ extreme creativity. But first, learn how to put together dinner in a hurry, which also requires some creative thinking on the fly.
If you’ve ever been stuck in a situation with unexpected guests coming over for dinner, you know it’s tough to pull off a meal in such a limited amount of time. But on The Pioneer Woman, Ree can show you how she cooks up an entire meal with just a phone call’s notice.
This weekend the competition shows get innovative. On Sugar Dome, the teams must create food art inspired by the deep sea. On Cupcake Wars, four bakers are fighting for the chance to cater an event at the San Diego Zoo. The remaining recruits on Worst Cooks in America must train their palates and prove to Chefs Anne and Bobby that they can create unique flavor combinations from what they’ve learned. Then Chef Bobby Flay goes to battle on Iron Chef America against Chef Hong Thaimee.
Read about the shows
There is rarely a time when the large bowl in my kitchen is not filled with whatever fruity delights are in season. And when I’m worn out by my travels, it’s a delicious piece of fruit that I crave more than anything else to restore my good humor.
Of the many different types of fruit I love, it is the appearance of sweet, juicy plums at my local farmers’ market that excites me the most. This is not only because they are so good when eaten raw, but also because I love to cook with them.
I definitely picked up some new ideas for my kitchen from Iron Chef Symon and his recent challenger, Chef Tio, and I hope they will inspire you too to make even more of the huge variety of plums available today.
What are plums?
Plums, or prunus domestica, are part of the family of drupe fruits. This is a genus of plant where the seed is protected by a hard shell and, just like plums, includes peaches, cherries and almonds.
Simon breaks down the Secret Ingredient
It’s a weekend of celebrations, game-day get-togethers and competition on Food Network.
On Saturday Paula and her brother Bubba are preparing for a birthday celebration with lots of grilled and fried foods. On The Pioneer Woman, Ree is hosting a family game day on the ranch and she’s cooking up lunch afterward. Then Trisha’s having over her girlfriends for a game day filled with food. On Barefoot Contessa, Ina’s in Napa learning Thomas Keller’s secret to fried chicken. And finally Giada’s putting her twist on game-day grub.
Sunday morning Guy’s cooking with friends in Kentucky and he’s got a cocktail recipe to cap off the meal. Then on The Best Thing I Ever Made it’s meat lovers’ madness. Sunday evening it’s girls vs. boys on Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off as the celebrity teams must cater to groups of kids. And finally on Iron Chef America, it’s Iron Chef Michael Symon vs. Chef Celina Tio, former competitor on Season 3 of The Next Iron Chef.
Read about the shows
As a very proud Englishman, I know that it is tea rather than blood that flows through my veins and that it’s a very rare day indeed when I don’t pop the kettle on the stove for a nice strong “cuppa” to fortify me through a long day of work.
Although I was disappointed not to be asked to judge this particular battle in Kitchen Stadium, I was just as keen as everyone else to see what magic Iron Chef Forgione and his challenger, Chef Kittichai could come up with to give inspiration on new ways to use one of my own kitchen essentials.
Here are 10 interesting facts that you might not know about tea:
1. The word tea comes from the Chinese T’e, which was the word in the Amoy dialect for the plant from which tea leaves came. In Mandarin, the word was ch’a, which is where the words char and chai are derived from.
Fans of Iron Chef America have probably noticed that there have been a couple of significant changes in the way that winners are selected in Kitchen Stadium recently.
No longer do the chefs get the benefit of a full hour of cooking before they are asked to present their first dish to the judges — the first dish is now expected in just 20 minutes. And to add to their discomfort, at some point during the 60-minute contest, the Chairman will also wheel out a small trolley to reveal a “Culinary Curveball” to be incorporated into the final presentation. Both of these new challenges carry with them significant points and how the chef performs can put them at a major advantage or disadvantage for the rest of the battle.
I can tell you that these changes have taken a bit of getting used to, both for the chefs and the judges. Now that I have taken part in a number of competitions under these new regulations, however, I can hold my hand up and say that I am a fan of the new format.
Get to know the new rules
This weekend it’s all about cooking classic recipes with a twist, budget-friendly ideas and hard-core competition on Food Network.
On Saturday, both Paula Deen and Trisha Yearwood have a few Southern classics to share with friends and family. On Barefoot Contessa, Ina’s still on vacation in California and she’s meeting up with Tyler Florence for a date, then it’s off to a picnic with Jeffrey. On Giada at Home, Giada’s sharing her budgeting tips for making three meals out of one chicken.
Start Sunday morning off with a Cuban feast on Guy’s Big Bite. In the evening it’s off to the diner on Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off followed by an international battle on Iron Chef America.
Read about the shows
Last night’s Iron Chef America battle between Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Michael Chiarello brought one of my favorite tipples to the forefront: Scotch whisky. Instead of breaking down the ingredient like I usually do, here are 10 interesting facts that you may not know about this Secret Ingredient:
1. The term “whisky” is actually derived from the Gaelic words uisage beatha, which in turn came from the Latin Acqua Vitae or “water of life.” It’s thought that the name refers to the fact that these spirits were first used by monks for medicinal purposes.
2. The oldest reference to the production of whisky is not in fact in Scotland, but in Ireland, where it is believed that monks began distilling spirits as far back as the fifth century. The first reference from Scotland is found in the Exchequer rolls, the accounting records for the royal finances in 1494, where an allowance was made for “eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae.”
Keep reading for more facts