As a very recent immigrant to the United States, I have to hold my hand up and say that most American sports remain a complete mystery to me. Until recently, I thought the term “all net” referred to fishing and that a “power play” was something you found at a Van Halen concert. But, even in my ignorance, I still knew all about the Super Bowl, one of the greatest sport events on earth.
So, when Food Network got in touch and asked me if I would like to judge a very special Iron Chef America episode to air just before Super Bowl XLVI, I jumped at the chance. When I found out it was going to be filmed in Hawaii, I was even more determined to take part and, when I was told that my fellow judges were going to be the irrepressible Sunny Anderson and the current Miss Hawaii, Brandie Cazimero, I almost offered to pay for my own ticket. Almost.
What made it more exciting for everyone involved was that this episode was also going to have a very, very special audience selected from the extraordinary men and women of the United States armed forces. It made all of us even more determined to put on a great show, particularly Sunny, who is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Read more »
So you’re in Kitchen Stadium, competing against a fierce challenger who is prepared and ready to make five camera-worthy dishes featuring a secret ingredient in just one hour. As an Iron Chef, how would you face the battle? Do you have a go-to signature dish or flavor profile that you’d use? Are you a calm and organized Iron Chef, or do you thrive on impulse and take risks? Would you be sure to stay away from that pesky ice cream machine, or would you embrace its creative possibilities?
Iron Chefs Michael Symon, Masaharu Morimoto, Marc Forgione, Bobby Flay, Jose Garces, Mario Batali and Cat Cora all welcome the challenges of Kitchen Stadium, but each has his or her own unique style and culinary point of view.
Head over to Food Network’s Facebook page, find The Next Iron Chef tab and take our quiz to answer Which Iron Chef Are You Most Like?
Tune in to The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs on Sunday, October 30 at 9pm/8c to watch 10 all-star chefs battle it out for a spot in Kitchen Stadium and the ultimate culinary title.
- Follow Michael Symon's step-by-step and serve up Iron Chef-style tater tots at your big game bash.
Tater tots are hot this year, the coolest football-watching food for people in the know. And why not? They’re nostalgic, retro and unexpected. So tot it up like an Iron Chef with Michael Symon’s Crab Tater Tots (a recipe from his cookbook Live to Cook), a grown-up riff that’s totally doable with the help of Symon’s step-by-step how to.
- Get more of this Iron Chef's best recipes.
Cook up more of Michael Symon’s football party picks:
- Greek Meatballs: Spice up lamb meatballs with coriander, cumin and a touch of cinnamon.
- The Lola Burger: Take burgers to the next level by layering on flavor – cheddar cheese, bacon, a sunny-side-up egg, pickled red onions and spicy ketchup.
More tots to try:
The big game game plan: For more tater inspiration, browse Food Network Magazine‘s NFL potato skins, with one skin for each of the 32 teams. Or just dive into our playbook to find more big game snacks.
- Texas Chili Potato Skins are team-neutral and just celebrate this super Sunday in Dallas.
What snacks and apps are you planning to make for the big game?
A few words from the winner …
On why he signed on for Season 3 of The Next Iron Chef:
“The only show that I would have done on TV was The Next Iron Chef. There are a lot of other chef shows, competitions that are on TV that I won’t name by name, but The Next Iron Chef is the only one that truly says, we want to see you as a chef, and we want to see who can actually be an Iron Chef. Not to see who can entertain us with the after-work antics and all this kind of stuff. It’s about the food.”
On how his life has changed:
“Just last night, I walked back into the kitchen through the dining room and every table was looking around and pointing me out. That used to happen every once in a while, but now, every table, they’re like, “Oh! That’s him!” I got stopped on the street coming into work yesterday and again this morning…It’s wild. I’m really kind of a humble, chill person. I’m having a great time, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a big change.”
On the Next Iron Chef experience:
“I’ll be 100 percent honest: I didn’t think it was going to be as hard as it was. Not to say I went in thinking it was going to be easy, but I kind of went in there thinking, you know, you do what you do, you see what happens. Which is the philosophy that I had the whole time: Just cook your food and relax…”
Read our full exclusive interview with Iron Chef Forgione.
When we visited Chef Marc Forgione at his restaurant (in secret!) shortly before his winning moment aired on The Next Iron Chef, we wanted to see him in his element: Back in the kitchen, cooking. But Restaurant Marc Forgione is closed for lunch, so the laid-back, mohawked chef asked what he should prepare from the menu. We got back to him with this proposition: “Just make yourself some lunch. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy—whatever you’d normally whip up.”
The resulting pork belly and pickled apple sandwich is so addictively delicious, we had to share Chef Forgione’s recipe with you. Iron Chef Forgione’s recipe, that is.
- Chef Forgione's late-night lunch: The B.A.D. Sandwich
Check out the making of this sandwich and get a tour of Marc Forgione (the restaurant). Plus, read our exclusive Q&A with the newest toque in Kitchen Stadium.
- Next Iron Chef Judge Michael Symon is all smiles, three years into his tenure.
Just three years ago Michael Symon sat where Chefs Marco Canora and Marc Forgione are today, battling for a permanent place on the roster of Iron Chef America. Now he frequently dons his jacket and defends chefly honor in Kitchen Stadium. He also serves as a judge on The Next Iron Chef, hosts Food Network’s Food Feuds and hosts Cook Like an Iron Chef on Cooking Channel. Clearly that long-ago Next Iron Chef winning moment was the end of one battle but the beginning of so much more.
“I went through the competition myself and I know how hard it actually is,” Symon said recently at Food Network’s New York City headquarters. “But you know, I feel that the winner is coming into our club, and we need to protect the club, just like Bobby and Mario and Morimoto did when I came through.”
- Who will be the next chef to have a jacket hanging here?
So this season, Symon has enjoyed food from “some of the greatest chefs in America,” and is sympathetic to the fierceness of the competition, but he’s also clear eyed and critical. From battle to battle, even the smallest details made a difference in which chefs stayed and which went. In the wake of last week’s double elimination, Symon compared dishes from Chef Tsai and Chef Tio with those from the two remaining competitors. “Chef Forgione and Chef Canora’s food was just a little more over the top. And because of the nature of this competition, sometimes you have to go a little over the top to win.”
Read more »
- Chef Jose Garces's winning moment on Season 2 of The Next Iron Chef
Chef Jose Garces won Season 2 of The Next Iron Chef, and this Sunday he’ll join the judges’ panel to critique the efforts of our current rivals. We caught up with the newest Iron Chef about being in the rivals’ shoes just one year ago and what he’s been up to since his big win.
Read more »
- Would YOU want to be thown into the shark tank with this guy?
Facing down an Iron Chef is not for the faint of heart (or knife skills). When she got the call to kitchen stadium, Chef Amanda Cohen’s first reaction was “I don’t think so.”
Having just opened restaurant Dirt Candy in New York City’s East Village, Chef Cohen explains on her blog that she thought “they were looking for chumps to throw into the shark tank with their big time Iron Chefs and I didn’t want to be savaged and mauled on national TV.” However, as the first vegetarian chef asked to be on Iron Chef, she realized it gave her a platform to show that “Dirt Candy is just about food, and it’s about vegetarian food as nothing more than cooking vegetables – no politics, no health claims or virtuous living, just giving vegetables a chance to be treated as seriously as chefs treat pork.”
Pitted against Iron Chef Morimoto, Chef Cohen details her entire experience taping the show (which she calls an “epic tale”) on her blog, which we encourage you to read, as well as learn more about Cohen who also did stints at New York’s famous Angelica Kitchen and Teany.
Can the first vegetarian Chef in Iron Chef America history take down the near mythical Masaharu Morimoto? Tune in this Sunday, August 29 at 10pm/9c to Iron Chef America on Food Network and find out.
– Brandy Shearer
- Farmer Jones is this blogger's newest Facebook friend.
Celebrity chefs are everywhere these days, but I think I’ve just met my first celebrity farmer. Farmer Lee Jones supplies vegetables to top chefs all over the country, but he’s a star in his own right, always decked out in his signature bow tie-and-overalls ensemble. Check him out on Facebook—he’s got 4,832 friends!
If you caught Battle Cauliflower on Iron Chef America a couple of weeks ago, you may recognize Farmer Jones. He provided the secret ingredient straight from the farm, and also joined in on the judges’ panel. Chefs Michael Symon and John Fraser produced some incredible cauliflower creations, using not just the familiar white florets, but also Farmer Jones’s purple, orange and romanesco varieties. Notoriously finicky judge Jeffrey Steingarten called it “the most amazing battle ever.”
Read more »
We came so close to fooling you smarty pants with this addition of “What’s Shooting Now,” but in the end…. you guys reigned supreme! Here is the reveal….
This is the final tally from all of your submitted votes.
(Accumulated from both Facebook and here on FN Dish):
Iron Chef America = 37 votes
Chopped = 30
The Next Food Network Star = 4
30 Minute Meals = 1
Giada at Home = 1
Chef vs. City = 1
The Next Iron Chef = 1
A view from Kitchen Stadium above the lighting grid as the crew and culinary department make final touches on the set.