Original culinary competition continues with premiere of 'Iron Chef Gauntlet' Sunday, April 16
One-hour special retrospective 'The Legend of Iron Chef,' new series 'Iron Chef Eats' & digital companion series also set to launch April 16
The elite culinary skill, strategy and stamina of "Iron Chef America" returns to Food Network this spring with "Iron Chef Gauntlet," a fresh reboot of the fan-favorite franchise hosted by Alton Brown.
The six-episode primetime event begins with seven chefs competing for the chance to become an Iron Chef. Each week, one will rise and one will fall until a single chef is left standing. In order to gain entry into this ultimate culinary society, one gladiator must win the gauntlet: three rapid-succession battles, each against one legendary Iron Chef: Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto or Michael Symon.
"Iron Chef Gauntlet" premieres Sunday, April 16 (9 p.m. all times). It is preceded by the one-hour special, "The Legend of Iron Chef," at 8 p.m., which celebrates historic moments. What follows is the series premiere of "Iron Chef Eats" at 10 p.m., where familiar faces from "Iron Chef" reveal their favorite food spots from around the country. Online, a digital companion series rolls out simultaneously with new episodes, offering fans culinary inspiration, along with tips and tricks that home cooks can use in their own kitchens.
"In the world of 'Iron Chef,' competitive cooking goes beyond impeccable skills - these chefs view food as both fine art and vigorous sport," said Didi O'Hearn, senior vice president programming, Food Network and Cooking Channel. "The 'Iron Chef Gauntlet' finalist will go up against three culinary legends - and our audience is sure to be on the edge of their seat to find out if he or she has what it takes to join their ranks."
"Iron Chef Gauntlet" competitors are: Nyesha Arrington (Los Angeles, executive chef/owner, Leona); Jason Dady (San Antonio, executive chef/owner, Tre Trattoria); Sarah Grueneberg (Chicago, executive chef/owner, Monteverde); Michael Gulotta (New Orleans, executive chef/owner, MOPHO); Stephanie Izard (Chicago, executive chef/owner, Girl & the Goat); Shota Nakajima (Seattle, executive chef/owner, Adana) and Jonathon Sawyer (Cleveland, executive chef/owner, The Greenhouse Tavern).
In the first five "Iron Chef Gauntlet" episodes, the competitors endure two grueling rounds of cooking starting with the "Chairman's Challenge," where Alton delivers a themed challenge and is the sole decision-maker on the most and least successful chef. The winner then selects a competitor to join the bottom chef in the "Secret Ingredient Challenge," where he or she must cook three dishes featuring the secret ingredient presented on the altar.
A panel of rotating judges sends the least successful chef home each week, while the winner is sent back to battle. In the finale on Sunday, May 21, the last chef standing has the Iron Chef title in reach - but first, the chef must run the gauntlet - three rapid-succession secret ingredient battles, each against one legendary Iron Chef: Flay, Morimoto or Symon. Only if the finalist receives more points than the Iron Chefs combined will history be made, with that person joining the coveted ranks of Iron Chefs. Otherwise, the chef will leave the kitchen in utter defeat.
In the premiere episode, Alton welcomes the seven chefs and presents the first "Chairman's Challenge" ingredients: an array of wild ingredients. The chefs must use their expert technique to make a top-tier dish right out of the gate. Alton determines the most and least successful dishes, and the bottom-rated chef is thrown into the deep end for a "Secret Ingredient Showdown" against a competitor chosen by the winner.
Three culinary interpretations of the secret ingredient are presented from both chefs to judges Donatella Arpaia and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and one competitor is sent home.
Upcoming guest judges include Iron Chefs Cat Cora, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces and Alex Guarnaschelli, and food experts Ali Bouzari, Anne Burrell, Giada De Laurentiis, Anya Fernald, Ching-He Huang and Ludo Lefebvre.
A new digital experience debuts with the "Iron Chef Gauntlet" premiere at FoodNetwork.com/IronChefGauntlet where fans can join Alton for a look behind-the-scenes, meet the challengers and check out the array of tools the chefs bring to battle. Plus, Iron Chefs share their best memories of battling in Kitchen Stadium.
Join the conversation on social media and watch for exclusive content with the hashtag #IronChefGauntlet.