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Iron Chef has been an icon food television since launching in Japan all the way back in 1993. The show, which pits a roster of ‘Iron Chefs’ against visiting challengers in ‘battles’ to create the most exciting dishes using surprise ingredients, paved the way for generations of cooking competition shows from Chopped to Top Chef, in addition to spawning multiple Iron Chef spin-offs. The U.S.-produced edition, Iron Chef America, lasted for an impressive 13-season run before finally going off the air in 2018. But now, four years later, Netflix is rebooting Iron Chef and taking us back to Kitchen Stadium.
As People reports, Netflix has pulled together an all-star team of Iron Chefs, challengers, hosts, and judges for the new edition, dubbed Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend. Curtis Stone, Marcus Samuelsson, Gabriela Camara, Ming Tsai, and Dominique Crenn have been tapped as the Iron Chefs for the eight-episode series, set to drop June 15. Challenging them will be Mason Hereford, Curtis Duffy, Claudette Zepeda, Esther Choi, Gregory Gourdet, Mei Lin, and Yia Vang.
“Becoming an Iron Chef and following in the footsteps of chefs that inspired me to cook was the opportunity of a lifetime, pushing me and my cooking to new heights,” Curtis Stone told People, adding that his “super competitive” nature was an asset in Kitchen Stadium.
Alton Brown and ‘The Chairman’ (Mark Dacascos) will reprise their role as hosts from Iron Chef America, and will be joined by a new, third host, Top Chef winner and Arlo Grey chef Kristen Kish. Familiar faces popping up as judges include former Iron Chefs Wolfgang Puck and Masaharu Morimoto, food luminaries like Nancy Silverton and Francis Lam, and even actor-restauranteur-philanthropist Danny Trejo.
We cannot promise the show will be appropriate for viewers who are sensitive about seeing meat, but others may find it entertaining. And we can hope there will be more emphasis on plant-forward cooking than in previous iterations. Dominique Crenn has been a critic of factory farmed meat, even taking meat off the menus at her restaurants and switching in 2021 to using cultivated protein products. Marcus Samuelsson also oversaw the menu of last year’s plant-based Met Gala.
“The television landscape is rife with cooking competition shows,” Ashley Reese writes in a post on the Netflix Tudum site about the show “But would any of these shows exist without the OG stylized food competition series, Iron Chef? Probably not. Both the Japanese original and the American remake set the bar for what a high-octane cooking competition should look like. And guess what? It’s coming back, with all the drama to boot.”