Tasting Table
20 April 2017
Decades later, ‘Iron Chef’ is still defining the food TV landscape

Food Network's Alton Brown with a wry smile as he chats
with a contestant on Iron Chef Gauntlet

“Allez cuisine!”

With the crunch of an apple and a wave of his hand, the illusive chairman kicked off the battle of the Kitchen Stadium, pitting two talented challengers against each other in a competition of speed, agility and cooking prowess, and in the process completely captivated audiences across America.

It's the opening scene, of course, of Food Network’s Iron Chef America, a cooking competition that challenged successful chefs from around the country to compete against veterans like Bobby Flay, Cat Cora and Masaharu Morimoto. It's just one iteration in a decades-long legacy of food-focused television that began with Japan’s original and delightfully offbeat Iron Chef.

"I've said before that it's the Dr. Who of cooking shows: It's gone through multiple permutations, has been both kitschy and serious, and has had its ups and downs, but it's beloved. It's got a straightforward formula that works every time. Maybe it's even the Jeopardy of cooking shows," says Alton Brown, the original Iron Chef commentator and host of the series' new chapter, Iron Chef Gauntlet.

Read the full story here.

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