|Hosts (Iron Chef USA)|
Sissy Biggers (Sideline Reporter)
|Host (Iron Chef America)|
Kevin Brauch (Sideline Reporter)
|Commentary (Iron Chef USA)|
Anthony Dias Blue
Iron Chef: USA (and then Iron Chef: America) is a cooking game show that features two chefs competing against each other to create dishes using a pre-selected "theme ingredient" during a time period of an hour.
Even though both Americanized versions of the show are blanketed under the same Iron Chef name, they are not related to each other.
Like its predecessor Ryōri no Tetsujin, a challenger (a very successful chef in his or her own right) will pick and face off against one of the Iron Chefs. The Chairman then reveals a "theme ingredient"; this is the ingredient that must be used in the dishes that the two chefs make. Both chefs have an hour to complete their dishes (usually five); all using this theme. Anything that is either not finished before the time limit or does not include the theme is either not tasted or tasted but not judged (the latter has happened on at least one occasion during the original Japanese run).
During season 11 of the Food Network version, there's a new rule: first dish is due to the judges in within 20 minutes after the start, and at some point, the Chairman will unveil a so-called 'culinary curveball'. It could be ingredient, equipment or plating device that both Chef must incorporate it into at least 1 remaining dishes.
After the hour, the dishes of both chefs are brought to the judges for tasting. They will critique each dish and judge them under three categories: Taste, originality, and presentation. In season 11, additional 20 points is also available: 15 points for the first dish, and the other 5 is for the usage of the Chairman's 'culinary curveball'. After all of the scores are added up, a winner is revealed by the Chairman.
Iron Chef: USA
- Todd English (Iron Chef American). "Captain America". Competed in the first of the two episodes.
- Alessandro Stratta (Iron Chef Italian). "Italian Scallion". Competed in the second of the two episodes.
- Jean-Francois Meteigner (Iron Chef French). "Battering Bon Vivant". Did not compete.
- Roy Yamaguchi (Iron Chef Asian). "Samurai of Stir-Fry". Did not compete.
Iron Chef: America
Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters
- Wolfgang Puck. Would leave the show after the mini-series.
- Mario Batali. Would stay after the mini-series; worked Iron Chef: America seasons 1-6.
- Bobby Flay. Would stay after the mini-series; has worked Iron Chef: America since its debut.
Iron Chef America: The Series
Including Flay and Batali, the show has also featured the following:
- Masaharu Morimoto. Was an Iron Chef in the original Ryōri no Tetsujin. Currently still with the Food Network series.
- Cat Cora. The first American female Iron Chef. Was with the series from seasons 1-10.
- Michael Symon. Winner of the first season of The Next Iron Chef; joined in season 5. Currently still with the series.
- Jose Garces. Winner of the second season of The Next Iron Chef; joined in season 8. Currently still with the series.
- Marc Forgione. Winner of the third season of The Next Iron Chef; joined in season 9. Currently still with the series.
- Geoffrey Zakarian. Winner of the fourth season of The Next Iron Chef; joined in season 10. Currently still with the series.
- Alex Guarnaschelli. Winner of the fifth season of The Next Iron Chef; joined in season 11. Currently still with the series.
The show aired on UPN as Iron Chef: USA in 2001, with two episodes. Food Network produced a four-episode mini-series called "Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters", where two of the Iron Chefs from the original Ryōri no Tetsujin competed against and alongside Food Network personalities in 2004; the mini-series would set the stage for Iron Chef: America in 2005.
Iron Chef: USA
In the 2001 UPN run, William Shatner played the part of the host and Chairman, ruler of Kitchen Arena. Commentary was provided by Michael Burger and Anthony Dias Blue, with sideline reporting from Sissy Biggers.
Iron Chef: America
In both the 2004 mini-series and the 2005 series, Alton Brown is the commentator and host. The Chairman of Kitchen Stadium is played by Mark Dacascos (in a storyline where he is the nephew of Ryōri no Tetsujin Chairman Takeshi Kaga). Sideline reporting is from Kevin Brauch.
Based on the Japanese series Ryōri no Tetsujin.
The Next Iron Chef - Reality competition aired on Food Network in 2009.
Food Network also spoofed the show on Good Eats with Alton Brown in 2010 participating in a show entitled "Scrap Iron Chef" hosted by "Flip Spicerack" where the mystery ingredient was bacon and his chosen opponent was someone named "Chef Prairie". Alton sabotaged his opponent's dish (pork belly stew) by adding kimchi (a smelly Korean dish made with fermented cabbage) to it. Despite his dishes getting rave reviews (cured bacon used to make a BLT Sandwich, grilled radicchio with bacon vinaigrette,) he still lost the match.
The two-episode Iron Chef: USA was released on DVD by Lion's Gate Entertainment.