The granddaddy of timed cooking battles is back — and not a moment too soon. Nearly four years after Iron Chef America closed the kitchen on the U.S. version of the worldwide hit, this latest iteration offers up the hourlong war between one of five Iron Chefs and a challenger, using, as always, a secret ingredient (Episode 1: lamb!).
Alton Brown returns as host, alongside Kristen Kish, in an expanded Kitchen Stadium bursting with culinary possibilities.
“The level of [items] being brought in living, dead, and in between…I’ve never seen it before,” says Brown.
In the new series, titled Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, the challenger who scores best with judges — in presentation, taste and use of the ingredient — in the first seven episodes returns in the finale vs. all five Iron Chefs; the winner is crowned “Iron Legend” by the Chairman (Mark Dacascos).
“A lot of gimmickry [from Iron Chef America] was stripped away,” Brown says of Quest. “Now, it’s pure, simple cooking.”
Below, we break down the timeline of the various Iron Chef iterations, starting in 1993 Japan.
Eat! Prey! Gloves!: The original debuts in Japan on October 10, 1993, with Chairman Kaga presiding and three Iron Chefs.
Speaking Through Food: Hilariously dubbed episodes airing in the U.S. on Food Network become a hit in 1999.
Big Stateside Welcome: Food Network airs Iron Chef America in 2004, with Bobby Flay among the participants.
More International Flavor: The show that’s had versions the world over adds Mexico and Brazil later this year.
Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, Series Premiere, Wednesday, June 15, Netflix