Next Iron Chef 3

I am curious to see what unfolds on the Next Iron Chef 3.

next iron chef on WannabeTVchef.comThe original was amazing television that was made up of past Food Network stars like Aaron Sanchez and eventual winner Michael Symon and introduced us to some new ones like Chris Cosentino (who now co-hosts Chefs vs. City with Sanchez) and TLC’s John Besh (Inedible to Incredible).

The drama of that first season lay in the fact that every contestant was an established star chef who realized that winning NIC could mean the difference between a six figure salary and a seven figure salary. Also adding to the chemistry was the fact that most of the competitors were old friends. Though there was a little friendly trash talking there was a strong sense of camaraderie among that first group.

Season 2 was not very good. With few exceptions (Amanda Freitag, Eric Greenspan, Nate Appleman and Jose Garces) there were few truly well-known chefs in the contest. What there seemed to be was an over-abundance of was contrived drama and a gaggle of idiotic challenges that did nothing to prove who was best qualified to be an Iron Chef.

There was also Jehangir Mehta, a pastry chef of all things vying to be the Next Iron Chef. Mehta, though talented, seemed to get moved along each week despite a number of tragically failed challenges, cheating and other undesirable behavior. It was clear by season’s end that Mehta was not there because he was a plausible Iron Chef but because the Food Network knew viewers would hate him and tune in just hoping he’d get eliminated.  Adding to the failure of Next Iron Chef 2 was the fact that the eventual winner, Jose Garces shot three battles as an Iron Chef in 2009 and has since been invisible.

Speculation has been rampant: Has Batali finally completed his long, drawn-out exit?  Is Cat Cora stepping away to spend more time with her growing family?  She was on MasterChef you know?  Maybe Flay, Symon or Morimoto is leaving?  The most popular assumption is that there has been some kind of falling out between the Food Network brass and Chef Garces.

Season 1 produced Michael Symon who is the winning-est Iron Chef in the history of the show having taken home victory over 80% of the time he’s gone out. Season 2 produced, well, nothing really. So just what does the third season hold? Will it elevate someone new to a title that signifies the best of the best or will it be another one hit wonder?  I guess we’ll all have to wait until October.

Meet this season’s contestants HERE.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my exclusive interviews with Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Michael Symon as well as the newest Iron Chef, Marc Forgione HERE.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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