Cook Like an Iron Chef

Review: Cook Like an Iron Chef with Michael Symon

Cook Like an Iron Chef with Michael Symon

I finally got a little more quality time with the Cooking Channel so I am attempting to review several of the shows I have not seen.  This time around Cook Like an Iron Chef.

I really dig Michael Symon’s cooking.  I enjoyed he and Wayne Harley Brackman together on the old Melting Pot show from Food Network’s adolescent days.  I like his performance on Next Iron Chef and the year he replaced Robert Irvine on Dinner: Impossible but it is on Iron Chef America that I have become a serious Symon fan.

Do you know that Symon has by far the best winning percentage of any established Iron Chef?  He’s good for a win somewhere around 80% of the time.  That’s impressive.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Symon last year and in that interview you get a glimpse of his creative process (HERE) but on Cook Like an Iron Chef you get a full blown look.  From the Cooking Channel web site:

Iron Chef Mike Symon is breaking out of Kitchen Stadium to share his creative process and techniques for turning your favorite secret ingredients into unique, daring and delicious food. Chef Symon arms you with an arsenal of dishes that deliver perfect 10’s for taste, presentation and creativity to help you do battle for the discerning judges at your own kitchen table.

The set is very cool with Iron Chef knives all over the walls and even two sous chefs (what’s that all about and more to the point – where do I apply?).  The stainless steel and heavy metal look of the set matches Symon’s shaved dome and tattooed sleeves perfectly.  The “offal” T-shirt was a nice touch and something that is close to my heart.

Cook Like an Iron Chef is a show for advanced cooks who already know how to use a knife and are familiar with professional lingo.  It is exactly what I look for in a stand-and-stir show.  It airs Thursdays at 10pm ET on the Cooking Channel.

ICA: Flay vs. Andres

iron chef America, wannabe tv chef

SPOILER ALERT: This is the recap of a classic ICA episode from

Theme : Goat

Chefs : Chef José Andrés challenges Iron Chef Bobby Flay.

Full Recap

Secret Ingredient: Goat

Iron Chef Bobby Flay’s Dishes
Goat Meatball Salad
Chile Relleno with Picadillo of Goat
Red Curry Goat with Risotto Cake
BBQ Goat Taquito with Queso Fundido
Tagine of Goat

Challenger José Andrés’ Dishes
Goat Tartare
Goat Couscous
Goat Ribs and Corn on the Cob
Goat Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes
Goat Milk Sorbet with Red Wine

Tim Ryan – President Culinary Institute of America
Rene Syler – Anchorwoman CBS’ The Early Show
Jeffrey Steingarten – Author “The Man Who Ate Everything”

Iron Chef
Taste: 24
Plating: 12
Originality: 12
Total: 48

Taste: 27
Plating: 14
Originality: 14
Total: 55

Winner: Chef José Andrés

ICA: Flay vs. Thiam

Finally a new Iron Chef!  After the fiasco of last week known as Cupcake Wars (if Twitter comments are any indication that phrase is doomed) we need an actual cooking contest to cleanse our palates, call it Reality Sorbet.

Pierre ThiamPierre Thiam is the master of Contemporary West African cuisine.  Which stands to reason since the acclaimed Brooklyn chef actually hails from Senegal.  Today he is the executive chef at Le Grand Dakar where he has pledged to introduce a love of African food to America.  And judging by the critics’ chatter he is doing a good job.  Thiam has also sought to further educated the American palate with his book Yolele! Recipes From the Heart of Senegal (available at  For more on Chef Pierre here is a fine article from Friend’s Eat.

Senegalese food is famous for its spicy, intense flavors.  But Iron Chef Bobby Flay is no stranger to spices of any kind.  Both chefs seemed to be in their element when the secret ingredient was announced, papaya.  The judges for tonight were Karine Bakhoum (who looks fabulous after dropping some weight but she has retained her voluptuous curves.), Art Smith and Alpana Singh, the youngest woman ever to be inducted into the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Click HERE for the outcome.

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New Cooking Show Round-up

Cooking Channel Announces Programming Slate While Food Network Welcomes New Series and Returning Favorites

NEW YORK – April 20, 2010 – All burners are firing at Scripps Networks Interactive in the food category, with Cooking Channel and Food Network unveiling new shows for 2010, it was announced today by Brooke Johnson, president, food category for Scripps Networks Interactive.


Cooking Channel, the newest network from Scripps Networks Interactive, will launch May 31st. The network by food people, for food people will feature a diverse lineup with new, original shows including Unique Eats, Foodography, Drink Up, Cook Like an Iron Chef hosted by Michael Symon, and Foodcrafters with Aida Mollenkamp. The network will also feature the U.S. premiere of shows like Food Jammers, Indian Food Made Easy, and Caribbean Food Made Easy.


Unique Eats
Premieres: May 31
Unique Eats spotlights America’s most exciting and revolutionary restaurants, providing the first look and the last word in everything extreme in food today. The locations range from high-end dining rooms to casual neighborhood treasures and even roving eateries with no permanent addresses.

Premieres: May 31
Happy hour comes to Cooking Channel with Drink Up! hosted by Darryl Robinson, a.k.a. “Dr. Mixologist,” of the Hudson Hotel in New York City. From the first pot still, producing fiery drops of proto-vodka to today’s creative and complex cocktails served by mad-scientist mixologists in sexy lounges, Drink Up! shows viewers how those drinks got into their hands.

Premieres: May 31
Aida Mollenkamp uncovers the hidden handmade food secrets found across the country. Travelling from coast to coast, she unlocks these culinary treasures and show viewers how to bring them all home.

Premieres: May 31
Food has shaped the way our culture and world have evolved around us. Hosted by CBS Sunday Morning’s Mo Rocca, Foodography showcases these cultural food themes by taking a look into the past, present, and future of iconic, classic, and trendy foods.

Food Jammers
Premieres: May 31
Each episode of Food Jammers features a high-impact, low-fi culinary contraption conceived, designed and constructed in the Jammer’s warehouse studio. This tasty, madcap food odyssey satisfies viewers’ cravings for unusual viewing adventures.


Spice Goddess
Premieres: May 31
Bal Arneson reveals the power of using fresh, wholesome ingredients to make delicious, simple, everyday Indian meals. In each episode, Bal delves into the world of herbs and spices and show how just a pinch of this and little bit of that can put pizzazz into any dish.

Indian Food Made Easy
Premieres: May 31
Chef and food writer Anjum Anand brings a lighter, fresher approach to classic Indian dishes, making simple, mouth-watering meals. Anjum helps friends and viewers overcome their fears of planning, preparing and making Indian food by guiding them through shopping and dispelling the myths around Indian cuisine.

Cook Like an Iron Chef
Premieres: July
Iron Chef Michael Symon teaches viewers the skills and techniques needed to cook like an Iron Chef! Along the way, Michael is joined by chef challengers and other Iron Chefs who reveal their mysterious methods in tackling secret ingredients.

Caribbean Food Made Easy
Premieres: August
Levi Roots travels around the United Kingdom and the Caribbean revealing how delicious Caribbean food can be created at home with easy-to-prepare, mouth-watering recipes using fresh, healthy and readily-available ingredients.

Classic Cooking Block
Premieres: June 1
This block features: Julia Child and Galloping Gourmet. Bon Appetit!


Food Network features the debut of new primetime series 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Food Trucks (WT) and Kid in a Candy Store, plus the return of fan-favorites, The Next Iron Chef: Season Three, Works Cooks in America: Season 2 and The Next Food Network Star: Season 7.


Premieres: June 18th at 10pm ET/PT
It’s cupcake vs. cupcake in Food Network’s tastiest competition yet! In each episode, four of the country’s top cupcake bakers face off in a series of challenges testing their creativity, flavors and presentation, vying for the right to present their cupcakes at a major event. They will be judged on taste and presentation, and only one baker will win the gig.

Premieres: July
Hosted by renowned chef Scott Conant, each episode of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle features dueling teams of aspiring restaurateurs who have 24 hours to conceive, plan and open their own restaurants for one night. Once the doors open, diners will be served along with Scott and a rotating panel of judges representing three areas of expertise: restaurant marketer, restaurant reviewer, and restaurant investor. The winning team receives $10,000 in seed money toward realizing their dream!

Premieres: July
Adam Gertler’s mission is to find the best, most outrageous, most innovative, and also most loved sweet treats in the world. Adam travels the United States to visit bakeries, restaurants, food carts, and factories where America’s favorite candies are produced. From wild and wacky twists on traditional favorites like deep fried cupcakes or sweet beet ice cream to the most scrumptious and creative candy, cakes and frozen snacks in the country, this sweet joyride makes viewers feel like a kid again.

Premieres: August 15th at 10pm ET/PT
Tyler Florence hosts as seven teams of the country’s best food truck cooks hit the road to sauté their way across America. Each week, the teams that sell the most food in the challenge city race to the next episode, and the losing team drives home. One food truck team comes out on top and wins a $50,000 grand prize!


Premieres: Fall 2010
Kitchen Stadium once again opens its doors to find a new culinary warrior in the sizzling primetime series The Next Iron Chef, hosted by Alton Brown.The reality competition challenges top chefs from around the country in a series of demanding situations, testing their culinary skills and mental toughness for the ultimate prize: to become an Iron Chef.

Premieres: 1st Quarter 2011
The most hopeless cooks in the country return to compete in the high-stakes elimination series, Worst Cooks in America. Robert Irvine (Dinner: Impossible) joins Anne Burrell as host and competitor to put the recruits through a culinary boot camp they won’t soon forget! At stake for the last two standing is the chance to cook for a panel of esteemed culinary critics and to win the grand prize of $25,000.

Premieres: 2nd Quarter 2011
Food Network’s number one series, The Next Food Network Star, returns for a seventh season. This season follows new hopefuls competing for the ultimate dream job: his or her own Food Network show. With this coveted prize on the line, the finalists strut their star power and culinary chops for host Bobby Flay and the selection committee to see if they stack up against the competition.

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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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