Kitchen Stadium once again opens its doors to find a new culinary warrior in the sizzling primetime series The Next Iron Chef. The series returns for a second season on Sunday, October 3, 2010.
In the third season of The Next Iron Chef ten new chefs are introduced. Nine of them are successful, but unknown outside their restaurant's area, and Ming Tsai - formerly host of his own cooking series. Ming Tsai being there is a bit intimidating to some of the other chefs. The ten contestants are Marco Canora, Bryan Caswell, Maneet Chauhan, Mary Dumont, Duskie Estes, Marc Forgione, Andrew Kirschner, Mario Pagan, Celina Tio, and Ming Tsai.
The contestants are presented with a bread as their secret ingredient and told they have to create a sandwich that tells something about who they are. Initially the task sounds easy, but the chefs has to make a sandwich worthy of an Iron Chef. The contestants stress about their sandwiches and begin to create what they hope will be their masterpiece.
As always, things do not go as planned for the chefs. Equipment fails, foods do not come out as expected. At the halfway point in the time, many of the chefs start to get worry. The various personalities of the contestants start coming out as they work hard under such extreme pressure. Some of the chefs misjudged the time, which also created problems. Some of them react well to the competition and others do not. Each chef tries to explain to Alton why they chose the sandwich they did and what is involved in it.
What sets this show apart from the various other cooking competition shows is Alton Brown. He adds a touch of melodrama, not unlike that found in the original Japanese Iron Chef series, and obviously enjoys his role. He explains the ingredient and the contestants' task with humor, but at no time does he seem sadistic or want the contestants to fail. The chefs interact well with him, and do not treat his questions as they cook as an intrusion. Even as he acts as their taskmaster, he also tries to be a calming presence.
Once the sandwiches are finished, the contestants learn a big surprise. The contestants are going to judge each other's sandwich. Each chef explains his sandwich and presented it to the others. The sandwiches are tasted and critiqued by the chefs' competitors. One of the key things the contestants are looking for in this episode is ingenuity, and it is not lacking in this show. Be sure to watch the premiere to learn who the competitors are, and see if you can figure out who will become the Next Iron Chef.