Celebrity chef heavyweights compete to become next Iron Chef

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Indy Lifestyle Online

It's being billed as the most competitive, star-studded battle for the chance to cook in Kitchen Stadium. Some of the most familiar faces in food TV have been tapped to compete to become the next Iron Chef, a list that includes celebrity chefs like Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Chiarello and Anne Burell.

Among the ten of them, the celebrity chef competitors are James Beard Award winners, have prepared menus for presidents and heads of state, or are just simply "at the top of the culinary pyramid," said Bob Tuschman, senior vice-president of programming and production for the Food Network.

The eight-episode season of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs is being shot in Los Angeles and New York, and will test the competitors' mettle with challenges like "sudden-death cook-offs" using just one ingredient and ballpark food gone haute cuisine. Another episode strips the chefs of their creature comforts - a kitchen and a stove - and asks them to create a primitive, Boy (or Girl) Scout meal using just meat and heat.

A preview for the show promises a drama-filled series with clashing egos, unexpected twists - and more clashing egos.

Judges for the competition include food journalist Simon Majumdar, the original Next Iron Chef Michael Symon and UK Iron Chef Judy Joo.

The winner will join the Iron Chefs and the "culinary elite" Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione, Masaharu Morimoto, and Symon on Iron Chef America.

The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs premieres Sunday, October 30 at 9 pm EST/PST on cable channel Food Network.

The first Iron Chef battle with the new chef will premiere Sunday, December 25, 9 pm EST/PST.

Meanwhile, Bravo's popular program Top Chef takes the competition to San Antonio, Austin and Dallas in Texas for their ninth season. A premiere date has yet to be announced.

Here are the 10 competitors for The Next Iron Chef:

Anne Burrell, Michael Chiarello, Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli, Chuck Hughes, Robert Irvine, Beau MacMillan, Spike Mendelsohn, Marcus Samuelsson and Geoffrey Zakarian