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Monday November 12, 2007 6:53 pm

New ‘Iron Chef’ Joins Cooking Ranks

Michael SymonIt all started with an article in the New York Post. First, they reported that and darling Mario Batali (of Molto Mario fame) was being kicked off the network, stripped of his Iron Chef rank and forced to watch as none of his shows were renewed for another season. Next, they reported that Batali would still be seen on the network from time to time, perhaps. Now, Batali has teamed with none other than Gwyneth Paltrow (how did that happen?) to host a new cooking show for American Public TV.

Batali’s departure left a hole in Food Network’s , sparking an eight-episode search for the . Sunday night, under the watchful eye of the remaining Iron Chefs (, Cat Cora and – my favorite) and the chairman, chefs John Besh and Michael Symon competed under the klieg lights of Kitchen Stadium. The mission? Make five course in 60 minutes. The secret ingredient? Swordfish.

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Broadcasting & Cable

Besh, a chef from New Orleans, was the early favorite, while exuberant Michael Symon kept hanging around through varied culinary challenges around the globe. The cast was narrowed to just these two, and final voting determined who Batali’s replacement would be. The votes have been tallied, the opinions heard, and chef will now take his place among the Iron Chefs of America.

It was a good show; I was rooting against Besh (a man plagued with arrogance) from the get-go.



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