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To be honest, Iron Chef America always seemed more like a bad ’80s Japanese action movie with zero gory fight scenes than it did a fiercely competitive cooking show but nevertheless, I’m pretty stoked for its Food Network return on April 16, 9 p.m. ET/PT. Hosted by the incomparable Alton Brown, Iron Chef Gauntlet seeks to determine which of seven uber-famous culinary artists can fry zucchini and chop saffron the very best. Also, Stephanie Izard, famed food maestro of all things Chicago and goats, happens to be competing in this thing, so YES I SHALL BE WATCHING.

The six-episode primetime series will highlight seven culinarians fighting for iron-clad glory until one valiant Warrior of the Risotto with Lobster Foam remains, the sole victor among those proverbially slain by dull butter knife. Although, wait! This champion, after winning against six others of equally esteemed ilk, must first enter the “Gauntlet” – three rapid-succession battles, each against one famed Iron Chef: Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto or Michael Symon – before being declared an official Iron Chef so his/her marketing team can henceforth brand all restaurant promo items with, “As Seen On Iron Chef!”
“In the world of Iron Chef, competitive cooking goes beyond impeccable skills – these chefs view food as both fine art and vigorous sport,” said Didi O’Hearn, Senior Vice President Programming, Food Network and Cooking Channel.
“I’ve never seen such intense scrutiny over the best way to roast a tomato,” added me. “And it’s crazy awesome.”
But I digress.
Your Iron Chef Gauntlet competitors in no uncertain or certain order are:

Nyesha Arrington

Los Angeles, California – Former Executive Chef/Owner, Leona

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Jason Dady

San Antonio, Texas – Executive Chef/Owner, Tre Trattoria

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Sarah Grueneberg

Chicago, Illinois – Executive Chef/Owner, Monteverde

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Michael Gulotta

New Orleans, Louisiana – Executive Chef/Owner, MOPHO

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Stephanie Izard

Chicago, Illinois – Executive Chef/Owner, Girl & the Goat
Stephanie Izard

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Shota Nakajima

Seattle, Washington – Executive Chef/Owner, Adana

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Jonathon Sawyer

Cleveland, Ohio – Executive Chef/Owner, The Greenhouse Tavern

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[Featured photo via Todd Plitt]

Melissa Kandel is a Southern California-based writer and the founder/author of little word studio. If you really want, you can follow little word studio on Instagram here.

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