A pair of San Francisco chefs will be amongst America’s hotshot chefs looking to become the fifth American Iron Chef.
Today, the Food Network announced its newest show: “The Next Iron Chef.” The culinary competition will debut in October and will include Chris Cosentino of Incanto (and recent Iron Chef fame) and Trace Des Jardins of Jardiniere (and recent Beard Award fame). The other six contestants are John Besh (Restaurant August/others, New Orleans), Jill Davie (Josie, Santa Monica), Gavin Kaysen (El Bizcocho, San Diego), Morou Ouattara (Farrah Olivia, DC), Aarón Sánchez (Centrico/Paladar, New York) and Michael Symon (Lola/Lolita, Cleveland).
Most of the competitors have already appeared on “Iron Chef America” as challengers. Here’s how they stacked up on the show, as well as their cuisine of choice, according to Wikipedia:
• Cosentino (Italian): In Battle Garlic, Batali defeats Cosentino.
• Des Jardins (French-California): In Battle Shrimp, Des Jardins defeats Batali.
• Besh (French): In Battle Andouille, Besh defeats Batali.
• Ouattara (African/Middle Eastern/French Fusion): In Battle Frozen Peas, Flay defeats Ouattara.
• Sanchez (Latin American): In Battle Black Bass, Sanchez and Morimoto tie.
• Symon (American/Mediterranean): In Battle Asparagus, Morimoto defeats Symon.
Our iniitial reactions: Cosentino certainly has the personality and creativity to pull it off, but is his rustic Italian cuisine too similar to Mario Batali’s? Will we see something different from him? With Flay, Mario and Morimoto already in the mix, will one of the two women have a slight edge to accompany Cat Cora? With all the New York filming, can a West Coat-based chef really be an Iron Chef? How much of an advantage will the unique cuisines of Ouattara and Sanchez be?
Most importantly, who’s your pick to win?