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Iron Chef America Coming to Food

9/28/2004 7:57 AM Eastern

Getting a sweet taste from previous specials, Food Network will turn Iron Chef America into a full-course series next year.

The network said production will begin in its state-of-the-art Chelsea Market Studios in New York Oct. 7 on 10 Iron Chef America episodes. The one-hour installments, which will be co-produced by Triage Entertainment, are expected to premiere in primetime beginning in January.

Based on the Japanese cult classic, originally produced by Fuji Television, which was first served on Food four years ago, the Iron Chef America series will pit domestic chefs like Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Masaharu Morimoto against such challengers as Ming Tsai, Govind Armstrong and Robert Trevino.

As in the Japanese format and the previous specials, a secret ingredient will be revealed to both chefs, who will then have one hour to create a tasting menu for a panel of judges who will score each dish for taste, presentation and originality.

Alton Brown (Good Eats) will reprise his role as the resident food historian, scientist and commentator, while Kevin Brauch, Fine Living's Thirsty Traveler, will provide the play-by-play from Kitchen Stadium.

Triage and Food partnered on the Iron Chef America: Battle of Masters specials, which aired over the weekend of April 23-25. The programming stunt whet the appetites of some 12 million viewers, boosting Food to a 0.8 household rating for the week of April 19-25, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

The Iron Chef America: Battle 4 Tag Team Finale -- in which Flay and Morimoto topped Batali and Hiroyuki Sakai (secret ingredient: fruits de mer) -- was the most-watched show in the channel’s history, averaging more than 1.3 million viewers April 25 at 10 p.m.

September