Before Chopped, Top Chef, Cutthroat Kitchen, Cupcake Wars and the multitude of other cooking competitions that ride the cables came along, there was the pioneer for the format, Iron Chef. The Japanese show mixed celebrity judges, expensive ingredients and borderline absurd theatricality to become a cult hit before hitting Food Network in an American version in 2005. That stayed on the air for a decade before quietly being shuffled off the schedule, with the last new episode aired in 2014. But it appears Iron Chef is coming back.
If you’re unfamiliar with the format, somehow, one of a stable of celebrity chefs is picked by a guest chef to square off in a sixty minute lightning round of cooking, themed around a secret ingredient. They’ve got to get five dishes plated in that hour, and a panel of judges, usually a mix of food writers and Food Network hosts, judge who delivered the best meal. Paired with Alton Brown’s color commentary, it’s a fairly amusing show. But after 205 episodes, obviously it could use some freshening up.
Called “Gauntlet,” details about how that freshening up will happen are a bit thin. Nonetheless, considering that this will be a reboot of a remake that was a reboot of a remake , they’ll need to come up with something that stands out. The plan is to bring the revival out spring of 2017, so we’ll see what they have planned soon enough.