Here's a novel idea: Take eight ridiculously qualified chefs and make them compete against each other. Add a lot of over-the-top theatrics, a knowledgeable — if not slightly patronizing — host, throw in a beautiful backdrop, and you've got yourself the first episode of "The Next Iron Chef." [Warning, spoilers ahead.]
Did you watch it? What did you think of it? I found it to be pleasantly surprising, and the hour went by a lot faster than I anticipated. I was, however, disappointed that the first challenge was dessert. I know that the Next Iron Chef should be well versed in all aspects of the kitchen, but was a dessert challenge really necessary right away?
However, a little dessert is not going to stop me from watching. It's a short season (six episodes), and these professional chefs totally mean business. So how about you: What did you think of the episode? Can you believe that Traci Des Jardins went home so soon? What did you think of Morou's knife skills? Is the beautiful campus part of the reason the Culinary Institute of America costs so much? And more importantly, are you going to keep tuning in?