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Does The Next Iron Chef Feel Too Much Like Top Chef?

To my surprise, I was riveted by last night's episode of The Next Iron Chef. In week two, the first challenge focused on simplicity — creating a single bite of food — while the other involved innovation in the form of so-called molecular gastronomy. This science-inspired form of cooking, practiced by Wylie Dufresne of WD-50, involves strange equipment and chemical ingredients such as xanthan gum. The challenge was so bizarre it was fascinating, and the chefs performed well in very unfamiliar territory.

The more I watch The Next Iron Chef, though, I'm struck by how similar the format is to Top Chef — from the frantic kitchen scenes with a big red digital timer to the familiar feel of the judges' table. But I still like Iron Chef, even if it feels like a slight ripoff. How about you?


Join The Conversation
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Tom Colicchio is a cutie!! I'd like for him to dip his bald head in some extra virgin olive oil and rub it all over my body. Except he's married, I think.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
"they only get pretty people to be judges" on top chef? really? Tom Colicchio- co owner and founder and former exec chef of Gramercy Tavern in new york (which was voted top restaurant twice), a recipient of FIVE james beard awards. Gail Simmons-Noted Food Critic, Editor at Food and Wine Magazine Ted Allen- Degree in psychology,M.A. in journalism, Senior editor at Chicago Magazine, Editor at Esquire magazine. Plus a dumpload of award winning chefs, restauranteurs and Etc. The only "pretty people" that i see is Padma.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
I like Top Chef, but I only watched it to begin with because I loved Project Runway. I've never watched NIC, mostly because those Iron Chef competitions didn't appeal to me very much. But Ima give NIC a shot, if I ever happen to catch it on TV. Oh, and yeah Alton Brown is great--so very informative.
millarci millarci 9 years
I haven't watched Top Chef, but maybe I will next season. I hear good things about it. I refuse to watch the Next Iron Chef. I think all the Iron Chefs are the elite 4 and can't imagine someone 'winning' a spot on the show. There is just something about it that just doesn't seem right.
Ziona Ziona 9 years
I think that it is good. Iron Chef is all about time. You have to be quick and versatile to compete. The secret ingredient can be your friend or foe. Most of these chefs already have restaurants and are known for their specialities. Alton Broen is informative and factual. Top Chef is about up and coming chefs and the judges --that model who wrote one copoking book. That's not an expert. The commentary comment is low.
NdHebert NdHebert 9 years
I like it much better. Everyone is educated, even the judges, whereas on Top Chef they just get pretty people to be the judges.. (this is coming from a culinary student)
Diana172 Diana172 9 years
They really are waay to similar
veside veside 9 years
Like my hubby said: " The NIC is like "Top Chef" on steroids!" I have to agree...super-difficult challenges, fiercely talented competitors, and a lot more at stake (like CaterpillarGirl said). Besh is my tip for the win, although I like Symon's personality. Morou and Sanchez are also very talented and dangerous. But the Nawlins Chef looks to dominate. It's a bit shocking that both of the female chefs are gone!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
i have to say no, and i will tell you why. I know whats at stake, its not a write up in a magazine and 100,000 from gladware, or the title of top chef, its a chance to be an IRON CHEF! to stand up on one of those lighted pedestals your giant face behind you and battle it out in kitchen stadium with the bests chefs in the nation! There is alot of MONEY on the line because being an Iron chef means global recognition (i dare any of the four winners of top chef to be recognized that way) PLUS there isnt going to be 10 zillion "the next iron chefs" because this is a rare event. Mario Batali, Morimoto, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay...are all BIG TIME stars because of that show. PLUS ....alton brown people.
aembry396 aembry396 9 years
Similar to Kothmia...I like NIC because of Alton Brown and the fact that these chefs are considered to be top of the line. Also, there is less down-time drama than Top Chef and less product placment. Since NIC and Top Chef are not on at the same time, I still get my weekly fix of creative inspiration and the desire to get in the kitchen. The first episode of NIC: I loved the knife skills test. It made me really want to take a knife skills class.
kothmia kothmia 9 years
I don't watch Top Chef, so I can't really comment on if they're similar or not. I watch NIC, but that's in part because I'm lazy and my TV rarely leaves Foodnetwork, and in part because I just really like AB...
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I haven't seen it...
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