Cherchez le Chef

Trying hard to keep up with the popularity of Bravo’s hit Top Chef—which is filming its third season in Miami as you read this—the Food Network has announced a new reality show that will focus on finding a new Iron Chef to add to the culinary collection of Batali, Morimoto, Cora, and Flay. Premiering in the fall, the show is looking for professional chefs who will be just as entertaining as the current crop.

Who can out-dick Bobby Flay? Who can best Mario in his charming back-and-forth with the irrepressible Alton Brown? Who can—OK, I give up, those are the only two I watch on that show.

According to the Broadcasting & Cable piece, the show is “tentatively” being named The Next Iron Chef, which is about as original as adding Top before everything. Then again, I guess show titles are more about fitting in guide information and telling you what the shows are about than they are about being interesting.

In addition to The Next Iron Chef and The Next Food Network Star, the B&C piece announces that the Food Network will also premiere a competition show in 2008 called America’s Best Recipe, which, based on the title alone, sounds like it’s treading close to America’s Test Kitchen territory. Not that Cook’s Illustrated has a monopoly on the use of America, God forbid, but it’s what I immediately thought of.

From the description that the show “will invite everyday cooks to compete for their recipe to be crowned the best in its category,” America’s Best Recipe sounds like a Food Network-ized Betty Crocker/Pillsbury Bake-Off kind of contest.

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