Food Network is returning Iron Chef America to the original Iron Chef format when the show returns this May. Alton Brown will be back in his usual role.
This will effectively be the third version of Iron Chef to air in the past year.
Food Network announced in late 2016 that it would air “a reimagined reboot of Iron Chef America”—and that show, Iron Chef Gauntlet, was not Iron Chef, but ended up being a very strong and watchable food competition (which returned last week).
The version of Iron Chef America that aired last fall used the format of Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay: two contestants faced off, and the winner of that competition went on to face an Iron Chef.
That format has been dropped for the new 10-episode season that starts May 16.
Instead, it’s back to “the franchise’s classic fan-favorite format,” according to Food Network: “each standalone episode pits an up-and-coming chef competitor against an elite Iron Chef in a stunning secret ingredient battle of over-the-top edible greatness.”
Food Network executive Courtney White acknowledged that the last version may not have worked so well, or least was not well-received by the show’s viewers:
“Our audience wanted a return to classic Iron Chef Americaand we are thrilled to deliver just that. These epic culinary battles are fought against the backdrop of legendary Kitchen Stadium and have all the tradition, pomp and circumstance our viewers love.”
Marc Dacascos returns as the Chairman, and Alton Brown will be hosting and commentating again. Chef Jet Tila—a Food Network regular who’s competed on Iron Chef America and also judged shows such as Chopped and Guy’s Grocery Games—will be the show’s new floor reporter.