The showdown must go on.
“It’s a new take on the classic Iron Chef format where two talented and determined chefs battle each other in an opening round in order to win a shot at one of the legendary Iron Chefs in a second round,” Brown explains while giving a guided tour of the newly-renovated Kitchen Stadium. “The added fun for me is that I’m the one that gets to decide which chef is bestowed that honor. I get to eat the food now.”
The set is where Bobby Flay reportedly walked away from the franchise after he showed off a shirt that read “THIS IS MY LAST IRON CHEF BATTLE EVER” during a filming of an episode last summer. Flay quickly cleared up the controversy earlier this month, saying it was only to “have a little fun” but was “probably not the best decision because it’s just creating confusion.”
“Food Network has been part of my family for over 20 years and will absolutely continue to be, and though there is a talented bench of Iron Chefs to tap, if I were asked, I’d be excited to return to Kitchen Stadium, whenever my schedule allows,” he said in a statement to PEOPLE.
In addition to Flay, Iron Chefs Jose Garces, Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Symon, and Stephanie Izard, can all be seen bringing the heat in the clip. “Iron Chef back in the house!” Symon screams mid-battle.
The competition—which also includes a new floor reporter Jaymee Sire and the return of The Chairman Mark Dacascos—will be Izard’s first since taking home the title on Iron Chef Gauntlet.
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“It’s definitely a little nerve-wracking, I’m going to pretend that I’m not nervous because thats what an Iron Chef should do, but I just want to win my first battle,” she says.
The show also faced rumors that the premiere would be delayed because chef John Besh—who is facing sexual harassment allegations—serves as a guest judge in one episode. But PEOPLE confirms that Iron Chef Showdown will still air as planned on Wednesday, November 8 at 9 p.m. on Food Network.