When you have the right challenger and the right "Iron Chef" up against one another, you can surely have yourself a competitive and entertaining battle. You can spice it up even more by bringing in an exciting secret ingredient. However, the selection of Iron Chefs on "Iron Chef America" is the most important thing when it comes to a good battle. At the moment we speak, the Iron Chefs include Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Symon, Jose Garces, and Marc Forgione. The cast for "The Next Iron Chef" has been announced, and unlike last season, this season features more well-known names. You have Anne Burrell, Michael Chiarello, Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli, Chuck Hughes, Robert Irvine, Beau MacMillan, Spike Mendelsohn, Marcus Samuelsson, and Geoffrey Zakarian. This group is not only culinary talented, but would also make a great and entertaining addition to the pantheon of Iron Chefs. However, I can boldly make a prediction as to what is going to happen. I would honestly be very shocked if Anne Burrell does not win the program, because her resume on Iron Chef, with other television shows, and with other projects puts her as the front runner to win the program.
Anne Burrell got her start under mentorship from the great Lidia Bastianich, someone I have had the privilege to meet as well as eat at her restaurant. "Lidia's Italy" also happens to be one of my favorite cooking shows. She ultimately got her break from working with Lidia's son, Joe Bastianich (who is a judge in Gordon Ramsay's "MasterChef") and Mario Batali. She was ultimately tapped by Mario Batali to be one of his sous chefs on "Iron Chef America" and the two have worked together ever since. She has since been on TV shows such as "Secrets Of A Restaurant Chef" and "Worst Cooks In America," in which she starred with Beau MacMillan in season one and Robert Irvine in season two. Burrell and Irvine have since become rivals on shows such as "Worst Cooks In America," "Iron Chef America," and "Chopped" through their many appearance with one another.
Now for the reason why I think Anne Burrell will win and should win "The Next Iron Chef"... she's the complete package. In more detail, Burrell has a great personality that will make a great addition to "Iron Chef America," she is a great chef, and she has the record to prove it. When Mario Batali was an Iron Chef, he only lost five battles, and I can name the competitions he lost: Tag Team battle Fruits de Mer with Hiroyuki Sakai against Iron Chefs Flay and Morimoto, Battle Mushrooms against Anita Lo, Battle Shrimp against Traci Des Jardins, Battle Andouille Sausage against John Besh, and Battle White House Garden with Emeril Lagasse against Flay and White House chef Cristeta Comerford. Aside from that, winning nineteen battles sure outweighs the losses.
Another tell-tale sign is the fact that Cat Cora has left "Iron Chef America" for undisclosed reasons, though I'm thinking that she is simply busy. She is no longer mentioned in the opening credits, thus that generally confirms once and for all that you are no longer competing. Though I'm completely pro-merit, I believe that "Iron Chef America" will be looking to fill the gap Cat Cora left, and of the females competing, what better choice than Anne Burrell. I will totally look forward to watching her compete, and it would feel like a rookie quarterback playing his first game. It will feel more like the show brought in a great new idea that will only make the show much more exciting. I think Anne Burrell's ready to make a comeback to the show and this time be the leader of the brigade. I wish the other competitors the best when it comes to competing for "The Next Iron Chef," but I think that it would simply be shocking if Anne Burrell doesn't win it all.
Anne Burrell has a new book coming out called "Cook Like A Rock Star," which in the title itself makes it exciting. I could only imagine what kind of recipes will be inside. The only thing I know for sure is that I will really look in to getting it.
Finally, I feel that the ultimate battle would be a fourth rematch between Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine for the grand title. While Robert Irvine would be just as fitting, I'm going to stand by my prediction. Burrell beat Irvine three times before and while the third time is a charm, the fourth time is more than that. In this case, it will be for the title of "The Next Iron Chef."