Quest for an Iron Legend” – San Bernardino Sun

With sharp knives and nerves of steel, five culinary stars will take on a group of challengers in the Netflix reboot of the classic cooking competition show.

The Kitchen Stadium heats up once again with “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend,” which streams on Netflix June 15.

The eight-episode series will have five Iron Chefs facing off against seven Challenger Chefs in a series of one-hour cooking challenges where, as always, there will be a curveball served in a form of a secret ingredient that must be incorporated into the dish.

The competition’s most successful challenger will face off against all of the Iron Chefs in the series finale for a chance to earn the title of “Iron Legend.”

The series will be hosted by former “Iron Chef America” host Alton Brown and Mark Dacascos and “Top Chef” season 10 winner Kristen Kish.

Judges Andrew Zimmern and Nilou Motamed will be joined by guest judges like actor and restaurateur Danny Trejo, celebrity chefs Nancy Silverton and Wolfgang Puck and others.

The Challenger Chefs vying for the title of “Iron Legend” are all successful and talented chefs, and the Iron Chefs credentials are pretty legendary.

The Iron Chef lineup for this season is made up of chefs Curtis Stone, Dominique Crenn, Marcus Samuelsson, Ming Tsai and Gabriela Cámara.

The group got together at a Hollywood restaurant before the series premiere to talk about the show and to cook up a five-course lunch to show off their skills to a group of invited guests.

The Iron Chefs talked to the Southern California News Group at the event and here’s what the Iron Chefs have to say about the new season.

• Gabriela Cámara

Credentials: Her list of acclaimed restaurants have included Cala in San Francisco and Contramar in Mexico City. She’s also the author of “My Mexico City Kitchen.”

Why she wanted to be on Iron Chef: “They invited me. I never thought in my life I would be on a competition show. I’m very happy cooking in my restaurants and doing my political and social activism and I never thought of being on TV programs but they invited me, so I said yes.”

How tough it is to get it all done in an hour: “It was very challenging.”

Did you ever freeze with no idea what to do for a dish: “No, there’s no time for freezing.”

Biggest takeaway: “So much, the experience of cooking with these extraordinary people, the experience of being in this situation in this super-stressful environment, it’s really cool.”

• Dominique Crenn

Credentials: The French-born chef has received three Michelin stars for her San Francisco restaurant Atelier Crenn.

Why she wanted to be on Iron Chef: “I don’t think I had anything to prove in life. We just have to continue to walk the walk and show people who we are. I’m here to continue my journey.”

How tough it is to get it all done in an hour: “It’s crazy because during that hour you just feel like it’s five minutes. It’s incredible how the time goes so fast.”

Did you ever freeze with no idea what to do for a dish: “No.”

Biggest takeaway: “I’m extremely grateful and honored to have been on this show and we are bringing something that is different than other shows. We are bringing diversity, we’re bringing love, authenticity and fun. And all that together you have to be grateful to be part of this.”

• Marcus Samuelsson

Credentials: The acclaimed chef has launched acclaimed restaurants, written books and is a reality TV star himself.

Why he wanted to be on “Iron Chef”: “It’s just so much fun. You always want to learn and improve on your craft and I’m a curious person and I never feel like you should stop evolving.”

How tough it is to get it all done in an hour: “It’s super tough because you’re thinking about what garnishes you could add, but you just got to grab the main protein and give it your best effort.”

Did you ever freeze with no idea what to do for a dish: “Sure, that’s part of the challenge. No matter how seasoned you are you can get that freezing, like whoa! But you can’t spend too much time on it and you just have to go.”

Biggest takeaway: “I learned a lot. First of all how amazing this next generation of chefs coming up is. And I learned a ton from my peers but also how much I enjoy this. I was taught cooking by my grandmother when I was six years old and the fact that 40 years later I can still be in the kitchen doing the craft my grandmother taught me, and my son is that age now was very personal for me.”

• Curtis Stone

Credentials: The Michelin-starred chef has two popular L.A. restaurants, Maude and Gwen.

Why he wanted to be on “Iron Chef”: “You always want to challenge yourself and you get to cook against some of the best chess in the world and cook alongside some of the best chefs in the world, so why not?”

Did you ever freeze with no idea what to do for a dish: “I don’t think you have time for that. The second you hear the ingredient you just start thinking and it’s hard to slow down.”

How tough it is to get it all done in an hour: “I doubted whether it was an hour because it goes so quick. The kitchen is so big and you’re running around and it’s a lot of action in that hour. You probably burn 5,000 calories but it’s a lot of fun.

Biggest takeaway: “The show made us all super-tight as chiefs. So I’m walking away with four good friends.”

• Ming Tsai

The credentials: He’s opened restaurants Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon and hosts a cooking series on PBS titled “Simply Ming.”

Why he wanted to be on Iron Chef: “It’s a real dream come true. I’ve been watching Iron Chef since it came out and I thought, ‘Those guys are badass, and so when I got the call I was so psyched.

Did you ever freeze with no idea what to do for a dish: “It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m not going to jinx myself.”

How tough it is to get it all done in an hour: “It is a true 60 minutes and there’s no joke. When they say 15 minutes, you could have sworn you had half an hour left.”

Biggest takeaway: “For me, this is a feather in my cap. It’s a  pinnacle I always wanted to read. It’s surreal. It hasn’t really set in yet.”

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