After “Iron Chef America” ​​ruled the Food Network for over a dozen seasons, the famed cooking competition is back on Netflix.

“Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend” now streams an 8-episode first season, shot in a new Los Angeles Kitchen Stadium with familiar basics – the show’s elite Iron Chefs take on cooking challenges on deadlines against rival chefs with meals with a secret ingredient announced by the chairman (with actor Mark Dacascos reprising the role).

But there are noticeable “Iron Legend” changes that are “pretty important and crucial,” says returning host Alton Brown. “But the show’s DNA remains intact. This is evolution, not mutation.”

Here are the five main differences:

Meet the new Iron Chefs: who will take on challengers in Kitchen Stadium

Newcomer Kristen Kish brings competition pedigree

Kristen Kish, season 10 winner of “Top Chef,” joins Brown as the co-host of “Iron Legend,” showing off her match-fighting experience and interviewing the chefs on camera during the frenzied prep. “Kristen can get on the floor and ask great questions and get inside people’s heads,” Brown says. “Then she’ll come back up, and we can talk about it.”

In another host twist, Brown and Kish join the show’s judges — Nilou Motamed, Andrew Zimmern, and a celebrity — at the judges’ table. “There, we can continue the conversation, maybe even steer it,” says Brown.

The hosts still have no contest votes.

Quest for an Iron Legend

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Iron Chefs are international Avengers protecting the trophy.

Iron Chef’s culinary caliber is high, fraught with global stars, including Dominique Crenn, the first female American chef to earn three Michelin stars. The five-person team is also notably international with Mexican-born Gabriela Cámara (one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2020), Ethiopian-born Marcus Samuelsson, and Australian-born “Top Chef” franchise chef Curtis Stone.

“East Meets West” star chef Ming Tsai is the only American-born Iron Chef.

“It represents a global style and approach,” says Brown. ‘It’s fresh. I see things I’ve never seen before. That’s saying something.’

The Iron Chefs have been chosen to compete with challenging chefs in individual competitions. But a new wrinkle puts the series’ highest-grossing challenger in a battle royale against all five chefs – who join forces in Avengers style if the combined Iron Chef team is defeated in the finals, the chairman hands over the new gold trophy to the victorious challenger.

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“It’s the ultimate trophy. It’s something only a man of extreme wealth can create,” says Dacascos, calling the first-ever Iron Chef team battle “monumental.”

“If a lone challenger takes them down, shame, shame!” says Dacascos. “But if the challenger pulls it off, then respect. Until a challenger chef wins the trophy, he stays.”

Brown says the Iron Chefs team is cooking its palpable tension.

“As much as they want to act as a team, they are extremely competitive individuals,” says Brown. “It’s a messy, big bowl of ego going on there.”

The Los Angeles Kitchen Stadium is huge.

The move from New York City’s cramped former neighborhoods to Los Angeles has opened the fray, now big enough to admit an audience. The format allows for new cameras and angles and requires more cooking space in the Kitchen Stadium.

There’s also room for significantly more piled-up food items for the chefs to grab when the clock kicks in after the chairman introduces the secret ingredient – which now has its private chamber.

“We have many more ingredients at the altar, which now resembles the ingredient garage,” Brown says. “It allows for bigger thematic events, and we can take more food with us.”

No commercials, more ‘Iron Chef.’

Netflix streaming means there’s more “Iron Chef” without commercials. The 46-minute shows are all cooking action and more discussion.

“We don’t have to sign off; go to the commercial and summarize,” Brown says. “We go without interruption.”

There’s even Time to fill in the story of the mysterious chairman, who cries for spice in one episode. “The show is wider and deeper, just like the tree, with deeper roots,” Dacascos says.

The bald chairman has it on 11. put

Martial arts star Dascascos, president, originally started in the same stern, bombastic spirit as president Karga (Takeshi Kaga) of Japan’s “Iron Chef” (which ran from 1993 to 2002).

“Mark used to be very serious,” Brown says. “But he’s managed to bring a sympathetic zaniness to The Chairman. And someone at Netflix told him to turn it down to 11 now.”

The eyes are bigger, the martial arts move more, and his screams are more distinctive. And the head has been awesomely bald ever since Dascascos starred as the Keanu Reeves-fighting assassin Zero in “John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum.”

“I shaved it for ‘John Wick’ and didn’t grow it back for ‘Iron Chef’ to look like Yul Brynner or Telly Savalas,” says Dacascos. “It’s growing back now. If we get another season, we’ll see what the chairman looks like.”

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