Chef Andrew Carmellini enters Kitchen Stadium to challenge Iron Chef Batali to a culinary showdown only the chairman could bring you.
Challenger stats: Chef Carmellini
Restaurants: A Voce
Interests: Music, history, travel
Ideal secret ingredient: Duck, because it's so versatile and tasty
Culinary inspirations: Street food and country cooking
Ideal judge: My mom, dad and my wife Gwen because I'd win every time
Culinary secret weapon: Peperoncino
Favorite restaurant: Hearth in jeans and Cru in a jacket
Favorite food: Sushi on Wednesday and pizza on Sunday
Food you won't go near: Pond moss in Japan
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: Pond moss in Japan
Favorite food destination: Barcelona for tapas, Japan for yuba and yakitori
Alternative dream job: Hip-hop/Rock music producer
Chef Ben Ford, owner of Ford's Filling Station, comes to Kitchen Stadium to challenge Iron Chef Flay. Will Ford's finesse win over the judges, or will Iron Chef Flay's flare burn the competition?
Challenger stats: Chef Ford
From: Los Angeles
Restaurants: Ford's Filling Station
Cuisine: Traditionally, it has been Iberian mixed with the influences of my home state of Calif. Ford's Filling Station is American Regional with some French feathered in.
Interests: Forging for almost anything is always good. But I love a fresh idea, architecture, design, golf, fine art and wine and good love.
Ideal secret ingredient: Bacon
Culinary inspirations: Paul Bertolli, Bradley Ogden, Paula Wolfert and the many people I have had the pleasure of working with.
Ideal judge: Jim Harrison, Meatloaf
Culinary secret weapon: My many types of vinegar.
Favorite restaurant: Azak in San Sebastian Spain, Babbo in N.Y. and The Joe Dirfuss Store in a swamp somewhere between Shreveport and New Orleans.
Favorite food: A great steak cooked over a good wood fire.
Food you won't go near: Raspberry vinegar
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: A tie between a hot sauce made with termites produced by the Pimones Indians in Venezuela. Also, smoked scorpion.
Favorite food destination: San Sebastian, Spain and Japan
Alternative dream job: Architect
Chef Todd Richards enters Kitchen Stadium to challenge Iron Chef Cora. Will Chef Richards wow the judges with his culinary styling, or will Iron Chef Cora's cuisine reign supreme?
Challenger stats: Chef Richards
From: Chicago, Ill.
Restaurants: The Oakroom (AAA 5 Diamond, Louisville Ky.), Soleil (The Ritz Carlton Palm Beach), Atlanta Grill (Ritz Carlton, Atlanta), Spice Restaurant (Atlanta), Villa Christina (Atlanta), The Café now Park 75 (The Four Seasons, Atlanta)
Cuisine: Ethnic based dishes with futuristic presentations
Interests: Music (writing, performing, DJ), photography
Ideal secret ingredient: From the potential list that was given: bay scallops number one because they are in season, carrots number two as it presents more challenges, morel number three as they are out of season and very difficult to find
Culinary inspirations: My father, my line cooks, EL Bulli, menus that explain themselves, culinary photography
Ideal judge: One who understands where food is going and how it is rooted in where it came from
Culinary secret weapon: Chef Duane Nutter, Chef Blake Kollker
Favorite restaurant: Morimoto (New York), Alinea Restaurant (Chicago), Hakkasan (Soho London), Mr. Js Burgers (Chicago)
Favorite food: Sushi, dishes that make culinary sense, my father's red beans and Rice
Food you won't go near: Spoiled, rotten
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: After you eat it more than once it's not weird anymore; but maybe cow brains
Favorite food destination: Chicago, London, California, New York
Alternative dream job: Honestly, I don't feel I have worked a "job" a day in my life.
Fortunato Nicotra challenges Iron Chef Morimoto to a heated battle in Kitchen Stadium. Will Chef Nicotra be able to wow the judges, or will Iron Chef Morimoto's artistry gain him a victory? See who's cuisine reigns supreme!
Chef Mary Dumont enters Kitchen Stadium to challenge Iron Chef Cora to a culinary showdown. Can Chef Dumont impress the judges with her cuisine, or will Iron Chef Cora triumph?
Originally from New Hampshire, Dumont is the first Iron Chef challenger from the state. She is now executive chef at Harvest in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass.
Challenger stats: Chef Dumont
Restaurants: Harvest in Harvard Square
Cuisine: Contemporary New England
Interests: Surfing and anything on the beach, big dinners with friends and family, collecting sauce spoons
Ideal secret ingredient: Fennel and smoked bacon
Culinary inspirations: Laurent Manrique, Alain Ducasse, Paula Wolfert and mostly, my family who is all in the restaurant business and taught me that I could do anything I put my heart into
Ideal judge: James Haller from the Blue Stawbery
Culinary secret weapon: Desire, belief, practice and sharp Misono knives
Favorite restaurant: Oliveto in Oakland, Calif.
Favorite food: Thai and sushi
Food you won't go near: Brains...they should stay in your head!
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: Live uni out of the shell at Rungis Market in Paris at 4 am
Favorite food destination: Lunch among the grapes in Sonoma County with friends and German street food
Alternative dream job: Surfing photographer and traveling writer
New York Chef Tony Liu challenges Mario Batali to a culinary showdown in Kitchen Stadium. Will Chef Liu's inspirational food beat out Batali's originality?
Challenger stats: Chef Liu
Restaurants: August Restaurant
Interests: Eating, travel, surfing
Ideal secret ingredient: Truffles
Culinary inspirations: Daniel Boulud, Mario Batali
Ideal judge: Jeffery Steingarten, Calvin Trillin, Bill Cosby
Culinary secret weapon: Sugar
Favorite restaurant: Too many to mention
Favorite food: Peaches, goat roti, oxtails
Food you won't go near: Spleen sandwiches, tried it but couldn't get it down
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: Pajata, intestine of veal or lamb with ingested mother's milk and tossed with pasta. It was good!
Favorite food destination: Barcelona, San Sebastian (Spain) Rome (Italy) Honolulu, the South for BBQ (US)
Alternative dream job: Marine Biologist, landscaper, book stocker at Kitchen Arts and Letters (cookbook store)
Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli from NYC's Butter restaurant enters Kitchen Stadium to challenge Cat Cora to the ultimate produce battle.
Challenger stats: Chef Guarnaschelli
From: New York
Cuisine: Eclectic American
Interests: Formula one car racing and needlepoint
Ideal secret ingredient: Ramps
Culinary inspirations: Guy Savoy, my mother and father and fresh produce
Ideal judge: Bill Clinton
Culinary secret weapon: Imagination
Favorite restaurant: Da Fiori, Venice, Italy
Favorite food: A fresh cinnamon donut
Food you won't go near: Red mullet livers make me nervous
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: Cod sperm on toast
Favorite food destination: La Meranda in Nice, France
Alternative dream job: Marine Biologist
Iron Chef Mario Batali is challenged to a culinary showdown by Chef Charles Clark. Will Chef Clark impress the judges enough to overcome Iron Chef Batali, or will Iron Chef Batali's cuisine reign supreme?
Challenger stats: Chef Clark
Restaurants: Ibiza Food and Wine Bar, Catalan Food and Wine
Cuisine: New American with Spanish influence
Interests: Food history, Swedish clogs and jazz music
Ideal secret ingredient: Morcilla (Spanish black sausage)
Culinary inspirations: The Basque region, Paul Bocuse, Bernard Loiseau
Ideal judge: Julia Child
Culinary secret weapon: Ikea hand frothier
Favorite restaurant: Balthazar, N.Y.
Favorite food: Classic French and basque
Food you won't go near: Cottage cheese
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: A live lizard
Favorite food destination: Southern France
Alternative dream job: Playing trumpet in a jazz band at a small club in Paris around 1961