Alright, I’m getting just a teensy dab testy now. First Robert Irvine. Now Chuck Hughes?!! Awww, men!
Given my helpless addiction to all things food television and the folks who star in it, I realize that trying to choose whom I’d like to emerge the victor on Food Network’s Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs is like trying to choose which of my kids I like the best, but geeeeez. With Robert’s Macgyver-with-a-steak-knife skills set and Chuck’s utter delight at everything foisted his way — except perhaps toe-foooooo! — losing them in the first weeks of the series is akin to losing the science fair winner AND the funny baby of the family in one fell swoop.
Mercifully, what I’m left with is still a houseful of smart, creative and talented kids. So — with the roster standing at Alex Guarnaschelli, Elizabeth Falkner, Anne Burrell, Beau MacMillan, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Chiarello and Geoffrey Zakarian — the rival chefs are off to the famed Los Angeles comedy club The Improv to find out why … “Food is Funny.”
Appropriately, this week’s Chairman’s Challenge keyword is “Improvisation.” And when the chefs arrive at their latest destination, they discover that they are part of the audience, and SNL and Weeds star Kevin Nealon is onstage to demonstrate how audience involvement and improvisational technique in stand up is similar to the ever-changing situations and ingredients in Kitchen Stadium. And if the chefs thought gummy bears and a pig in the wilderness were interesting components to work with, they’re about to face an even more unpredictable selection at the hands of the ultimate in mercurial ingredient-pickers — the rest of The Improv audience.
The assembled crowd calls out everything from marshmallows to octopus, with Nealon whittling down the list of stuff the chefs must use to woo Symon & Simon and Judy Joo.
The bottom two go ahead-to-head with a tropical treat to see who gets the last laugh and who gets the hook.
Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs: “Food is Funny” premieres Sunday at 9pm ET on Food Network. Want beside-the scenes-secrets — or need to catch up on past episodes? View a full selection of online content at foodnetwork.com.
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Video and Images: Food Network