Food Network stars Mario Batali, Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse travel to the White House to take part in an unprecedented culinary competition in Super Chef Battle, a special two-hour episode of Iron Chef America. Greeted by First Lady Michelle Obama, the chefs are joined by White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and receive their challenge: create a meal for America using The White House Kitchen Garden’s produce as their secret ingredients. The special episode premieres Sunday, January 3rd at 8pm ET/PT.
“We are honored to showcase The White House Kitchen Garden in Iron Chef America,” said Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production for Food Network. “This is the most intense culinary competition we’ve ever shown. It’s awe-inspiring to see what four master chefs can create from locally-grown ingredients in the heat of Kitchen Stadium.”
Iron Chef America commentator Alton Brown explains that the Chairman has sent the three Food Network chefs to Washington, D.C. for a very special battle and introduces Chef Cristeta Comerford, who will also take part in the competition. The group is then greeted by the First Lady, who explains that the chefs will be allowed to use anything found in The White House Kitchen Garden to help them create their meals. After receiving their challenge, the chefs are split into two teams: Flay and Comerford versus Batali and Lagasse. The chefs immediately head to the garden where they are tasked with harvesting their ingredients. Then it’s off to Kitchen Stadium where the battle begins. Each team must produce five dishes that showcase the ingredients they selected from the garden and that represent the ultimate American meal. The judges include: chef and best-selling cookbook author Nigella Lawson; Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin; and actress, author and designer Jane Seymour. Ted Allen (Chopped) assists as a guest floor reporter. Iron Chef America is produced by Triage Entertainment.
Installed in the spring of 2009 under the Obama Administration, The White House Kitchen Garden measures approximately 1100 square feet and is located on the west side of the South Lawn. The four-season herb, fruit and vegetable garden features 75 varieties of seeds planted in slightly raised beds using succession planting methods. Cultivated by White House staff and volunteers, produce from the garden and honey from the adjacent beehives are available to the White House Chefs for preparing meals for the First Family and for official functions, and all extra food is donated to Miriam’s Kitchen, a soup kitchen near the White House.
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