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Leonard Kim

Batali, Food Network, and Iron Chef: Summary

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Since this is being discussed on three different threads, with some lagging others, I thought it might be worth starting a dedicated topic to summarize what's been reported.

The original NY Post article -- the gist is that, on being told his other shows would not be renewed, Batali said he'd stop doing Iron Chef, and the network calls him on it.


Ed Levine asks Batali who denies story, citing his taping of two ICA episodes this week:


New York Post runs second article, insisting that Batali and another chef will, nevertheless be replaced after November (i.e., after current tapings of Iron Chef are complete.)


non-Post media start reporting this story. General denials all around. Shows like Molto Mario may no longer be re-run, but Batali is still apparently IC.





So is that it? Perhaps not. I don't read anything in the denials that rules out that Batali is taping his last episodes of Iron Chef. Unless "The Next Iron Chef" actually shows an Iron Chef retiring (though press releases for that show claim the Next Iron Chef is in addition to, not a replacement), I'm sure everybody will act as if there are 5 current Iron Chefs until 2009, even though the TV evidence for that will be based on episodes being taped right now (if history is a guide, the current tapings will be aired starting and throughout 2008.) As far as the viewing public is concerned, Batali is still an Iron Chef for another year-plus, by which time the current flap may be forgotten. At that point, somebody could be "officially" and gracefully retired, whether that's Batali, somebody else, or both.

I put credence to the news that somebody, maybe not Batali, is leaving Iron Chef, because Bobby Flay says so in the "Ask Bobby" portion of his website. (Mouse over "Bobby" then click "Ask Bobby")


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Thanks for the digging and clearing things up, Leonard. So that's something to look forward to for another year at least, then. Good news, esp. after seeing him at the top of his game on Battle Parmgiano the other night.

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