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Sarah Grueneberg and Stephanie Izard to compete for Iron Chef glory in new show

Stephanie Izard, left, executive chef and partner of Girl and The Goat, Little Goat Diner and Duck Duck Goat, and Sarah Grueneberg, chef and partner of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio, will compete against five other chefs in "Iron Chef Gauntlet," an offshoot of the popular Food Network show "Iron Chef." (Eddy Chen photos)

Perhaps the granddaddy of culinary competition TV, "Iron Chef" returns to The Food Network this spring with a new iteration, "Iron Chef Gauntlet," featuring two of Chicago’s top chefs as contenders.

Sarah Grueneberg (executive chef/owner, Monteverde) and Stephanie Izard (executive chef/owner, Girl & the Goat, Duck Duck Goat) will be sharpening their knives and skill alongside five other chefs for the six-episode competition. The other chefs are Nyesha Arrington (Leona, Los Angeles); Jason Dady (Tre Trattoria, San Antonio); Michael Gulotta (MoPho, New Orleans); Shota Nakajima (Adana, Seattle) and Jonathon Sawyer (The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland).

Unlike in past seasons of "Iron Chef," the competitors will not go up against a single Iron Chef, but instead, battle and eliminate each other in a series of challenges week after week. The last chef standing will have to run what’s dubbed the Gauntlet, three back-to-back battles against chefs Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon, all Iron Chefs themselves.

"After competing on TV before, I didn’t think it was something I really saw myself doing again," Izard told the Tribune on Thursday. "However when this opportunity came up to compete to potentially be an Iron Chef, I thought that was pretty (great).”

Hosted by Alton Brown and judged by a number of Food Network celebrities, hosts, chefs and food experts, the show premieres April 16. It will also feature an online, behind-the-scenes companion series.
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