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Next! A Nation Turns Its Eyes to Kitchen Stadium

Now that the majority of the computer-owning public has chimed in on Top Chef (except, ahem, the official bloggers), the aftershock ripples of last night's finale are finally starting to wear off. Meanwhile, the power vacuum shifts the buzz over to Food Network's The Next Iron Chef, which will dominate Food Network commercials for the next month until its (surprisingly quick) conclusion on November 11. A pair of San Francisco chefs are involved, if not the favorites (more on that later), and for those of you still in search of another reason to watch, look no further than the magnificent Alton Brown, the show's host who would rather not compare TNIC to, well, anything:

The only comparison to Top Chef is that one or two chefs get eliminated after each round. Otherwise, there are no similarities. The Next Iron Chef is the first time a show has been made that captures the good part of reality TV with high-end culinary credibility. Most of the people on Top Chef are barely out of Denny's. They are of marginal experience and talent.
Vegas is getting ready too, with Caesars Palace actually putting odds on the contestants. The current odds-on-favorite might surprise you; it's our very own Ms. Des Jardins: "After several heated discussions we decided that Chef Des Jardins possesses both the culinary sensibilities and high-pressure kitchen skills needed to win this contest and enters today as our odds-on favorite." Pres-sure!
· The Weekend Buzz [the strong buzz]
· Who Is the Odds-On Favorite To Be the 'Next Iron Chef'? [CNN]
· Top Chef Listage: It's a Huynh-Win Situation [~ELA~]

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