Why Alton Brown Jumped Ship From Food Network To Netflix's Iron Chef

Alton Brown has been a Food Network staple for a very long time. He's hosted 14 seasons of "Good Eats," which is the series that got me hooked on cooking shows. (That's pretty impressive since I cannot cook at all.) He hosts "Cutthroat Kitchen," one of the funniest cooking competitions out there, where people sabotage each other to finish an assigned dish. He hosted "Iron Chef America" and gave the best commentary on the chefs and the food. Now, however, Brown is leaving Food Network for Netflix after 21 years, something that comes as a big surprise to his fans. Of course, it makes sense, because the show he's leaving for is the reboot of "Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend," which just premiered on the streamer. 

Not only have I been a fan of Alton Brown since "Good Eats," but I've been a fan of "Iron Chef" back when the Japanese episodes were airing, right up through every iteration. There is no way I won't watch this one, particularly because Kristen Kish is hosting with Brown. If you watch "Top Chef" (I really do watch too many cooking shows), you'll remember her as the winner of season 10. Joining the crew are Mark Dacascos (the guy who took over as the Chairman in the U.S. version of the series) who will again serve as the Chairman, the person who gives out the secret ingredient that the chefs have to create meals with. The Iron Chefs this time around include Curtis Stone, Marcus Samuelsson, Dominique Crenn, Gabriela Camara, and Ming Tsai. 

In an interview with Variety, Brown spoke about why he was willing to leave the Food Network for Netflix for this series.   

Allez cuisine!

Brown heard that Netflix was going to reboot the "Iron Chef" series a few years ago, according to the outlet, and he wanted in. He said:

"That took a little bit of convincing on a lot of different people's parts. But I knew that the show was going to be happening, and I was sick with jealousy over the idea that I was at the wrong network at the wrong time. One day, my agent finally called me up after I had nagged him almost daily, and that was it. It was done. There was never a second thought for me. It meant removing myself from one network, but that was not a hard decision. Timing just worked out that I was able to extricate myself from that."

It's a big decision, moving networks after so long, but Brown's contract expired over there in 2020, despite the fact that some of his shows that had been recorded earlier were still airing through last year. Part of his reason for going might have had to do with the fact that the Netflix "Iron Chef" executive producer and director Eytan Keller is a close friend of his. Keller also told Variety that he'd had the international rights to the show, and the option for the North American rights if Food Network passed on a reorder. "We were all lucky enough with our good fortune that they decided they weren't going to move forward," Keller said. 

There is something about watching the best chefs in the world continue to prove themselves in a kitchen (not that they need to) against newcomers, especially when we see them all critiquing other people's food on competition shows. That sounded like a mean thing to say, but I really don't mean it that way. It's super fun to watch them show us all why they're the ones that get to critique in the first place. 

In the immortal words of Mark Dacascos' fake uncle from the Japanese version of "Iron Chef," "Allez cuisine!"