Holly Smith Bites Dust on the Next Iron Chef

After narrowly escaping the jaws of defeat in the series premiere of The Next Iron Chef, Cafe Juanita's Holly Smith's lackluster bouillabaisse got her sent back to her Kirkland kitchen in round two. My money's on New York chef Jehangir Mehta to win it all, but I must say I'm disappointed with the format of the show, which is too reminiscent of Top Chef and its many copycats.

Iron Chef has its own, singular formula: sole mystery ingredient, team approach (i.e., rival chefs come armed with half-a-dozen stellar underlings apiece), hour-long timer. And that should be the thrust of the Next Iron Chef competition--mano-y-mano (or womano) duking it out in Kitchen Stadium in a single-elimination NCAA tourney format until only the steeliest chef remains.

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