Young and Hungry

Chef R.J. Cooper to Appear as the Challenger on Iron Chef America‘s Season Debut


Since he's still technically on hiatus between his former gig at Vidalia and his new one at Rogue 24, R.J. Cooper clearly has some time on his hands to mix it up on reality TV. He'll be the challenging chef on the season debut of Iron Chef America, which will air on Sunday, Nov. 28, on the Food Network.

According to a press release, Cooper will face the winner of the current season of The Next Iron Chef. His culinary team will include Harper McClure, the future chef de cuisine at Rogue 24, and David Guas, the former Passion Food pastry chef who's opening his own place, Bayou Bakery.

Y&H got Cooper on the horn as soon as he heard about the news. Here's our short Q&A, which tells you a lot about the information control over at the Food Network:

Can you say whether you won or not?

"I can't say," Cooper says.

Can you say what the secret ingredient was?

"Can't say that, either."

Can you say who the judges were?

"Can't say that, either."

How did you decide on your team?

"Harper's going to work for me," he says. "David's a great pastry chef, and he's not doing anything either."

[We laugh.]

Can you confirm what Eater recently reported: that chefs are told before taping which three or four ingredients might be the secret one so they can prep?

"That's true and false," Cooper says, helpfully.

And that was the extent of our "interview."

Guess we'll have to find out what happens on Nov. 28.

  • NovaNicole

    Personally, I'm glad Cooper has enough character to know how to keep a secret (unlike Eater, which seems to take a perverse joy in being a spoiler about pretty much everything). It'll make for a better viewing experience.