At the center of politics is food.
From Roman times to Modern Washington DC, politicians have negotiated over dinner, met rivals over lunch, and chowed down power breakfasts with supporters.
Put the two together and you get Iron Chef America Goes to the White House.
Don’t expect big decrees or treaties. This is a battle between chefs. However, behind the White House garden’s vegetables, this episode is about political exposure and public relations.
It is meant to highlight Michelle Obama‘s commitment to fighting childhood obesity and improving nutrition for the nation’s families.
What better way to get to America’s voters then through their stomachs?
In the episode, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, and Emeril Lagasse come to the White House. Michelle Obama greets them. Then, joining them is White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford (see previous article).
Their challenge is to create a meal for America using the White House Kitchen Garden’s produce as secret ingredients. They go to the garden and pick the vegetables themselves, then return to the kitchen -– presumably the very small White House kitchen, not a studio -– to prepare dishes.
The episode, called “Super Chef Battle: An Iron Chef America Event,” premiers January 3, 2010, at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT.
Bobby will team with Cris against Mario and Emeril — and that’s weird, since Iron Chef America is traditionally a three-against-three competition. Oddly missing are newest chef Michael Symon and fellow Greek chef Cat Cora (the only woman Iron Chef).
More disappointingly missing are other important chefs, critics, and foodies like chef Jamie Oliver, critic Michael Pollan, and restaurateur Alice Waters. Each of these has led campaigns to improve nutrition and food policy in the US and abroad.
Thank goodness Alton Brown will be on hand, too: he always makes Iron Chef America worth watching.