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Now, it appears these episodes will each be Holiday Specials, which will start in October and will air on Saturday nights at 10pm on Food Network. It looks like there will be five holiday specials which include: Oktoberfest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Iron Chef/Cooking Channel Holiday, and a Winter Ice Battle.
The matchups and air dates for each of the specials are as follows:
- Oktoberfest - October 12th - Michael Symon and Geoffrey Zakarian face off against Chef Bernhard Mairinger from BierBeisl in Beverly Hills, CA
- Halloween - October 26th - Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian battle Spike Mendelsohn and Marcel Vigneron, who have appeared on both Next Iron Chef and Top Chef.
- Thanksgiving - November 10th - Bobby Flay and Michael Symon battle Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian
- Iron Chef/Cooking Channel Holiday - November 30th - There will be 3 teams competing, which include: Bobby Flay and Ching He Huang vs. Masaharu Morimoto and G. Garvin vs. Jose Garces and Bobby Deen.
- Winter Ice Battle - December 14th - Bobby Flay and Jose Garces go against Masahuru Morimoto and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Here are some observations:
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- Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian are on the same team twice, and Geoffrey Zakarian is in four of the five holiday specials.
- The Thanksgiving battle seems like a big mismatch.
- It looks like there could be two different three-way battles with the Oktoberfest battle (unless Symon and Zakarian are on the same team, which I doubt) and the Iron Chef/Cooking Channel battle. UPDATE - Symon and Zakarian are on the same team against a team of Austro-German chefs led by Bernhard Mairinger,
- The Spike Mendelsohl and Marcel Vigneron bromance is back.
- One picture (to the right) has Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Marc Forgione on the same team, but I can't figure out what battle that is for. There is also a picture with Marc Forgione, Masaharue Morimoto and Michael Symon, but I do not know the battle.
Also, from looking at the pictures (below) from Donatella's Facebook page, it looks like some of the judges besides Donatella include Lawrence Fishburne, Mike Greenberg (ESPN), Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse on True Blood), Gina Torres (The Matrix) and Caroline Manzo (Real Housewives of New Jersey).
Any battles that you are looking forward to?