Alex Vs. America: Release Date, Episodes, And More - What We Know So Far

Long before she could have known that she would one day become a Food Network star in her own right, the celebrity chef, restaurateur, and author Alex Guarnaschelli wasn't necessarily the biggest fan of fellow chef Bobby Flay, she told People in 2018. These days, however, Guarnaschelli counts Flay among her closest friends. "He's amazing!" she added, acknowledging that perhaps her initial feelings reflected the teeniest bit of "jealousy." A lot has changed since then, of course, and today we learned that Food Network and the streaming service Discovery+ have ordered a new primetime cooking competition series starring Guarnaschelli (via Deadline). Ironically, its premise is not all that different from Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay," which, we should point out, Guarnaschelli has competed on and won. 

Produced by Lando Entertainment, "Alex vs America" will star 15 top-rated chefs from all around the U.S. as they try to out-cook Guarnaschelli. Here is everything we know so far about "Alex vs America," including its premise, who else we can expect to see on it, when it will be released, and more. 

When is the release date of "Alex vs America?"

Viewers of "Alex vs America" are in for a "fast-paced and action-packed competition," promises Courtney White, president of Food Network and streaming food content at Discovery Inc., according to a November 29 press release from Discovery+ regarding the premiere of the new series. So, when can fans of Guarnaschelli and high-stakes cooking contests, in general, expect to get their fix? Thankfully, "Alex vs America" will premiere very soon on Sunday, January 2 at 10 p.m. Eastern on Food Network. The show will also be streaming on Discovery+, and new episodes will become available each week.

For those who can't bear to wait an entire month, we have some happy news. You can catch a "sneak peak" of the premiere of "Alex vs America" one week early on Saturday, December 25, on Discovery+. Just make sure you have a subscription to the streaming service if you want to see it.

What is the plot of "Alex vs America?"

"Alex vs America" will be a five-part series in which 15 highly accomplished chefs from all across the U.S. will be given the opportunity to compete not only against one another, but also against Guarnaschelli, according to a statement by Discovery+. Based on this information, "Alex vs America" almost sounds like a cross between "Chopped" and "Beat Bobby Flay." However, the series is different in some key ways. 

First, each of the competitors will have been selected specifically because they specialize in one specific ingredient or dish, such as shellfish or chocolate. During each episode, groups of three, the members of whom are experienced in the same area, will be pitted against Guarnaschelli. The goal will be to determine who among the four chefs is the true master in that particular epicurean topic. During each episode, the four will compete over two rounds. At the end of each round, one competitor will be eliminated — and that could be Guarnaschelli.

Who will host "Alex vs America?"

Given that Guarnaschelli will have her hands pretty full with competing against 15 other chefs, it wouldn't exactly be fair of us to expect that she would also take on the hosting duties for her new show.  Accordingly, such duties have been handed to acclaimed chef Eric Adjepong, says a Food Network and Discovery+ press release.

Adjepong, the chef and caterer behind the dinner-party catering company, Pinch & Plate, made a name for himself in the foodie world with his impressive appearances on Season 16 of Bravo's "Top Chef," in which he was a finalist, and "Top Chef All-Stars" in Season 17, according to his website. Raised in New York City and currently residing in Washington, D.C., Adjepong knows amazing food when he sees it, having spent time working in various Michelin-starred restaurants. Educated in culinary arts and nutrition at Johnson & Wales University, Adjepong also holds a master's degree in public health from the University of Westminster in London.

What are the episodes of "Alex vs America?"

Although a statement by Discovery+ describes "Alex vs America" as a cooking competition among 15 celebrity chefs and Alex Guarnaschelli, the structure of each episode is really a contest between Guarnaschelli and three chefs, all of whom are highly accomplished in a particular dish or ingredient. For example, the first episode features three culinary experts known for their mastery of shellfish — one from Hawaii, another from Louisiana, and the third from Maine. Over the course of the episode, Guarnaschelli will compete alongside these three cooks in two rounds designed to feature shellfish. At the start of each round, the chefs will learn what the challenge is and work together to decide on variables such as the time allotted. When time's up, there will be a blind tasting, which means that the judges won't know whose dish they are trying at any given time. Whoever cooks the worst dish will be sent home — even if that chef is Guarnaschelli herself.

Another of the five episodes will pit Guarnaschelli against three spice experts. "Their strategy picking ingredients could help them succeed, but will it be enough to wow the judges with their unique take on spice and go home with the win?" the press release teases.

Why did Guarnaschelli want to make "Alex vs America?"

"I have loved competitive cooking for as long as I can remember, first watching, then judging and competing myself," Guarnaschelli said in a Discovery+ press release about "Alex vs America." After all, the veteran competitive chef refers to herself as "the ICAG," which means Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, on her Instagram profile. "Now, I finally have the opportunity to invite other adrenaline-junkies to join me in doing what we love, cooking our butts off, and 'Alex vs America' is literally my dream come true," she added.

Guarnaschelli loves winning, she said in the announcement, but she hates losing more. She may be in for quite the battle, then, as she will have "a bullseye on her back" from the other 15 chefs on "Alex vs America." Nevertheless, Food Network executives seem to have faith in their star, as network president Courtney White said the talented contestants "will quickly learn why Alex is one of the most respected chefs with an innate ability to conquer any obstacle in her way." We'll have to wait another month to see who comes out on top.