Alton Brown Reveals The Iron Chef Matchups He'd Like To See - Exclusive

As host of one of the most intense cooking competitions on television, Alton Brown has seen it all. He's been to the seventh circle of culinary hell that is the "Iron Chef" kitchen — or at least watched other chefs frantically chop, sear, and simmer their way there along to the beat of ticking clock — and he has witnessed the magic and mayhem that ensues when some of the top chefs are pushed to their absolute max. But, of course, the chef and host admitted that after 15 seasons (13 seasons of "Iron Chef America" plus two seasons of "Iron Chef Gauntlet") and more than 250 matchups, it's all a bit of a blur for him.

In an exclusive interview with Mashed, we asked Brown if he could recall some of his favorite "Iron Chef" matchups. His honest answer? "I don't remember any of them ... because we made so many of them so fast that I would study for the battle and then forget it as soon as it was over." Brown did note, however, that he can "remember the foods and the food battles that I like most, like the yak battle or the Parmesan cheese battles or the tofu battles," but he also said that, truthfully, "I couldn't tell you that I've got like a favorite matchup, because in any one of those shows, I was too busy trying to do my job." Which is totally fair, but that doesn't mean that Brown doesn't have any opinions, including the ultimate matchups he'd like to see.

Alton Brown wants to see some old favorites and new perspectives on 'Iron Chef'

Anyone familiar with Alton Brown knows that he isn't just here for the free snacks. The former "Good Eats" creator and host is all about getting to the nitty gritty, and learning new and interesting things about food (via Eater). That rings true even as Brown dished to Mashed on the "Iron Chef" matchups he'd want to watch if given the chance. "I would love to see José Andrés compete again," Brown mentioned right off the bat in the interview. Andrés, who took on the one-and-only Bobby Flay in a 2007 goat battle (via IMDB), is a world-renowned chef and activist with plenty to teach the world about Spanish cooking, world hunger, food waste, and more. Brown also admitted, "I never get tired of watching Marcus Samuelsson cook. He's such a great innovative cook." Samuelsson also faced off against chef Flay in a corn-themed battle in 2008 (via IMDB), and has built a reputation through shining a light on African culinary culture and contributions.

Beyond putting some of his favorite chefs in the hot seat, Brown also had some ideas for the types of battles he'd like to see more of on "Iron Chef." When we asked him if there were any matchups the world should get to witness but haven't, he was quick to reply, "Oh, there are a lot of them. There are a lot of possibilities." He noted, "The great thing now is that there's so many more great female chefs than there used to be, because that part of the industry has really opened itself up." He also said "Iron Chef" needs a little more diversity in the kitchen. "If it was up to me, I would spend a lot more time bringing in people from other countries and cultures who can teach us about ingredients and about foods from other places."

Learn more about Alton Brown's live tour and his new book "Good Eats: The Final Years" on his website, and learn more about his mission of keeping your pet healthy by visiting