Chairman's Challenge Tory Miller

Tory Miller competes in an episode of "Iron Chef Showdown" that finally aired Wednesday. Madison's best-known chef took down Iron Chef Bobby Flay.


An episode of “Iron Chef Showdown” featuring Madison chef Tory Miller, which didn’t air as expected last month on the Food Network, will air on Wednesday, a network representative said.

About 50 people turned out Dec. 13 in the bar of Estrellón for a viewing party to watch the L’Etoile chef compete on the episode, which was filmed last summer.

Not only did Miller’s fan club leave disappointed, the chef had to reschedule a sold-out, six-course, $125-a-plate dinner at L’Etoile planned for the following Sunday to celebrate his appearance on the show. That dinner will now take place Jan. 14.

Miller said he’ll have another watch party this Wednesday at Estrellón. In addition to L’Etoile and Estrellón, Miller’s Deja Food Group owns Graze and Sujeo.

The episode, “Battle Bobby Flay All Day,” is billed as two “Midwestern master chefs” facing off “using one of the most versatile vegetables around.”

Miller goes up against Jenner Tomaska of Next Restaurant in Chicago. The winner gets the chance to out-cook longtime Iron Chef Flay. The episode airs at 8 p.m. Central time.

Lauren Sklar, who does publicity for the Food Network, didn’t respond to an email asking why the program didn’t air as scheduled. Last month, a spokeswoman for Food Network would only say “there was a scheduling change.”

Although the network didn’t give Miller any advance warning the show was not going to air as scheduled, Miller said host Alton Brown said online that the show didn’t have the editing done for his episode.

There was speculation that one program in the 10-episode series was in jeopardy because its star Iron Chef quit in the middle of the show, according to published reports.

A post on Vanity Fair’s website in October said “there was stunned silence on set at a taping of Iron Chef Showdown this past summer in Southern California, when Bobby Flay tore off his apron mid-battle to reveal a T-shirt that read: THIS IS MY LAST IRON CHEF BATTLE EVER.”

After the Vanity Fair post, Flay made a statement to People magazine online in which he confirmed the T-shirt incident but characterized it as a joke.

Irika Slavin, a spokeswoman for the Food Network, wouldn’t comment on whether that happened during Miller’s episode.

Another concern is that one of the judges on Miller’s episode is John Besh, the high-profile New Orleans restaurateur, who had to step away from his culinary company recently after sexual harassment allegations surfaced.


Wisconsin State Journal food writer Samara Kalk Derby brings you the latest news on the Madison area's eclectic restaurant scene.