November 05, 2009 03:52:37 GMT
'It is going a long way to help change the way this country thinks about food. I want you to come back,' Michelle tells the chefs off-camera about the message she's been trying to deliver.
The new season of "Iron Chef America" will get a little taste of the White House. The First Lady Michelle Obama is going to be the guest on the Food Network program, being the one who reveals the secret ingredient that the chefs must use in their cooking challenge.
Cristeta Comerford, the White House executive chef, teams up with celebrity chef Bobby Flay to compete against the combination of Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse. The battlefield would be Michelle's vegetable garden where participants are allowed to use whatever grow there to help create the meals.
Michelle's appearance on the cooking show is not simply to welcome the chefs but also to talk about her goal in reducing the number of obesity and unhealthy school lunches for children. Batali commented, "What's exciting for us is this is the first time I can remember the White House taking an active interest in doing something about diet and health. They understand this kind of P.R."
The episode had been shot in late October and will premiere on January 3 as the new season opener. The competition will be moved back to the New York Kitchen Stadium where the chefs will prepare five meals. Judges include Nigella Lawson, Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin, and actress Jane Seymour.