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Food Network Premieres New Culinary Competition “Throwdown with Michael Symon”

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Michael Symon is an Iron Chef, award-winning restaurant owner, and a New York Times best-selling author for his cookbooks. Now, Michael is on a mission to go up against the best chefs in the game, and on their own turf, in the new Food Network competition series, Throwdown with Michael Symon. Premiering Tuesday, December 7th @ 9:30PM ET/PT with a special double-episode, Michael is joined by his culinary director and right-hand, Katie Pickens, as they challenge the best of the best in the culinary world, with Michael taking on that chef’s signature dish and challenging them to a good old-fashioned Throwdown. The catch – Michael doesn’t know who he is going up against and the chefs don’t know Michael is coming.

Through four episodes, Michael will cook alongside the opposition, bringing his competitive spirit and creativity to the dishes that he is challenged to make while a crowd of spectators watch on. Each Throwdown has three total points at stake, with a pair of special guest judges blind tasting the dishes along with the audience in attendance, to determine the winner and see who has the ultimate Throwdown bragging rights.

“As a chef, I love being creative and thinking outside the box to come up with new ways of connecting with viewers through my dishes,” added Symon. “On Throwdown, we get to showcase some of America’s greatest chefs and restaurateurs while also getting the opportunity to flex my competitive side, too. Needing to think quickly and take chances in making someone else’s signature dish, all the while not knowing who I’m competing against and battling it out in their wheelhouse, I couldn’t think of a more perfect challenge!”

“As one of the most trusted voices in the culinary world with seven cookbooks to his name, numerous accolades for his restaurants, and the winningest Iron Chef, Michael Symon is a fan favorite and simply one of the best chefs cooking today. But he also might be the most competitive person as well, having competed in countless culinary battles against the world’s premier chefs,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network and Streaming Food Content, Discovery Inc. “Michael is in for a new test armed with only his passion for making great food and his ingenuity in the kitchen. And with Michael not knowing who he is going up against in advance, the chefs unaware that they are being challenged by an all-time great, and bystanders watching and cheering along, all the ingredients are there for a Throwdown.”

Throwdown with Michael Symon Episodes Include:

Premiering Tuesday, December 7th @ 9:30PM ET/PT

“Battle of the BBQ Burgers”

Michael pulls out all the stops for a Throwdown focused on a couple of the things he does best – Burgers and Barbecue. His mystery competitor, slinging a burger piled high with juicy pulled pork, is former fine-dining chef Matt Abdoo from Brooklyn hot spot, Pig Beach. Will Michael be able to bring the sizzle and smoke to come out with a win?

Premiering Tuesday, December 7th @ 10:00PM ET/PT

“Georgian Cheesy Bread”

The call comes and Michael is ready to answer! This time the Throwdown challenge is Khachapuri: the rich, savory, cheesy, and decadent stuffed bread from the nation of Georgia. His competitors, Ricky and Maria, have mastered this comfort food classic at their hip downtown New York restaurant Tzarevna to the delight of fans and food critics alike. Will Michael’s cheesy bread boat sink or sail to victory?

Premiering Tuesday, December 14th @ 9:30PM ET/PT

“Savory Chicken Shawarma”

It’s on every street corner in New York City, but when shawarma shows up as Michael’s Throwdown challenge, can he look past the spinning tower of meat towards victory? Not if the Sussman brothers of Samesa have anything to say about it; they’ve been New York’s shawarma darlings since they began marinating and roasting meat as a pop-up. Michael is confident he can win this one, but will that cockiness cost him the title of Throwdown Shawarma Master?

Premiering Tuesday, December 21st @ 9:30PM ET/PT

“Crunchy Asian Fried Chicken”

Michael Symon knows his fried chicken, but this Throwdown is focused on the extra crunchy and flavorful styles popular in Korea and Japan. Michael has stiff competition in Bessou’s Maiko and Emily, whose Japanese-style fried chicken restaurant with global influences leaves diners swooning in its wake. Will it be all cluck or bad luck for Michael?

A favorite chef for millions of Food Network digital fans, Michael Symon is also throwing down on FoodNetwork.com and social all holiday season, sharing his fast fixes and signature spins in fresh recipes and talent takeovers. Also head to Food Network’s social pages to watch exclusive how-to videos with Michael and get all the recipes from the show at FoodNetwork.com/ThrowdownWithMichael. Follow the conversation online at #ThrowdownWithMichael.

Throwdown with Michael Symon is produced by Rock Shrimp Productions.