San Diego Chef To Compete On Netflix's New "Iron Chef" Reboot

May 18, 2022

San Diego native, former Top Chef contestant, and James Beard nominated chef, Claudette Zepeda will appear on Netflix's upcoming Iron Chef reboot, debuting next month on the streaming channel. 

Raised on both sides of the border in San Diego and Tijuana, Chef Claudette Zepeda started her career as a pastry chef with stints at Sea180 in Imperial Beach and Jsix in East Village. She went on to be hired by acclaimed chef Javier Plascencia as the opening chef de cuisine of the now-defunct Bracero Cocina de Raiz in Little Italy in 2015. 

In 2017, Claudette competed in the second season of Top Chef Mexico, followed directly by appearing as a contestant on Season 15 of Bravo’s Top Chef. In June 2018, Chef Claudette opened Rise & Shine Breakfast Group's El Jardin modern Mexican restaurant in Liberty Station but she was abruptly ousted when the restaurant rebranded to a more casual concept the following year. During her time at El Jardin, Claudette was a semifinalist in the 2019 James Beard Foundation Awards Best Chef: West category.  In February 2020, Zepeda was tasked with leading the culinary operations at the Dinner With A View roving, domed pop-up in Liberty Station. Most recently, Zepeda was the Executive Chef at Hyatt's new Alila Marea Beach Resort in Encinitas. 

Chef Claudette is a featured chef competing in Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, the incoming Netflix reboot of the popular Food Network show. Debuting on June 15 on the streaming service, five Iron Chefs will battle it out against Challenger Chefs. For this installment, Iron Chefs include Michelin-starred celebrity chef Curtis Stone, Ethiopian-born Swedish-American chef and television personality Marcus Samuelsson, cookbook author Gabriela Camara, Emmy Award-winning chef Ming Tsai and multi-Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn. 

Longtime Iron Chef hosts Alton Brown and "The Chairman" Mark Dacascos will be joined by co-host and Season 10 Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, along with a panel of judges. Permanent judges Andrew Zimmern and Nilou Motamed will oversee guest judges like Wolfgang Puck, Masaharu Morimoto, Nancy Silverton, Danny Trejo and others.

Below is the official description for Netflix's Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend:

"The legendary Iron Chef series is reborn with a supersized approach to the ground-breaking culinary competition that started it all. It's been called the toughest culinary challenge a chef will ever experience. This is where world-class cuisine meets high-octane sports. Five new trailblazing Iron Chefs will welcome brave Challenger Chefs to the reimagined Kitchen Stadium, where they’ll face off and be pushed to the limits of endurance and creativity, as they cook up extraordinary culinary creations. The competition’s most successful Challenger will return to battle in a grand finale for the chance to be named the first ever Iron Legend."