Buffet Battle

As of Nov. 7, The Next Iron Chef has moved to Las Vegas. That week was all about chocolate desserts. This week, Nov. 14, will be about re-interpreting the classic Las Vegas buffet. The show airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on the Food Network. Here are seven reasons why you should tune in:

1. Contestants have one hour to make five dishes that feature the secret ingredient, which in the past has been everything from trout to truffles to cognac. What’ll it be this time?

2. The show gives us props as the new culinary mecca.

3. Past winners have seen their celebrity status skyrocket. Since winning the first season, chef Michael Symon has returned to the show as a regular judge and, in addition, hosts two cooking shows. The winner of the second season, Jose Garces, has also returned as a guest judge this season and has recently opened his seventh restaurant in his hometown of Philadelphia.

4. This week is all about the casino buffet, giving you a glimpse of what’s to come under the sneeze guard.

5. Current Iron Chef Bobby Flay has a restaurant here, the Mesa Grill in Caesars Palace. His restaurant provides an excellent example of the cooking style that he uses in competition.

6. Fellow Iron Chef Mario Batali has three eateries here: Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse and B&B Ristorante, along with one more to come in April. The orange-Crocs-wearing Italian has even begun to change the food culture in Las Vegas by founding the Molto Vegas Farmers Market, bringing fresh, regionally grown produce to the Valley.

7. Someday soon you could see one of our homegrown chefs test their mettle against the Iron Chefs. Will it be chef Todd Clore of Todd’s Unique? Wes Kendrick of Table 34? An unknown sweating it out under the heat lamps and dreaming big? Watch and learn.