11/09/2012 05:03 pm ET Updated Jan 09, 2013

The Next Iron Chef Redemption Proves You Can Get a "Do Over"

Whoever told me I don't get a second to make a first impression was wrong. Well at least in the The Next Iron Chef: Redemptionseries. This -- the fifth installment of epic-sodes with Alton Brown as host, turning up the heat and putting the culinary chops (and frappes) of some of the most talented culinary artists to the test -- has got me hooked!

The premise is simple. Bring the best of the best back to the kitchen in an effort to create a competition like no other. Is ego involved? Absolutely. And according to the Food Network,

"This competition series adds a few newcomers to the mix, who have had their own experiences of not quite winning the crown. The competitors are given new opportunities to prove their skills are Iron Chef worthy, while revisiting some of the memorable moments that sent them home in the past."

Who are the brave souls willing to put reputations on the line again? Returning from The Next Iron Chef: Season Two, Nate Appleman, Amanda Freitag (Chopped), Eric Greenspan (The Foundry on Melrose, The Roof on Wilshire, Los Angeles) and Jehangir Mehta (Graffiti, New York); from The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs Elizabeth Falkner (Krescendo, New York), Alex Guarnaschelli (Butter, The Darby, New York, Chopped) and Spike Mendelsohn (Good Stuff Eatery, We The Pizza, Washington D.C.); and first time Next Iron Chef competitors with their own redemption stories, Tim Love (The Lonesome Dove, Western Bistro, The Love Shack, Woodshed Smokehouse, White Elephant Saloon, Fort Worth) and Marcel Vigneron (The Coop, Los Angeles).

"This season's cast is filled with extraordinary chefs at the top of their game and they all know how fierce this competition is," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. "The redemption theme heightens the season's drama with second chances and new opportunities, and viewers can expect culinary magic, intense battles and edge-of-your seat suspense."

Ego, suspense, redemption and a second chance... Sounds quite a bit like the recent elections! But at least as this "dramality" unfolds, I get my bi-partisan foodie fix. With so much clogging the airways, The Food Network has scored another hit this season and I plan to continue to take my seat at the table every Sunday at 9 p.m./8c.