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Originally published August 3, 2009 at 1:38 PM | Page modified August 4, 2009 at 1:49 AM

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Kirkland chef, home cook head to Food Network

The Food Network announced that Holly Smith of Café Juanita and Melissa d'Arabian, a stay-at-home mom, both of Kirkland, will be on Food Network shows this fall, with Smith competing to be an Iron Chef.

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Food Network has found two of its latest stars right in Kirkland.

The network announced that chef Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita in Kirkland will be among the 10 chefs competing to be "The Next Iron Chef," premiering Oct. 4 at 9 p.m.

Then came the news that Melissa d'Arabian, a home cook, will debut her own cooking show on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 12:30 p. m.

Smith has long been considered one of the best chefs in the Seattle area. And who is d'Arabian? A stay-at-home mom with four preschool-aged daughters.

She's the winner of the reality show "The Next Food Network Star," which aired its finale Sunday night. That win will lead to her show, "Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian," in which she will create meals for four for $10, from Parisian to Moroccan fare.

As for Smith, she will compete on the show "The Next Iron Chef," trying to become an Iron Chef, arguably the highest honor on the Food Network. Current Iron Chefs Mario Batali, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon are among the cable channel's biggest celebrities.

But to get on the Iron Chef podium, Smith needs to beat nine other contestants in cooking competitions in New York, Los Angeles and Japan, using exotic ingredients such as jelly fish, and creating her version of fast food, according to the Food Network.

She will face off against Nate Appleman (chef/butcher, New York City); Dominique Crenn (chef de cuisine, Luce at InterContinental San Francisco); Brad Farmerie (executive chef, Double Crown, Madam Geneva, PUBLIC and The Monday Room, all in New York); Amanda Freitag (executive chef, The Harrison, New York); Jose Garces (executive chef, Amada, Tinto, Distrito and Chifa, Philadelphia); Eric Greenspan (executive chef, The Foundry on Melrose, Los Angeles); Jehangir Mehta (executive chef, Graffiti, New York); Seamus Mullen (executive chef, Boqueria Flatiron and Boqueria Soho, New York); and Roberto Treviño (executive chef, Budatai, San Juan, Puerto Rico).

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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