Chef Cat Cora talks new 'dream' show and rise to fame as first female Iron Chef

McKenzie DeGroot
Segment Producer

“Obviously it’s a dream job,” chef, author, and television host Cat Cora told YFi PM this week, referring to her show, ABC’s “Family Food Fight.

The show follows families as they compete in high-pressure cooking competitions that are inspired by their own family food traditions.

“It’s always been individuals against each other. And now we’ve brought in not only home chefs, but families to cook together, and cook against each other,” she continues. “The stakes are high. It’s $100,000 and the title of America’s number one food family, and of course our ‘Family Food Fight’ belt,” she adds.

The reality cooking competition originated in Australia, and is finishing out its first season in the United States. Cora joins fellow judges Ayesha Curry and Graham Elliot.

“It’s a blessing to be on this job and this show,” she says. “It’s a feel-good show, it’s a family show, and we really need that in our times right now,” she adds.

Cora has also written three cookbooks, as well as one memoir titled, “Cooking as Fast as I Can: A Chef’s Story of Food, Family and Forgiveness.”

Flavors are flowing as the top four families of home cooks advance in the competition on an all-new episode of "Family Food Fight," THURSDAY, JULY 25 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images)

The beginning

The reality star made her debut as the first-ever female Iron Chef on The Food Network’s hit show “Iron Chef of America” back in 2005. She says the two shows differ greatly, adding, “If you thought it was high pressure sitting on your couch and watching, it was 100 times that in Kitchen Stadium, so it was really intense and we had to cook 25 dishes in an hour.”

Cora said the show also enabled her to be a positive female role model. “It was great to be able to be a role model to so many people, to show America that women can cook as hard and fast as men can in the kitchen, and compete,” she says.

The finale of “Family Food Fight” airs on Thursday.

McKenzie DeGroot is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @degrootmckenzie

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