Garlic Showdown

The Pros Take the Stage in an Iron Chef-Style Showdown





Over the last 40 years, the Gilroy Garlic Festival has welcomed many famous chefs to the Garlic Cook-Off Stage, but has never hosted a true Iron Chef—until now. Festival organizers announced that Iron Chef Michael Symon will appear at the 40th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday, July 29, 2018.

Michael SymonAt high noon on Sunday, July 29, Michael Symon will emcee the Garlic Showdown on the Garlic Cook-Off Stage. This Iron Chef-inspired competition features local professional chefs squaring off in a culinary battle for a $3,000 cash prize and ultimate bragging rights.

After the winner is announced, Michael will perform a live cooking demonstration and answer questions from the audience.

Though this will be his first appearance at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, Michael Symon is certainly no stranger to intense cooking competitions. After gaining fame as host of The Melting Pot on Food Network, he went on to win season one of The Next Iron Chef in 2008, earning him a permanent spot on the roster of esteemed Iron Chefs.

Michael continues to appear on multiple Food Network and Cooking Channel shows, including Food Feuds and his own Cooking Channel show Symon’s Suppers as well as Cook Like an Iron ChefThe Next Iron Chef, and Iron Chef America. In 2011, he joined the cast of The Chew on ABC-TV and has recently appeared in Iron Chef Showdown on Food Network.

In the Garlic Showdown, each chef has to use a top-secret ingredient (not revealed until the competition begins) to prepare two entrees and side dishes. A panel of judges will determine the winner based on presentation, originality, flavor, texture, and use of the “secret ingredient.”

Past Garlic Showdown winners include:

  • 2017: Carlos Pineda
  • 2016: Michael Fisher
  • 2015: Jonathan Toste
  • 2014: Jason Gronlund
  • 2013: Jason Gronlund
  • 2012: Jason Gronlund
  • 2011: Dean Dupuis


Come to the Cook-Off Stage on Sunday to see who will be the 2018 Garlic Showdown winner!