‘Chef’ battles, Food sizzles

Cooking special gives cabler highest rates ever

NEW YORK — CNN’s Larry King still gets high-powered guests, and Nickelodeon’s Rugrats have become movie stars, but the Food Network may be ready to blow away every other cable celebrity this summer with the Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

The Food Network’s two-hour special “Iron Chef N.Y. Battle” at 9 p.m. Sunday scored the highest rating for a special in Food’s history, harvesting 960,000 households from an average Nielsen rating of 1.75 in cable homes.

The weekly hourlong “Iron Chef” series has built a loyal following since Food imported it from Japan’s Fuji TV Network last summer.

Three months ago, Food shot the two-hour “test of skill and skillets” in which Morimoto bested New York chef Bobby Flay at Webster Hall in Gotham.

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