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Report: Veggies in 'Chef' special switched

Jan. 16, 2010 at 4:50 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The vegetables used in a special White House episode of "Iron Chef America" did not come from the garden at the Washington site, a Food Network official says.

Politicsdaily.com reported Tuesday Food Network public relations director Lisa Krueger confirmed the vegetables actually used as the special ingredients in the Jan. 3 two-hour special were replacements for the originals.

The original vegetables were picked from a White House garden in late October by the four chefs participating in the TV special, including White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford.

"As we have told reporters who have covered this story from the beginning, due to the production delay between the shoot at the White House and the shoot at Food Network, the produce used in Kitchen Stadium during the "Super Chef Battle" was not actually from the White House garden," Krueger said in an e-mail to Politicsdaily.com.

The actual cooking contest between the team of Comerford and chef Bobby Flay and a team consisting of "Chef" participants Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse took place in New York nearly a week after the vegetables were picked.

Politicsdaily.com said due to the delay, replacement vegetables were used and the substitutions were not divulged by the Food Network.

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