Tim Mälzer gets (almost) all of them. When the Hamburg chef calls for a duel, the top chefs from East and West, North and South put on their aprons and stoke the fire – and have done so since 2015. In the new season of “Kitchen Impossible”, which is already the ninth, they want to Mälzer once again lives up to his reputation as “Mister Kitchen Impossible”. The rivals are top-class as usual. Nevertheless, the fans complain. This is mainly due to one person: Tim Raue.

The Berlin star chef is one of the fans’ absolute favorites and is actually a fixture of “Kitchen Impossible”. The power struggles between the two Tims at the stove have been one of the highlights of the season so far. But this time Raue will neither be competing as a rival nor will he make any other appearances. The fans reacted with shock, which they openly showed on Mälzer’s Instagram page with comments like “Ohne Raue – oh no” and “Something will be missing.”

But that’s not the only thing that irritates fans. For nine weeks, Mälzer will again be dueling with the crème de la crème of the cooking scene; the rivals include repeat offenders but also newcomers – although no women. “It seems like there are no women in the catering industry anymore,” was one of the criticisms on Instagram. And someone else is missing: Jamie Oliver. “I was secretly hoping for a duel with Jamie Oliver!!! It’s a shame that he and Gennaro aren’t there,” commented one follower. Fans have been waiting for years for the British celebrity chef to finally be a guest on the cooking show. There had been rumors about this again and again.

But even without Raue, Oliver and – well, the women of the culinary world – “Kitchen Impossible” fans can look forward to the usual wild culinary ride through the world. This time the black box is waiting for the chefs in Wales, Portugal, Kenya, South Africa and Japan, among others. According to the announcement, it will be “extremely unpredictable”.

The new season begins with the duel between Tim Mälzer and Richard Rauch. The Austrian was already seen in season two, but back then as the original chef. Rauch stands for radical regional cuisine. Hans Jörg Bachmeier, Stefan Wiesner and Anton Schmaus, head chef for the German national soccer team, have also appeared as original chefs on “Kitchen Impossible” and now want to take Mälzer himself to task. Star chef Alexander Herrmann, a regular guest on the show, is appearing this time together with Tobias Bätz.

There will be three specials in season nine. Mälzer travels with Matthias Diether to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Edi Frauneder, with whom Mälzer competed last season as part of the USA Edition, is coming to Hamburg this time. So it will be a home game for Mälzer. The Grand Finale has been the Best Friends Edition for years. This time Juan Amador and Lukas Mraz do the honors. The season will be interrupted on Easter Sunday and an Easter Egg repeat will be broadcast.

February 25th: with Richard Rauch3. March: with Hans Jörg Bachmeier10. March: with Stefan Wiesner17. March: with Anton Schmaus24. March: with Matthias Diether (Baltic Edition)31. March: Easter Egg Edition (repeat)7. April: with Edi Frauneder (Hamburg Edition)14. April: with Alexander Herrmann

Transparency note: Like Vox, Der stern is part of RTL Deutschland