McCrady’s Chef Sean Brock taped his Kitchen Stadium battle more than a year ago and has been keeping mum ever since. Over the course of that long year, when confronted with the swirling rumors, he’d simply smile impishly and shrug it off, refusing to give up any details. Well, now we know.

His Iron Chef America episode is scheduled to air Dec. 12. Be sure to set your DVRs so you can see him battle Michael Symon. He says we’re going to love the secret ingredient, so we’re thinking it must be some sort of pork product. Or maybe bourbon.

In related news, Brock’s star continues to shine brightly. Indeed, he was named one of Esquire’s Best and Brightest in the latest issue.