Michelle Obama joins Iron Chefs in TV episode

First Lady Michelle Obama has opened up the White House to the Food Network in an episode of "Iron Chef America" that will air in January, reports CNN.

Appearing in the episode, which has already been filmed, Obama announces the "secret ingredient" to the chefs before the competition. The chefs will use ingredients that were grown in the Obama family's White House vegetable garden.

This marks the first time that a first lady has appeared in a reality television series. The First Lady agreed to take part in the show as part of her efforts to promote healthy living to the American public.Chefs participating include White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford as well as celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse. Cook-off judges include British chef Nigella Lawson, actress Jane Seymour and U.S. Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin.

During her appearance, Obama spoke about the influence that cooking shows like "Iron Chef" have on the American perception of healthy foods. "It's going a long way to help change the way this country thinks about food," she told the chefs.