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April 23rd, 2000

Iron Chef

There’s a show on the FoodTV network that has already gained a reputation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it gained a significant cult following in the near future. It’s called The Iron Chef and comes out of the Far East (Japan, I believe).

A challening chef is brought into “Kitchen Stadium” to battle it out with one of the four Iron Chefs. Each of the Iron Chefs has a speciality in a certain type of cuisine (though all of the chefs are Japanese or Chinese): Japanese, Chinese, French, and Italian. The two chefs are then given a certain ingredient that they have to use in everything they prepare for the judges (usually five or six dishes) in an hour’s time. It’s a pretty impressive thing to watch, even if the commentary is a bit flaky at times.

The one that was on last night had a Japanese chef who was a strong traditionalist battling one of the Iron Chefs that supposedly spearheads the so-called Neo-Japanese movement by taking traditional Japanese food and giving it some pretty signficant twists. What was funny about this episode is that the traditionalist chef had brought along a posse to cheer him on, and there was a lot of trash-talking between the chefs. Strange.

While not all the dishes look immediately appealing, the judges (a panel made up of food critics and entertainment celebrities) usually manage to compliment them anyway. 🙂 The actual judging portion of the show is odd, though, because despite all the commentary you hear about the food, it’s hard to tell how they will vote in the end — as a matter of fact, in the two or three times I’ve watched, I always thought it was going to go to the challenger, but the Iron Chef ended up winning.

It’s an interesting show and not a bad way to kill an hour. -ram

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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