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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

FROM: Jessica
DATE: Sunday April 23, 2000 -- 11:50:19PM
I love Iron Chef! I am proud to say it comes from the land of my (partial) heritage, Japan. This show is awesome, they have tried to copy here in America (Ready, Set, Cook) but it cannot be done. I love it when the theme igredient is something just downright Asian, like octopus or eels..because they have to incorporate it into everything. Plus, a lot of the time, those things are presented alive, so we see the whole process. It is also fun to watch them try to make peaches into main dishes. It used to just be on one night a week, but now it is on three nights a week, a different show each night! Their is a brief FAQ on the food network website.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday April 24, 2000 -- 9:08:45AM
Jessica --

Yeah, the one I saw the other night, they used unisex salmon. Apparently 1 out of every 5000 salmon or something like that are born without reproductive organs, and supposedly the flavor is more concentrated than regular salmon. The Iron Chef didn't even know such a fish existed! :)

FROM: Katherine
DATE: Thursday April 27, 2000 -- 4:58:40PM
This is such a great show! Chris and I first became hooked because of the "flaky" translated commentary, but then we got hooked on the other aspects of the show. We saw one with Mishima beef-- $12,000 a head, and so good that I think each chef presented one dish with the beef left raw. Even though nothing happens to the Iron Chef when he's defeated by a challenger, apparently the winning challenger's restuarant becomes wildly popular. In Japan, the show is 2 hours long and is followed the same way soap operas are followed in the U.S.

There is also an Iron Chef drinking game... details can be found at

Who's your favorite Iron Chef? I'm partial to Sakai, myself.

FROM: Chris
DATE: Thursday April 27, 2000 -- 7:08:05PM
One of the first shows that I watched (a couple months ago) featured aspagus as the theme ingredient. One of the chefs made asparagus ice cream. Ugh!

Ryan is right the judges treat each dish like it is the best dish they have ever tasted. Although one judge told the Iron Chef on one of this weekends episodes that his dish would have been better if it had been perfected!

Each week they have different popular figures who help with the commentary and are also judges. Actors, actresses, sports figures, singers. Kinda like having Bob Costas do commentary on Martha Stuart cooking show. Actually the comments are more Bob Uckeresque.

FROM: Chris Shaver
DATE: Sunday June 4, 2000 -- 1:12:30AM
For those who are interested on June 26th the Food Network will air an Iron Chef special which was taped a month or two ago in NYC. Iron Chef Morimoto who represents a contemporary style of Japanese cooking will be pitted against Food Networks own Bobby Flay (Hot off the Grill with Bobby Flay). Flay's speciality is American South Western style cooking.

The special will be a full two hours which is how long an episode lasts in Japan. The American version which airs on Fri., Sat, and now Sun. nights is cut down to an hour and dubbed.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday June 6, 2000 -- 10:28:42PM
Don't you just love lawyers?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday June 7, 2000 -- 9:20:33AM
Geez. Won't corporate bigwigs ever "get it"?

FROM: Robert
DATE: Sunday June 25, 2000 -- 2:46:12PM
Fansites are the best for real, good information. Damn those oily lawyers! I think they were just looking for billable hours until the next celebrity divorce.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday June 25, 2000 -- 11:30:34PM
The New York battle ... your thoughts?

Now that both Dana and I are hooked on this show (thanks Ryan! :) I waited to see the NY battle with bated breath. I wasn't disappointed with the results... Bobby Flay came off as way too arrogant. His dishes looked good, though.

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 2:20:16 pm

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