The Iron Chef is a twisted television show in which cooks take on one of the feared Iron Chefs: Morimoto Masaharu (Japan), Chen Kenichi (China), Sakai Hiroyuki (France), and Kobe Masahiko (Italy). They participate in a 1 hour contest to cook the best complete meal using whatever item is the theme. The theme is announced by the Chairman at the beginning of the show, after the contestant decides which Iron Chef they will challenge. Each contestant is allowed helpers, and the entire thing is filmed like a sports contest, with comentary from celebrities and critics, and taking place in "Kitchen Stadium." At the end, the meals are judged by the panel of celebrity judges.

This must be seen to be believed. It doesn't really help that the voices are all (badly) dubbed over with utterly fake dialogue.

Some comments on the one episode I have seen: This was the "peach" episode, and if you think that making an entire meal based around a peaches theme is weird, let me tell you, the dishes sounded pretty weird to me. In this episode, the challenger refused to have helpers, and the Iron Chef he challenged (the French one) dismissed his helpers for honor. The Iron Chef still won, of course.

If you like the Iron Chef, you might like the movie, "The God of Cookery."

Supposedly the Chairman is a billionaire who founded a cooking academy and built kitchen stadium. He's really floofy-looking, tho. That, and, like wrestling, I'm pretty sure it's rigged. I refuse to believe that they really put the judging in the hands of that crap panel. (An ASTROLOGER, for chrissakes?)
But man oh man is it fun to watch.

The Chairman character mentioned above is actually called Chairman Kaga on the show. His real name is Takeshi Kaga.

There was a quite good, thorough fan website at http://www.ironchef.com, but as of 6/5/00 FujiTV's lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to the maintainer. Damn, I need a drink.

The Iron Chef series is no longer regularly produced, but FujiTV still puts out the occasional special. Food Network will air a co-production pitting Iron Chef Japanese Masaharu Morimoto against Hot Off the Grill host Bobby Flay on June 25, 2000.

For those who were left hanging:

The competion on June 25, 2000 was interesting, to say the least. As Jinmyo mentioned, the show is not aired in Canada, and only by virtue of being in the USA for work reasons did I see this. I caught it about halfway through the show, both Bobby Flay and Masaharu Morimoto were cooking up a storm. It was billed as the "Rock Crab Challenge", and most of the dishes were crab, Flay prepared some noodle thing though with squid ink that I don't recall having any crab in it...

The event was taped in New York, and one of the exciting things was watching everyone get hyped about cooking... Lots of Morimoto fans in the crowd, there was constant cheering and bad voice over dubbing of the Japanese commentators. It's a good thing that the crowd was on Morimoto's side though, because as the time began to wind down and the competition started to get fierce, things started to go wrong for Bobby Flay.

First, he cut himself with his knife - that was bound up pretty quick and didn't seem to set him back a whole lot, but then between the soaking wet floor and the electric cooking utensils, Flay kept getting shocked. There wasn't a whole lot they could do about it, but after a couple minutes of the camera following a swearing Flay around (commentator audio only at this point :), the organizers seemed to have that problem cleared up, and Flay went back to finish all his dishes with time to spare.

Morimoto was not so fortunate, however - though he seemed to have the majority of what he intended to prepare complete, he was working until the preparation time limit, and appeared rushed at the end.

After the prep time elapsed, Flay decided to pump up the crowd, jumping up onto his cutting board, and yelling at the crowd to "Raise the roof!". He was blasted by Morimoto for it, as Morimoto said after this display "The cutting board and knives are sacred to us and are to be respected. He is not a chef!"

With tensions high, the taste tests began, with Flay's dishes served up first. The judges response was very favorable, as it was with Morimoto's dishes that followed. There was a brief commercial break and when they returned -

MORIMOTO WAS VICTORIOUS! Huzzah! Caloo calay!

By the end of it all, Flay congratulated Morimoto, and all problems seemed smoothed over...

I highly recommend this show... Knowing japanese culture, they'll be on video shortly, and I intend to rent them.

Okay, one day I'm watching the Iron Chef and I see that the Ingredient O' The Day is turkey. Fair enough. I like turkey. Then I see that one of the chefs is making turkey sashimi, which for you fellow gaijin who don't know, means he was serving up raw fucking slices of turkey breast. WTF?!? "Paging Dr. Kevorkian, we've got 40 cases of salmonella poisoning in Studio B ..."

Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued. Wouldn't yours be? I mean, what other bizarre shit have they served up? I mean, I like wine, too. But a whole meal based on wine? Or yams? Here's what my research turned up: What's more, they've been doing this to people since October 1993.

Interestingly, the folks at www.ironchef.com keep win/loss stats:
  • Iron Chef Sakai Hiroyuki - Won 65 of 79, or 82 percent
  • Iron Chef Chin Kenichi - 60 of 79, or 76 percent
  • Iron Chef Michiba Rokusaburo - 27 of 32, or 84 percent
  • Iron Chef Nakamura Koumei - 19 of 29, or 65 percent
  • Iron Chef Morimoto Masaharu - 16 of 23, or 70 percent
  • Iron Chef Kobe Masahiko - 15 of 22, or 68 percent
  • Iron Chef ??? Ishinabe - 6 of 7, or 86 percent
Resources: http://www.ironchef.com
Everything Japanese Encyclopedia::Iron Chef

After 1662 entries, the Everything Japanese Encyclopedia became too big to fit in a single volume. After much deliberation, it was decided that the EJE would be broken up into separate tomes; this is one of those.

This portion of the EJE is devoted to the Iron Chefs, the tv show that bears their name, and anything about the show that you crazy noders have put up here. If, during your wanderings through the nodegel, you spot a node that has been overlooked by the watchful eyes of the Encyclopedists, drop me a /msg.

Thanks!

Iron Chef

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