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By popular demand, a forum devoted to Mr. Philo T. Farnsworth's remarkable invention.
93

Allez Cuisine!
Topic by: jross3
Posted: January 1, 2005 - 6:10 PM PST
Last Reply: May 24, 2005 - 10:22 AM PDT

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author topic: Allez Cuisine!
jross3
post #1  on January 1, 2005 - 6:10 PM PST  
Iron Chef America!
January 15!
Yay!

Two weeks from now, the Food Network will officially begin airing the show I've been looking forward to. I don't know if it will beat the Original. I'm not too sure that Bobby Flay has the qualification of Iron Man (do you suppose he'll stand on the counter after every battle?). However, I am confident in Mr. Bitali and Mr. Morimoto (although some of his creations were questionable in nature).

Just to get my pulse running, Food Network is airing the Balle of the Masters special they made some time ago (which is on DVD, but not at GC!).

My greatest doubt lies in the Chairman. His puny mouth cannot handle the taste of a pepper!
hamano
post #2  on January 1, 2005 - 7:06 PM PST  
Let's hope they can refrain from turning the American version into some simulacrum of a pro-wrestling match... The original was campy, but they achieved it by making Chairman Kaga into some foppish shoujo-manga heavy type, like a count out of The Rose of Versailles or something. That was the problem with Shatner... he was as hammy but not nearly as "classy". We're talking about haute cuisine here, while the mainstream American audience definitely seems to prefer quantity/size/value to finesse and imagination in combining and cooking rarefied ingredients. They should have cast someone more like George Hamilton or Richard Chamberlain rather than Shatner, I think. Maybe Kenneth Branaugh... Ooh, how about Alan Rickman? I guess they're all out of the budget range of the food network... Who would do the show on a lark that would be convincing... Jeff Goldblum? Oh, Stephen Fry would be magnificent...
hamano
post #3  on January 1, 2005 - 8:01 PM PST  
OK, the Chairman is going to be Mark Dacascos... he was live action Crying Freeman and the Native American kick-ass sidekick in Brotherhood of the Wolf, right? He's young, but maybe he can pull it off.

Here's what he's up against... Takeshi Kaga, the flamboyant stage actor who played Chairman Kaga, was "... with the international cast of Les Miserables; Kaga was Jean Valjean in Japan's 1994 production. He was also the first Japanese Tony in West Side Story (1977) as well as the first Japanese Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar (1976). "
hamano
post #4  on January 1, 2005 - 8:08 PM PST  
Oh, look! DDooher can cook!
jross3
post #5  on January 1, 2005 - 9:40 PM PST  
On the Battle of the Masters special they showed tonight, he's (supposedly, within the context of the show...) Kaga-s nephew (and from the commercials, it seems to be the same guy in The Series). With that in mind I was able to accept him as a chairman... but he's no Kaga. Compared to Kaga, he's underdressed in his tux, and the whole "I respect you, Mr. Pepper, but I can't show my (supposed) uncle's restraint when eating one of you like that" thing kinda irks me. Eat the pepper, you wuss! My 5-year-old nephew can bite into an apple. Biting into the pepper is a sign of prowess as a gourmet! I just can't respect him as much with this sign of weakness.
DBooher
post #6  on January 2, 2005 - 10:01 AM PST  
> On January 1, 2005 - 8:08 PM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Oh, look! DDooher can cook!
> ---------------------------------

I know! I used to stare at her name during commerical breaks trying to figure it if it was a "D" or a "B." I get so excited when her show comes on. I say "Look! It's almost my name!"
dh22
post #7  on January 3, 2005 - 9:37 AM PST  
Alton Brown is going to be doing commentary. I think he's great. I love Good Eats. I think its the best show on that channel.
underdog
post #8  on January 3, 2005 - 10:28 AM PST  
What's the difference between this new American version and the crummy American version they tried a couple of years ago? (With William Shatner -- well, that's one difference right there.)

jross3
post #9  on January 3, 2005 - 10:47 AM PST  
> On January 3, 2005 - 10:28 AM PST underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> What's the difference between this new American version and the crummy American version they tried a couple of years ago? (With William Shatner -- well, that's one difference right there.)
>
>
> ---------------------------------

THey're using real chefs this time; I don't know the guys that were listed on that DVD you have here, but Mario Bitali, Bobby Flay, and Masaharu Morimoto are definately (probably) good choices. Plus there's Alton Brown (I think he's great, too; I got all of his books for christmas this year :-)), and the kitchens look really, really nice (I can't imagine that a show with a budget for William Shatner as chairman would afford a nice kitchen... much less two).

I'm looking forward to this... still. Bet you wouldn't have guessed that. I wonder what kinds of changes will show up in the final format for the series....
Dcran1955
post #10  on January 3, 2005 - 8:07 PM PST  
I wish they would have gotten Wolfgang Puck as an Iron Chef.
On the tv special he walked around like it was a day in the park and still won with ease.Does anyone think it's strange that the American chefs won every match against the Japanese chefs? I think Wolfgang Puck deserved his win against Morimoto, but c'mon Sakai should've beaten Bobby Flay.
hamano
post #11  on January 3, 2005 - 8:24 PM PST  
But the judges are American, like the judges on the original show were Japanese... right? We'll see how fair the judging is when chefs working in the US are pitted against each other.

I mean, in the original show a French chef who's rated 3 stars by Michelin lost to Sakai. Granted, Sakai's dishes seemed more inventive, but Sakai also knows what the Japanese prefer taste-wise... I'm sure the same goes for the American judges. The winning chef will be the one that can better anticipate what they'd find tasty.
jross3
post #12  on January 3, 2005 - 9:24 PM PST  
But then tonight, a two-star French chef beat Sakai in Battle Lamb. I only caught the last half of that one, though (but I built the moon on Katamari Damacy; maybe I'll catch the next showing) so I missed his intro, but it seems that the guy was a very famous chef. It was close, but three of the four judges went with Mr. France by a point or two. One, I think, won a major French Cooking contest in Japan, and he complimented the challenger with the high praise, "These are all better than the dishes I served in the competition" or something to a similar effect. I myself watched in awe as I saw a chef whose skill I could never approach, much as I watch Sakai and Michiba when they are at the top of their game.

Still, I have seen very few battles where an Iron Chef lost. But that should be fairly natural; these "invincible men of culinary skill" shouldn't be easy to defeat. But their stats do seem quite high, even (or is it especially?) against exclusively Japanese challengers. I suppose that getting to know the regulars among the judges helps that quite a bit, and maybe they slip the Chairman some special sweets in exchange for some advance info. The odds are always stacked against the challenger, working in an unfamiliar environment in unfamiliar conditions, plus the Iron Chef has the added bonus of a great reputation that most challengers can't match (but one can hope that most judges can set that aside, at least).
Even so, the win-loss record is still a little heavy in the Iron Chefs' favor. I guess that just serves to being out the most courageous and skilled competitors.
lizzoqops
post #13  on January 6, 2005 - 12:39 PM PST  
Some of the new episodes' ingredients are up at ironfans.net. If you check the schedule and look at Sunday's episodes they are there. I'm not talkin', though, it could be considered a spoiler. If you don't want to know the details, don't go there.

Tonight: Never before aired Nakamura episode (Udon)

Tomorrow: One of my all-time favorites: Michiba makes tuna eyeballs. Yummy.
hamano
post #14  on January 6, 2005 - 1:00 PM PST  
> On January 6, 2005 - 12:39 PM PST lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Tonight: Never before aired Nakamura episode (Udon)

Are you sure? I just DLed an Udon episode...

> Tomorrow: One of my all-time favorites: Michiba makes tuna eyeballs. Yummy.

Tuna eyeballs should be HUGE! It's not actually the eyes, but the fatty stuff around it that's yummy. The eye itself is just hard and chewy. But the stuff that lubricates the eyeball around the socket, MMMMM....

I think the regular Iron Chefs have an edge in that they are always forced to think outside the box. I mean, maybe they got away with reproducing their regular restaurant dishes at the beginning, but after a while they couldn't do that any more. They were forced to become inventive, and then they got used to being inventive/innovative, which is one of the things that the judges seem to like. So when Sakai went up against Monsieur 3Star in that chicken battle, 3 Star made 3 chicken main courses, all cooked whole. Sakai made a good variety of little dishes, including a chicken DESSERT! 3Star's dishes looked delicious, but I'm sure they were dishes he serves regularly at his restaurant, tried and true entrees. Sakai came up with stuff no-one even thought of before, all beautiful AND yummy looking... I think that's why the regular Irons win so often. THAT's the home field advantage.
lizzoqops
post #15  on January 6, 2005 - 1:34 PM PST  
On the schedule it says NEW BATTLE. I could be wrong, though. Are you sure you didn't get the Sakai udon episode? A great episode. Kaga says he hates udon. Pretty funny.

Do you guys have favorite eps? Ha, I love Iron Chef. I love the "Peach" episode, and the Kobe "Pumpkin" episode with the food cart guy. And the "Sushi" episode with Takenaka.
hamano
post #16  on January 6, 2005 - 2:37 PM PST  
> On January 6, 2005 - 1:34 PM PST lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> On the schedule it says NEW BATTLE. I could be wrong, though. Are you sure you didn't get the Sakai udon episode? A great episode. Kaga says he hates udon. Pretty funny.

Oh, maybe... I haven't watched it yet. I can't believe there was more than one udon battle! But I never knew people ate stingrays (rather than skates) either, so what do I know?

> Do you guys have favorite eps?

I don't have cable, so I'm going on what I've DLed so far, and a couple I've seen on Japanese TV a few years ago. I guess from a dramatic viewpoint, it has to be the final King of Iron Chef tournament, with best friends Chen and Sakai pitted against each other... It always tickles me to see Sakai break down in fits of crying and hugging. From the food point of view... hmmm... maybe the Cabbage Battle. I like the ones where the ingredient is familiar enough for me to "taste" as they're cooking, and at the same time mundane enough to appreciate when the chefs are being truly innovative (instead of just adding foie gras or truffles to the dish willy nilly to make the dish fancy and expensive).

Who's your favorite chef? Right now mine is Chen... he's very expressive, and he seems to have a good combination of humility and humor. Plus that stooped Peter Lorre posture. He seems to be a damn fine cook, too. Often I think Sakai's dishes are very beautiful, but in my head I imagine that Chen's dishes would be better in taste.

Yogurt Battle was fun. Chen had a priceless expression of incredulity when the ingredient was announced (not a lot of yogurt dishes in Chinese cooking), then he won, and he was round eyed with shock, pointing to himself with that "Who, me?" look.

Oh, and there was the Spinach Battle where he beat the "Cavalier of Cheese" guy with a dish made with processed cheeze! That was truly fantabulous!! A bit cruel for the poor ( and maybe overconfident) challenger, who looked stupefied at the end... Usually the loser is very gracious about shaking hands with the winner and stuff, but you could see his shoulders slump. More proof that Chen is the best!
lizzoqops
post #17  on January 6, 2005 - 3:10 PM PST  
Yeah, I switch back and forth between favorite chefs. It was Sakai for a long time, but Chen is so funny, ya gotta love him. That yogurt episode was great. And I must have some of his mabu dofu before I die. Damn, that looks good. I keep buying different kinds of mix, but they never look as good as his does. They do taste good, though.

I forgot "Mishima Beef", the great episode where the woman chef cuts her hand. She makes this amazing looking beef dessert with cocoa powder. Mmmm.
jross3
post #18  on January 6, 2005 - 5:42 PM PST  
I don't really have a favorite episode yet... although Iron Chef Italian, Masahiko Kobe, impresses me (and once in a while, you just have to go for the underdog!). There was that one episode where he hand-rolled pasta for a special sauce. Such dexterity! He rolled it and cut it in a single deft motion! He's probably the most energetic of the Iron Chefs, in my opinion.
And why is Italian the only one that's not recognized? Just pushed off to the side, not fit to rise with the other Iron Chefs. It's degrading! And why, if Italian is distinct enough to have its own Iron Chef, is there no Iron Chef Mexican? Is it because the Japanese pronunciation of "Mexican" is so amusing?
hamano
post #19  on January 6, 2005 - 6:40 PM PST  
> On January 6, 2005 - 5:42 PM PST jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> And why is Italian the only one that's not recognized? Just pushed off to the side, not fit to rise with the other Iron Chefs. It's degrading!

Apparently it's because he was the youngest and the only one who didn't have his own restaurant when he became Iron Chef! But as a concession he got his own live mini-orchestra to play his "theme" as he emerges... no one else has that!
lizzoqops
post #20  on January 6, 2005 - 9:26 PM PST  
I did see one Japanese chef who cooked "authentic" Mexican food on Iron Chef once. I think he battled Kobe.

I am so hoping Tony Bourdain shows up as a challenger on the new ICA. I miss him.
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