Iron Chef w/ a Zen Buddhist Monk Challenger

I watched an episode of Iron Chef recently that featured a Zen Buddhist monk as the challenger. The Iron Chef was Iron Chef France, I think.

The Zen Buddhist monk was a vegetarian and, thusly, used no animal products in his dishes. Iron Chef France did. He won.

I’m split on how I feel about this victory. On one hand, it is the monk’s choice to not use meat or meat based products in his dishes. On the other hand (and maybe this is where my reasoning is flawed), Iron Chef France did use fish and other meats (if I’m not mistaken) and won. I can’t say for sure if the monk lost just because his dishes didn’t have the same flavor as the meat dishes but I do wonder why Iron Chef France didn’t try to level the playing field by opting to not use meat.

Ultimately I decided it’s a competition and one should do what one needs to do (sans cheating, of course) to win. Iron Chef France had an advantage (maybe) and used it.

So, what say ye, dopers? Should Iron Chef France have not used meat? Did he even have an advantage by using meat?

Admittedly, I was doing other things while watching this episode of Iron Chef so this may have been covered. If this is the case, please tell me.

The Iron Chef always wins.(It seemsm like that anyway…)

I think that Iron Chef France plays fair. Did you see the episode where the Challenger refused to use assistants, insisting that he could pull the entire thing together himself. IC France started with assistants, decided he thought it was an unfair advantage, and dimissed his assistants. (I can’t remember if he won though…)
At any rate, i think that if IC France thought it was unfair, he wouldn’t have used meat. But there aren’t any rules other than use the main ingredient, and they are playing to win.

If I’m not mistaken (and I very well could be because I don’t watch Iron Chef regularly), Iron Chef France once, uh, purloined some special sake (or maybe it was another type of wine) from a challenger. The challenger brought this special sake (or whatever it was) from some region famous for its sake (or whatever it was).

Not always. I remember seeing the statistics once and they do win about 70% of the time but they do lose from time to time.

I saw this episode. IIRC the theme ingredient was yams. The little Zen dude made some extremely simple, minimalistic dishes, (i.e. yams and rice, no other ingredients or seasonings). I think it was probably this approach which hurt him as much as anything. I remember one dish (some sort of soup) which the judges said had absolutely no taste. The “subtlety” (i.e. blandness) of the monk simply could not compete with Iron Chef Sakai’s rich sauces and flavorings.

I do think Sakai should have gone with all veggie diushes to be fair though.