Iron Chef.... WTF???

Im puttin this in IMHO cause it’s going to be loaded with people’s opinions…

What is the deal with all this buzz about some show called Iron Chef? I wouldn’t even know what the hell it was, if Zenster, hadn’t filled me in on some of the details.

[li]I have never seen the tv show.[/li][li]Until recently, I din’t even know it is a tv show.[/li][li]I have been aware of the 100 gigs-worth of Iron Chef threads that frequently inundate page one MPSIMS.[/li][li]Until now, I had never heard of the Fuji network. BTW I have cable tv, but we obviously don’t get Fuji channel.[/li]
So, AFAIK, Iron Chef is some oddball cooking contest from a Japanese tv network. Ummmm ok …so what’s the deal? Why is it so freakin popular???

I could see the appeal if were Jackie Chan vs Jet Li in a cooking with martial arts match to the death type of thing but, come on…

I just don’t get it. I have no way to watch an episode of the show, so that leaves me even more clueless. From what little I know, it doesn’t sound that interesting to me.

And don’t forget that William “Captain Kirk” Shatner is going to be hosting the US broadcast version of the show! And, he promises lots of hammy acting!!! I, for one, cannot wait. I’ve never seen the real Iron Chef, but that doesn’t stop me from being interested in the whole thing. After all, if one loves good food, how can one not love Iron Chef?

I can’t bloody stand it. A lot of my friends are Iron Chef junkies and watch all the time - they have forced me to do sa while in their company, as I was the only one who didn’t want to watch.

From what I can tell, the fixation is entirely:
A: Sheer amusement value of watching anything Japanese, as it’s always really campy and goofy, and
B: Checking out the truly bizarre dishes these guys whip up. They cost a fortune and are truly dubious in actual positive content.

Also, the reactions of the testers is as hammy as the directors of any Bruce Lee movie could have hoped.

Iron Chef is also shown on Food TV. The thing about Food TV is, you get “culty” shows. People get crazy about them. Like the Emeril Legasse (spelling?) show.

I have seen a little bit of Iron Chef. Part of the fun is that it’s campy. The host wears very flamboyant clothes - capes, glitter, rhinestones, etc. They also use very weird ingredients. “Tonight the chefs will use an octopus, two pounds of mangos, leeks, and tofu!”

If you don’t get into cooking shows, you probably won’t like it. I never watch a whole episode, but it’s fun in it’s way.

Does that help fill you in a little?

Just kidding. Here’s a link to the U.S. network that airs the show:,6525,IC,00.html
Particularly check out the Iron Chef FAQ, in the right-hand column.

Most basic cable packages include the Food Network in their lineup, so chances are good that you, too, can watch Iron Chef.

I am an avid fan-- watch as many episodes as I can and have the book. It’s just damn fine entertainment: cooking meets sports announcement, with some bizarre ingredients, plenty of egos, and a great sense of humor. It’s all good.

Iron Chef, simply put, is absolutely one of the Best Shows Ever.

If you don’t agree, you are an infidel, and must be reeducated.

“Ahhggrrh kuzznnggg!”*
[sub]*The Chairman’s version of “allez cuisine.”[/sub]

Well, as a chef, I love watching the show. It’s campy, the dubbing is really bad sometimes, and I’ve got a sick fascination for watching the particular episodes when the main ingredient is presented live (anyone remember the eel battle?).

Eh, some people get it, some don’t.

I have a blast doing the Iron Chef threads, and will be doing my best to kick some Fenris butt. :smiley:

I saw Iron Chef USA, and I liked it.

The good parts:
The hammy Shatner ejecting a chef during his grand entrance.
The arena itself, with so many food ingredients, and modern tools and appliances.
The Iron Chef passing part of a meal to the booth announcers during the contest.
The challenger receiving a call on his cell phone while cooking.
Bruce Vilanch as judge cracking jokes (I guess he just got himself another steady job)
Seeing the Playboy playmate eat something
Seeing the replay of the Playboy playmate eat something:)

The bad parts:
The constant cutting between the food contest and the interview segments, like what America sees during the Olympics.
The kitchen arena announcer and the booth announcers.
Shatner not shouting out names during the contest like chairman does in Iron Chef Japan.

I don’t know, I just finished watching the first battle and I was bored stiff. It feels like the show lacks flare compared to the Japanese original. Also, with the original, there was always something to “Oooh!” about, whether it be the cost of the ingredients, the main ingredient fighting back (Octopus battle anyone?), or what have you. I suppose it wouldn’t be a Iron Chef battle without someone firing up the ice cream maker, though…

I’ll probably still watch any others episodes aired just to see what the other chefs are like, but I wasn’t really impressed.

And “Turn up the heat”? Ugh.

Back to the orginal Iron Chef. . .

I’ve watched the show for about a year, and I like it. I agree that the stuff with any live ingredient is the coolest (and, usually, the grossest). I’m starting to pick up on some of the “in” jokes but one thing I can’t figure out . . .

What’s the deal with Chef Kobe–the Iron Chef Italian? Is he like the ugly stepbrother of the show? He gets brought up after the other three, and then forgotten–they even refer to the three Iron Chefs during the show! So, is he only there for his boyish good looks, or does he ever get to cook?

Originally, there were only three Iron Chef positions; the Iron Chef Italian position was added much later in the show’s running. The producers usually reserved Kobe for specific battles, almost always battles against other Italian chefs. Rarely was he presented as one of the possibly Iron Chefs that the challenger was free to challenge. He might have been incorporated into the standard Iron Chef lineup later on; I haven’t seen a number of the later episodes.

I’m pretty sure he’s saying “haute cuisine”. “Allez cuisine” is essentially meaningless.

He’s definately saying “allez cuisine,” which is French for “start cooking.”

Or at least the Japanese think that’s how you say start cooking. I think it actually translates to “start food,” which, of course, doesn’t make sense. But “allez cuisine” is as close as you can get to a phrase that means “start cooking” and still is short and catchy. But please don’t take that as Gospel, as I am not French.

I am w/o cable right now and am bemoaning the lack of Iron Chef. I hope to have this rectified very, very soon. It’s actually a valid excuse to stay in on a Friday night among my circle of friends. (Yes, we’re dorks.) :smiley:

Yep, it’s “allez cuisine.” Just another part of the strange but wonderful tapestry that is the glory of Iron Chef.

It is Allez Cuisine: It’s supposed to mean “Hurry Up and Cook” or “Start Cooking!”

The problem is that Kaga is speaking French with a Japanese accent so it sounds…weird


By the way: Kaga, before he became Chairman was a legit actor: He was a surprisingly good Jesus in Jesus Christ, Superstar and he was also in Les Mis. A sound file of him singing can be found: here