Iron Chef fan checking in…though I’m only a moderate fan. The real diehards will correct my ignorance, I’m sure.
As far as I’m aware, Bobby Flay has been involved in two episodes of Iron Chef, both against Morimoto. The first competition was held in New York, where both Flay and Morimoto have restaurants, which Flay lost. He later claimed his equipment had been sabotaged. He travelled to Japan for the rematch, and defeated Morimoto by decision in Kitchen Stadium.
I remember being surprised by the outcome when I watched the show, and wondered whether the judges had thrown the match to Flay because he’d been whining about his first loss. That’s just a WAG on my part, since I don’t know anything the intricacies of Japanese etiquette, and have no idea whether the judges would even the score at one victory apiece for the sake of face-saving.
He did come off as something of an ass on the show, but I don’t know to what extent he’s actually like that, and to what extent he was just playing to the stereotype of Americans being loud and boorish. There was an American cheering section at the rematch that was quite boisterous–which is where I imagine that the producers of the Americanized version of the show hosted by William Shatner got the idea for their cheering, sign-waving audience. (As a slight hijack, was the American version of IC ever aired, or has it received a quiet burial?)
I’ve never eaten in Flay’s restaurants (I doubt I could afford them if I were to visit New York), so I can’t vouch for his skill as a cook. He apparently has had several specials on the Food Network, but I’m unsure whether he has a regular series or not.