TV Shows »Iron Chef Japan

Re-Airing on Cooking Channel

I vividly remember when my family and I first watched Iron Chef. It was so flamboyantly dramatic, with a concept so unusual we – along with many Americans – were floored. There had just never been anything quite like it. I’ve been having a grand old time revisiting this epic show thanks to nightly reruns on Cooking Channel.

Chairman Kaga, with his glittering bejeweled capes, relish for biting into bell peppers and grand gestures sets the cinematic tone. It’s as emotional sometimes as it is campy. I was truly moved to amazement during the historic foie gras battle. I was swept up in the spectacle when, driven away from a French castle by dark horse drawn carraige (!), Sakai ventured off to gather his own ingredients in 24 hours throughout France.

It’s interesting how the world has changed since the show first aired. It seems people are so much more adventurous and knowledgeable about world cuisines. Once confounding dishes which we couldn’t even imagine what they tasted like, are now more approachable.

Sure I can’t exactly imagine crisp eel on chocolate ice cream – but with bacon topping ice cream these days, I have a better idea. As for fried fish bone chips – a dish that the younger me would question – now I’ve actually had and loved these at a neighborhood restaurant.

The U.S. attempted two remakes – if anyone else can remember the woefully off putting William Shatner number and the currently airing Iron Chef America – that I find too obnoxious to watch – something delicate and special got lost in the translation.

And for the record I have small crushes on all of the Iron Chefs, particularly the wise and mysterious Michiba.

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Posted on January 21, 2011

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