One of my favorite shows on the Food Network is Iron Chef. I had heard about it before I started watching. A friend of mine was telling me her husband watched it and I thought “how boring!” I mean watching guys cook? And, it is subtitled to boot? But when I watched it, I was fascinated. As I watched my first episode, I was amazed at some of the things they were cooking and the ways in which they were cooking them. I still love the old reruns of Iron Chef. I do watch Iron Chef America, but it does not seem to have the same intensity as the original.
One thing I did not know was the history of the show until I started searching the Internet. It started in 1993 as a half hour show, but because of its success, was expanded to an hour after the 24th episode. Filming of Iron Chef ended in 1999, but four or five specials are produced each year.
If you have never seen the show, the idea revolves around Chairman Kaga and his Iron Chefs. These chefs are the top in their individual culinary fields: Japanese, Chinese, French and Italian. Each week, they must battle against other great chefs. Each show has a theme, such as eel, and that ingredient must be used in each dish. This presents some interesting recipes, especially if the chefs decide to cook a dessert along with the main dishes. At the end of exactly one hour, each chef must present their dishes to a panel of judges. They are graded on different aspects of the dishes such as presentation and taste. Over the years, several of the Iron Chefs have changed.
I think part of the reason I love the show so much is that they use such different items when cooking – things I would never think to use! And whereas I plop portions on our plates, they take time to arrange the items so nicely. The Food Network shows Iron Chef America, the Americanized version of the original show. I enjoy watching it, but some of the intensity of the original show is gone.