Iron Chef is my latest addiction. The fact that so many of the dubbed episodes are easily available on YouTube means that I have been able watch a random assortment of these episodes over the course of 3-4 weeks.
So, what is Iron Chef? It’s a Japanese competitive cooking show where a professional (and many times award winning) chef comes in to challenge the Iron Chefs themselves. The idea is that each Iron Chef is an expert in a particular style of cooking: Japanese, French, Chinese and (added later into the show) Italian. Every episode is a ‘battle’ centred on theme ingredient. This can range from the simple (potato), to the decadent (foie gras) to giant crustaceans.
The genius of the show is that you end up cheering for the Iron Chef rather than the competitor. Also, you get see some seriously decadent styles of cooking and ingredients that you can only dream of (anglerfish liver anyone?).
Of course, after watching a number of episodes I have a clear favourite chef – Hiroyuki Sakai the French specialist who wears red. It was a two way tie between Sakai and the Chinese specialist Chen Kenichi (who is adorably surprised whenever he wins) until I watched the Jinhua pork episode. Here Sakai was blindsided and had to battle a Chinese cooking specialist using specialist Chinese pork. Just watching him work and listening to his comments throughout the episode made him an easy favourite.
As for my favourite episode – the infamous yoghurt battle. Rather than describe it here I will direct you to here. Watch it!