Iron Chef America

Sunday 9:00 PM on Food Network Premiered Apr 23, 2004 In Season


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out of 10
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  • The show finale threw out the usual standards and turned into a popularity contest. The votes of the tasting panel were tallied along with those of the three weekly judges--WHO DIDN'T SAMPLE THE FOOD.

    What a joke!!! If the task was to replace Batali, what better choice would there have been than the chef who trounced him 55 to 49 in the battle of andouille sausage, John Besh. Over the weeks of the competition, Besh was consistently at the top of the group while Symon was hit-or-miss. In the finale, Symon served up grainy filling in his raviolis and two dishes that were declared to be underseasoned. What did he need to do to lose? (But wait, one of the judges did blab that Symon was the 2-to-1 favorite going into the competition.) Since the finale was staged in the kitchen stadium, why wasn't the usual taste-plating-originality points system used?
  • I hated to see Mario Batali go! I hate Michael Symon.

    With Mario's departure came the contest to find the Next Iron Chef. I was unimpressed with the judges. The last and final test I was glad to see the Iron Chefs sit in. Cat Cora is a woman after my own heart. But, for the life of me, I can't understand why they didn't choose Chef John Besh! Symon was okay but not Iron Chef material. I will boo his every match! I will root for the challenger! That's a promise! This is my Sunday night, before the work week starts, culinary fix. I may have to find what CBS has on when Symon battles. I hope Food Network gives Besh a show. He's proven his worth. I am soooo disappointed!
  • its ok

    this show is basically the same thing japans "iron chef"
    the iron chefs win most of the time but sometimes the challenger does win too sometimes though and usually by only a couple of points
    but i do think it is getting a bit old that its the same thing over and over again they need to do something to spice it up a bit more make it more exciting
    i like how they do the special ingredient
    i think the special episode were they did the double iron chef one was one of the best episodes
    i give it a 7.6
    i dont think it will be on much longer if it continues as its going though
  • This is Disgraceful! Utter rubbish, embarrassing actually. The original Rocks, no fussy actors saying they don't eat this or that. If you don't know, Asian's are very adventurous with their food.. and Wolfgang Puck, come on of course he's going to win!

    I can't believe you take an idea and turn it around... change the accent, the dynamics and make it your own. Sooo Sad and it's not the first time. Eg. Coupling - originally from the UK - you guys just don't have the same sense of humour and can't make it work the same. You American's are sad & sorry. Can't you watch anything that doesn't have an American accent and appreciate and enjoy it?? The original Iron Chef kicked ass... Get Over Yourselves and venture outside the square you live in.

    Can you understand our written language??
  • okay show

    This show is okay but i liked the old show better. in the old show i liked how the were "if memory sevres" flash backs and how there was always a little dity about the theme ingredant and how the battle would start with a gong. i don't like how this show calls the theme ingredant "the secret ingredant" and i don't like how the Chairman shouts "let the battle begin." i do like the music though. i think that this show should bring in challengers from other parts of the world and not just from America, which as far as i know is the only country the chalangers have come from.
  • A fun show.

    This show got me hooked on watching the Food Network in the evenings. I had just moved into a new apartment with none of my things set up except for my TV. I was flipping through the channels and on a Sunday evening, there was nothing on. For whatever reason I started watching Iron Chef America and the rest is history. I love watching this show, if for nothing else, the quirkiness of it. As someone who appreciates fine dining, it's always interesting to see the creativity and originality of the day's secret ingredient. I hope Iron Chef America enjoys continued longevity!
  • If given the choice, Watch the original.

    The summary says it all, Iron Chef America is no where as exciting as the original Iron Chef. Whent he show was first announced I was expecting it to be so much more then really is.
    Bobby Flay, Mario Batalli, and Wolfgang Puck! Is this really the best we have to offer? I was pleased to see a fresh face added to the show in Season 2 with Cat Cora. It was nice to see Food TV bring a woman on board but I was suprised they did not have Rachael Ray do this show as well.
    The critics featured on iron Chef America would probably more at home at McDonalds rather then eating gourmet food. most of the comments are unoriginal and lead me to believe the show is fixed as I can not imagine a single person eating some of that stuff Bobby Flay has put in front of them..
  • The show started off good and went downhill from there.

    I loved this show the first time I watched it. It seemed like nothing new and I knew it wasn't going to BLOW MY MIND. But, as i seemed to watch it more, I found i was disliking it more and more as the episodes went on. The announcers don't know what they are talking about and the chefs are anoying. The guy that announces the foods in the beginning is so over played it is redigulace. (I have to admit I found this funny in the beginning but after a while it is just plain stupid). In my opinion, not an everyweek show.
  • Lost in American Translation.

    The original Iron Chef series was quite entertaining. It featured some of the most unappetizing theme ingredients yet somehow made them look almost edible. This show was about style and inovation, it cut edges and introduced some of the worlds most creative chefs, in all their humility.

    I do think that both series lose their competitive objectivity because the judges can see who is making what dish. This leaves too much room for favoritism. If I were watching Bobby Flay versus almost any other chef, I'd choose the other chef just because Flay really turns me off. I'm sure the judges face this sort of dilema themselves, so the competition isn't fair from the start.

    The American version is a mock version of the original. The Iron Chef's themselves seem more entertained by their own egos than the view is in watching them scream at their underlings. Who says slavery is dead? Just because you pay someone a couple bucks an hour and constantly verbally abuse them....slap as much makeup on that pig as you want, it's still a pig!

    This show did offer the opportunity for this viewer to see his favorite all time chefs. The Too Hot Tamales (Mary Sue and Susan RULE!!) were are will always be my favorites to ever grace this network. They didn't seem trapped by their own egotism and let their grub take a back seat as most of the chefs on the network now do.

    And how do they choose the judges on this show? For the most part, they're uninteresting and probably wouldn't know a sorbet from a souffle. The American palate is, after all, very under educated. We'll eat anything as long as a commercial tells us it's good.

    I'd say get grab the remote and find something really informative to watch when this show comes on. Not only because it's a horrid, cheap knock off of an original, but because it's hard to cram Bobby Flay and Alton Brown's big ego bloated heads into one television screen.
  • Four of America's top chefs, the Iron Chefs, compete against rising stars of the culinary world. Each week a different Iron Chef competes against the challenger. 5 different dishes must be made with the "secret ingredient". From crabs to carrots, you neve

    I don't even know the words to describe how wonderful this show is. I used to make fun of it, but then I sat down and actually watched it I was hooked. I love to cook , although I am not the best at it. And in watching this show I have learned a lot about the basics and the gourmet. There are four chefs but I tune in to see 1 (mainly). Iron Chef Bobby Flay. (He is married to Stephanie March, formerly of Law & Order: SVU, but currently on Conviction). Each week they have 3 judges, sometimes they are tv or movie stars, sometimes they are Food critics and authors of world renowned cookbooks. It is so interesting to see how they make all these different foods based on the secret ingredient. One week a challenging chef made ice cream out of turkey!!!! (She didnt beat my man, Bobby though!). I give this a 9.4 out of 10 only becuase the host guy kinda drives me nuts. But, I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in food. Cooking or eating it!!
  • Respect your food...

    One thing that I really love about this show is the way that it really shows respect for the food, the chefs, and cooking in general. Alton Brown does a great job keeping us informed with what's going on and the Iron chefs are all top notch chefs for their time. Always a different theme and sometimes I'm really just blown away with the creations they come up with. This is one of the best cooking shows on TV and the reason I enjoy it more than the original (Japanese) Iron Chef is because you don't get stuck dealing with those rediculous voice overs. Something is lost in translation between Japanese and English, that's for sure. I would say check this show out and you won't be disapointed in the least!!
  • Slick rip off of the Japaneese version without the fun of the translation!

    Any show that has Alton Brown as a commentator is going to be a good one! This show has just the right balance of fenzy and fun. I do miss some of the more bizzare secret ingredients of the shows name sake, but that said, watching Bobby, Mario, Cat, and Masahru, throw thwmselves around the kitchen and seeing what they can create in an hour makes the show worth watching.
  • Food puns, slo mo replays of flying condiments and fish ice cream - this is one fun show.

    I never thought I’d get hooked on a cooking show. But “Iron Chef America” ain’t your ma’s home ec class. With humor, incredible food combinations and a hearty helping of wit, the US version of the popular Japanese show doesn’t disappoint.

    In case you haven’t seen the show, picture this: it’s an hour competition to prepare five or more dishes all featuring a “special ingredient”. And while that resembles my college experiments with Ramen noodles, *I* never had to deal with acerbic judges, commentators and a whole stadium of spectators. It’s essentially the culinary equivalent of a sports competition.

    The show’s mythos is that the Chairman, a rich, foppish Japanese lord, has so much money he built a Kitchen Stadium for his Iron Chefs to compete in. Here in the American version, we watch his “nephew”, theoretically given funds to bankroll his own chefs and stadium.

    In each episode, one of the four Iron Chefs, Batali, Flay, Morimoto and Cora, is matched up against a “challenger” – a well-known chef in their own right. The Iron Chef must defend their title as they prepare dishes that are graded on taste, presentation and originality (trout ice cream, anybody?).

    Each of the Iron Chefs has a distinct culinary style and personality in the kitchen. My personal favorite is Batali, with his huge red rubber kitchen clogs and generous nature, although Chef Morimoto is an imaginative competitor who’s also fun to watch. Inevitably, Chef Flay earns his surname as he slices himself with a knife during competition, while Chef Cora exhibits unrivaled concentration.

    Alton Brown and Kevin Brauch are the show’s commentators, guiding us at home through the mores of Kitchen Stadium (and identifying star anise, ramps and funeral rice for the mac and cheese set). Brown especially brings his own brand of humor to the show, and his puns and food-based couplets are hilarious.

    The three judges are a rotating group that changes with each episode. They taste the competing chefs’ meals at the end of the show and offer their opinions, varying from “can I have another helping” to “this is inedible”. Especially noteworthy is Jeffrey Steingarten, a Harvard-educated curmudgeon who loves to argue about the food. In the duration of a show he usually manages to tick off his fellow judges without thick skin.

    I’ve read some complaints that this show doesn’t live up to its Japanese heritage – some think the American offering is an unsatisfying “lite” version. But I came to the Iron Chef franchise with this show and although I have gone back to watch and enjoy the Japanese Iron Chef, I prefer the American program. Maybe it’s ‘cause they use ingredients that I actually have in my fridge. Not that I’m dissing unagi. Also, the Chairman’s nephew is hot.

    To summarize this show, it’s best to turn to his catchphrase that starts each battle:
    So America, with an open heart and an empty stomach, I say unto you in the words of my uncle: Allez Cuisine!

    Or at least, allez TiVo.
  • Good effort, but lacks the charm and entertainment value that endeared the original Iron Chef to so many.

    Trying to capitalize on the success and popularity of Japan's Iron Chef, Food Network introduced Iron Chef America in 2004. Unfortunately, however, something's missing.

    Part of the charm of the original Iron Chef came from the quirky personality and garish wardrobe of Chairman Takeshi Kaga. Fellow actor Mark Dacascos brings an elegant and sophisticated presence as the Chairman of Iron Chef America, but he lacks Kaga's intensity. Kaga fully immersed himself in his role as Chairman. It's good that Mark's low-key approach doesn't mimic Kaga's, but I don't think his role is adequately defined. In particular, his version of "Allez cuisine!" seems misplaced considering his on-screen personality.

    Right now, the Chairman role is dull and uninspiring. One way to remedy this would be a change of wardrobe. Mark's current all-dark getup is unflattering, especially for someone as handsome and gentlemanly as he is. Perhaps more camera time would also help. I'd like to hear him comment on the food he's tasting.

    The Chairman role is not the main problem, though. It's not even a major problem. Where Iron Chef America falls short is in its selection of Iron Chefs. To me, Food Network didn't look far enough to find talented chefs with personality. Hiroyuki Sakai and Chen Kenichi became fan favorites not only because of their creative talents in the kitchen, but also because of their outgoing yet respectful demeanors. They always seemed to be having fun in the kitchen. Bobby Flay, in particular, certainly doesn't lack cooking ability, but he severely lacks personality. To me, the ICA Iron Chefs just don't seem to be enjoying themselves that much. I always cheered for the Japanese Iron Chefs. With Iron Chef America, I always root for the challengers.

    That's not to say that Iron Chef America is without its redeeming qualities. I still eagerly anticipate the unveiling of the secret ingredient. (Fortunately for the ICA competitors, no one has had to kill a live octopus yet!) Alton Brown brings great insight and knowledge as the announcer. It's always good to be introduced to chefs you might not otherwise hear about. Best of all, it's fun to just watch the differences in how the chefs approach the night's challenge.

    Iron Chef America could be a fine follow-up to the original, but only if it can overcome its present lack of charm.
  • I don't think so! This version of Iron Chef is TERRIBLE! I really miss Kaga and all the pomp and circumstance of the original. Alton Brown is cool, but he's no Fukui-san, and lets be honest, Kevin is NO Ota! The Chairman SUCKS big time! Kaga should give h

    I don't think so! This version of Iron Chef is TERRIBLE! I really miss Kaga and all the pomp and circumstance of the original. Alton Brown is cool, but he's no Fukui-san, and lets be honest, Kevin is NO Ota! The Chairman SUCKS big time! Kaga should give him lessons!I really miss Kaga and all the pomp and circumstance of the original. Alton Brown is cool, but he's no Fukui-san, and lets be honest, Kevin is NO Ota! The Chairman SUCKS big time! Kaga should give him lessons!
  • Iron Chef, the hilarious Japanese import, ended its run and Food Network decided to film its own version of the culinary battle between two top chefs making two full-course meals in one hour, each dish using a secret revealed only at the last minute.

    It's a good idea which hasn't reached its potential. The commentators are flat, the judges uninteresting and the whole demeanor of the show has neither the faux gravity of the original nor the lighthearted joking that I think they were going for. The original treated the preparations like a mystery to be solved, guessing at the ingredients, the treatment and the menu the chef had in mind. The commentators joked with one another and bet on who was on the right track. They talked about the history of the ingredients, their common usage and sometimes their prices. The guys in this version are so bland and straightforward, it's not even fun.
  • A decent adaptation of the Japanese original

    Iron Chef America is a good that has the potential to be alot better. The creators chose quality chefs in Bobby Flay, Morimoto & Mario Batali (and new Iron Chef Cat Cora) and made a truly inspired choice to have Alton Brown be the commentator. But unfortunately, Mr. Brown's wry sense of humor from Good Eats is not utilized on the show. He is basically a by-the-numbers commentator. He occasionaly cracks a good line, but mostly he explains the ingredients being used and comments on the proceedings like a sportscaster. Kevin Brauch is okay as the floor reporter, but he too doesn't display the wit he does on the Thirsty Traveler. If this guys would cut loose a bit, the show would have the campy and comedy appeal that made the original Iron Chef a cult classic. Also, they should have kept Wolfgang Puck who, outside of Chef Batali, has more personality than chefs Flay, Cora & Morimoto combined.
  • Iron Chef Matchups sort of puts a kill on the show. Otherwise, the actions great.

    I think this show is a great idea. It's got all the action as the Japanese version, but the part I don't like is when they tell you who's facing off days before the episode airs.
    Alton Brown was the best choice for doing the color commentary. His informative speaking on 'Good Eats' clearly contributed to his hiring as the CC for Iron Chef America.
    For the 2nd season, I'm really glad they got rid of the secret ingredient preview. If they keep this up, the show could last for 5, mabye 10 years. Why did they get rid of Wolfgang Puck after the pilot? He would have made a geat iron chef.
  • The original was better

    This show is a remake of the original Iron Chef, which came from Japan. The Japanese version of Iron Chef is excellent. Iron Chef America is all right, but the Japanese version was much better. The American chairman plays the part as the nephew of Kaga (the Japanese chairman), but it'd be a bit more convincing if he didn't look like he wasn't from Japan. He also lacks the eccentric quality of Kaga. I don't like the fact that the challengers can't choose which Iron Chef they want to battle and the floor reporter is annoying! If it wasn't for Alton Brown and Mario Batali, I probably wouldn't watch this show. Even though I like Morimoto, he hardly ever gets to battle. The addition of Cat Cora, the first woman Iron Chef, didn't impress me much. I was like,"They had to go PC on us." I never minded that the original Iron Chefs were all men. I'll take the original Iron Chef over this show any day and anybody who wants to see a culinary battle should, too.
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