Iron Chef Japan

Daily 11:00 PM on Fine Living Premiered Aug 01, 1993 In Season


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Iron Chef Japan

Show Summary

Iron Chef is an innovative cooking competition from Japan. Originally produced by Fuji TV, Iron Chef combined the excitement of a one on one sports competition with gourmet cooking.

The title Iron Chef comes from the original Japanese title, Ironmen of Cooking.

This innovative game show was always popular in its native Japan, but it found international success when the Food Network bought the series and began airing English dubbed episodes. It became a cult c as viewers were treated to exotic ingredients and innovative cooking techniques. No expense was spared. Chefs seemed to have almost limitless supplies of the most exotic and expensive gourmet ingredients.

The competition is hosted by Chairman Kaga, an over-the-top master of ceremonies. He introduced a "secret ingredient" that the challenger and the chosen Iron Chef had to incorporate into every dish. Originally, the program was 30 minutes long, but it was soon expanded to an hour format. Each chef presented his/her dishes to a panel of 3-4 judges who rated the dishes to crown a winner. All of the competitions occurred in a specially designed "kitchen stadium".

The New York Times once described Iron Chef as "kamikaze cooking". Iron Chefs and their competitors became celebrities in their own right. Storylines developed between groups determined to defeat the Iron Chefs.

The show was so successful in English speaking countries that several spin-offs, specials, and updated versions were produced. On May 5, 2008, Fine Living, a sibling channel of Food Network owner Scripps Howard, began airing the show under the title of Iron Chef Japan, as not to confuse it with Food's Iron Chef America spin off series. They also assigned new production codes and replaced the old music with something different.moreless
Kaga Takeshi

Kaga Takeshi

Chairman Kaga

Michiba Rokusaburo

Michiba Rokusaburo

Iron Chef Japanese (Retired)

Chen Kenichi

Chen Kenichi

Current Iron Chef Chinese

Hiroyuki Sakai

Hiroyuki Sakai

Current Iron Chef French

Masaharu Morimoto

Masaharu Morimoto

Current Iron Chef Japanese

Ishinabe Yutake

Ishinabe Yutake

Iron Chef French (Retired)

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    I'm thinking about Iron Chef Japan vs. Iron Chef China. Chairman Kaga, what do you think about this. I would love to see this. Please let me know your thoughts on this topic. I know that no one has yet to master your Iron Chefs and that you decided to discontinue the competitions. I miss your expertise and mastery of superlative foods and presentatins that your master iron chefs performed. Your nephew does a wonderful performance here in America also, but nothing like Japan.moreless
  • Iron Chef is a Japanese cooking show where there are three expert chefs in French, Chinese and Japanese cuisine who have 60 minutes to make better dishes with the chosen ingredient than their challenger.moreless

    The dishes are then judged by a team of moderators and the glitzy Chairman Kaga then announces the winner. I think this is one of the best cooking shows there are; the fast – paced competition makes it exiting, the Chairman makes it entertaining and the Japanese proverbs make Iron Chef culturally enriching. Although the naff American interpreters slightly ruin the show's ethnicity, the Chairman still freely talks his native language and provides amusing gestures and conveyance. There is no risk of seeing baked beans on toast in this show; all of the gourmet meals have never been made nor tasted before which makes them not only a visual treat but privilege to see. Perhaps the only bad point is because the show runs for 60 minutes they must heavily edit it to a shorter time so following along with the food preparation at home would be impossible. But overall this is the finest cooking show going around and let's hopes it continues well into the future.moreless
  • An awsome show!

    Iron Chef is an Japanase cooking show.Where challenger's challenge the iron chef to see who is better.With the main ingrident and the time clock they have 45 minitues to spare.This show is awsome! I used to watched this show on Food Network.But I still watch the show on youtube.This show is cool too.All the ingridiants are awsome even what they cook.It always taken me by surprise on what creation they had done.Everytime,I watch the food tasting I wished I could try one! Iron Chef this japanase show can be seen battling in France,Belgium and Hong Kong.Even though I had not seen the Beigum or Hong Kong battle.Lets not forget here in New York City!

    My favorite chef is Chen! Even though the show has ended.There is Iron Chef America.I wish they had Iron Chef Japanase on DVD!moreless
  • Nice show

    I love Iron Chef. What an idea for a show!! I love the premise of bringing renowned chefs from all over Japan and the world to challenge Chairman Kaga's Iron Chefs, and to have them create dishes on the spot using the theme ingredient announced at the beginning. It's also fun to listen to the play-by-play announcing; you'd think this was a sports events.

    The fact that these chefs can prepare 4-6 dishes on the spot in one hour attests to their amazing skills and imagination, especially when an Iron Chef of one cooking style is confronted with a theme ingredient they normally don't use. I wish I was there to taste some of their amazing creations.

    What astounds me about the show is how seriously some challengers take this, like the Italian expatriate chefs and their battles against Iron Chef Italian Masahiko Kobe, and the Ohta Factions' (a society of Japanese chefs who are staunchly traditional in their cooking techniques) war against Iron Chef Japanese Masaharu Morimoto.

    I can't wait for IC3 next month. My local cable company just recently added the Food Network, so I didn't see the original Bobby Flay/Morimoto contest. After watching what Morimoto has done in previous episodes, I really can't see Flay winning. I've also thought about whether Emeril would someday appear on Iron Chef, but I think he's a bit too laidback for something as tense and fast-paced as this.moreless
  • Off the Wall (in a good way)

    It's very hard to describe the appeal of the show (it's very Japanese). It may have been culture shock the first few times I watched it; but after that I was hooked. It's interesting to watch the chefs prepare things that you'd never see in North America and the voice-over for the show is both charming and humorous. This is a Japanese show, so of course everyone was speaking Japanese originally.

    You have your main commentators and of course the guest 'celebrities'. Apparently Japan has even worse taste then America when picking their celebrities. There were a lot of airhead actresses (like a Japanese version of Paris Hilton).

    And naturally my favorite part of the show was watching Chairman Kaga (he's very quirky and charismatic). The judging of the dishes is also a favorite. Some of the judges seem extremely unqualified and the translated comments were on occasion very funny.

    It is the competition aspect of the show that sets it apart from your standard cooking show.moreless

    SBS turns 30

    Multicultural broadcaster SBS turns 30 this Sunday.


    Grant Denyer leads Aussie Iron Chefs

    Following the production announcement several weeks ago, Seven has declared Sunrise's Grant Denyer as Iron Chef Australia's host.

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    celebrity cameos, celebrity chefs, for foodies, Cooking