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.