We have finally reached the end of the original episodes that were rebroadcast in Japan the last few months.
Iron Chef 209 – It’s an all Chinese cuisine battle between two second generation Chinese chefs: Iron Chef Chen Kenichi vs. Shinji Kondo. At first glance, the theme might seem a little difficult, but as Chairman Kaga mentioned, FLOUR can be used in things like Gyoza and Ramen. How will these two chefs use the “Magic White Powder” (Mahou Shiroi Kona)? (Left = Strong Flour (Kyorikiko), Right = Weak Flour (Hakurikiko). (Click HERE to read about the types of Flour typically available in Japan.)
Iron Chef 210 – The challenger is a chef at a popular restaurant among the celebrities in Tokyo, Basta Pasta. (Sorry I don’t have more information about it. Almost every search for this restaurant lead to results for the New York City location.) It has been a while since they had an Italian cuisine challenger and The Chairman expects a “high-tension” battle.
And did The Chairman make a “Tomato, Tomahto” joke in the theme announcement? I thought he said “Ue kara yonde. Shita kara yonde. Onaji.” I think that means “Read from the top. Read from the Bottom. Same.” (And now that I think about it, Japanese would be read top-to-bottom as opposed to left-to-right, so that would make sense. I’m sure Miwa will set me straight. )
Iron Chef 211 – We all know the history of Iron Chef Chen Kenichi and female challengers. This is the episode that started it all. She was the first female challenger to do battle in Kitchen Stadium. You may remember the challenger from her second appearance on the show, episode 637. She is now running Bistro Aoi Shokudou (Bistroあおい食堂). (Click HERE, HERE, HERE for more info. All pages in Japanese, but you can still look at the pictures.) She is “The Princess of Cooking,” Kyoko Kagata. (A rose for the challenger. Kaga is quite the charmer.)
Iron Chef 212 – Chairman Kaga speaks of two distinct “themes” used in Italian cooking depending on geography: Tomato in the South, Cheese/Butter in the North. The challenger follows the style of the North. (HERE is a tabelog page about La Colomba. I can’t find anywhere that says where the challenger is currently working.) Michiba will have to deal with another theme ingredient that is not used very often in Japanese cuisine, but he is comfortable working with anything.
One of the really unfortunate consequences of the cancellation of the new Iron Chef is that the rebroadcasts of the original episodes was also cancelled. I think we are fortunate to have the 22 original episodes from that first and second season now available to us. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed bringing them to you.
Thanks to the recent rebroadcasts of the original series, we have been able to enjoy some milestone episodes. Today, we have another one. This is the debut episode of Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai. He is taking on French Chef Guy Shokr in an all-French battle. Enjoy.
Ryouri no Tetsujin – Episode 18 – Oyster Battle – Sakai (Debut Battle) vs. Shokr
I’m headed out to the Spring Festival at the Japanese Garden (春祭り）at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens today. I’ll try to get some good pictures to post. And I promise it won’t take too long for episodes 19-22 to get posted.
Sorry for the delay getting these posted for you. Today, we see three more episodes from the early part of the second season of original series.
Iron Chef 205 – We see an all-too familiar face for the first time in the intro to this battle. And as usual, Chairman Kaga is not happy with what he hears. Toshiro Kandagawa wants to take down the Iron Chefs, and he thinks he has the men to do it. The first challenger, Kouichi Taniguchi, began working for Kandagawa at the age of 18. You will enjoy his impressive knife work. He’s ready to be the lead-off man in the batting order and get the Kanto vs. Kansai challenge started.(I’m sure long-lime baseball announcer Kenji Fukui enjoyed being able to work in a Hanshin Tigers reference.)
Iron Chef 206 – Second up is Kandagawa’s other hand-picked challenger, Kazuyoshi Masaki. Michiba says he won’t lose to such a young challenger. The second round of this Kanto vs. Kansai challenge is ready to begin with a theme that is handled differently by the regions. (When you hear the chairman say “Nishi” and “Higashi“, he is referring to West and East.) Also listen during the theme introduction for Chairman Kaga to say “Nishi wa hara kara. Higashi wa se kara.” meaning (I think) “West from the stomach. East from the back.” referring to the common preparation methods. (Click HERE for a brief introduction to the differences between Kansai and Kanto cuisines.)
Iron Chef 207 – Finally, it’s time for the heavy hitter in the lineup to step up to the plate. This battle features the first competitive appearance from Toshiro Kandagawa. (And again, Fukui had to enjoy having Japanese Hall of Fame player and (at the time) the manager of the Yakult Swallows, Katsuya Nomura, in the broadcast booth.) Despite the baseball theme, Kandagawa brings in 11 chefs with him, which The Chairman points out is enough to field a team in the J-League. The theme is Hirame.
Next time, I will present another special milestone episode in the history of Iron Chef with the debut battle of Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai.
It’s been a week since the end of the new Iron Chef in Japan. Tonight, I present to you another finale. The end of the reign of Iron Chef Japanese Koumei Nakamura. The challenger is none other than Dr. Yukio Hattori. This episode is split into two parts. The first part is primarily about Nakamura and his time in Kitchen Stadium. The second part is the rest of the battle.
You will notice there are two versions of the first part of the battle: subtitled and the OA all-Japanese version. The OA version is about 5 minutes longer, but unless you are a completist, you’ll do just fine with the subtitled version. The main differences between he versions are the inclusion of footage of a visit to Doc Hattori’s dressing room and some minor image changes. (They seem to have removed any footage of soldiers and war during the section explaining why this battle is so important to Hattori’s family.)
Iron Chef 606a/b – a: Nakamura Retrospective – 2/13/1998 b: Nakamura vs Hattori – Tuna – 2/20/1998
(I’m heading to Houston for Opening Day of the 2013 Major League Baseball season this weekend. If you have any problems, please let me know. I might not get to it immediately, but I’ll take care of it as soon as I can. Same thing with the comments. I’ll approve them when I get a chance.)
I will have a couple of classic episodes up before the weekend, but I wanted to post this one now.
This episode is a rather unique one in that there was not a theme ingredient. The theme of the episode was Hanami (花見). Hanami is the Japanese tradition of enjoying the beauty of flowers, usually Sakura (桜) or cherry blossoms. The episode aired during the traditional Hanami time of the year. The judging takes place outdoors under the cover of Sakura. Nakamura vs. You.
GO HERE if you’d like to see some of the Sakura now on display in Japan via Google Streetview.
Iron Chef 513OA – Hanami Battle
We knew today was coming, but it doesn’t make it easier. I was just a casual fan when the original show ended, so I didn’t experience the end of its run. I’m sad to see this version of the show go so soon, but it has been a fun 6 months. (I was actually in Japan not too long after the announcement of the revival was made, but I unfortunately was long gone before the episodes starting airing.) The new show did bring a spike in traffic, so it is pretty clear that there was some interest. Too bad Fuji pulled the plug when they did. Let’s hope they follow through with their promised specials. OK. On to today’s episode.
Don’t have time to read a full recipe? Your attention span wane after you read 141 characters? Good news. The nominee has “Twitter recipes” for you. Takemasa Kinoshita is the chef at a French restaurant in Tokyo. Apparently, the nominee was a bit of a “Yankii” when he was a teenager. By age 20, he was training at a 3-star restaurant in France. BTW, does he look familiar? If you are a super eagle-eyed fan or are like Sheldon Cooper and have an eidetic memory, you may remember him as an assistant to Rory Kennedy in episodes 503 and 504. The theme will be Takenoko. Let the final battle of new Kitchen Stadium begin.
Iron Chef Yomigaeru – Episode 13 – Kurogi vs. Kinoshita – Takenoko (Bamboo Shoot) – 03/22/13
SPOILER ALERT: Everything below this point will contain spoilers.