As our final post of the year, we present to you another exclusive addition to the Iron Chef Collection. We asked if you wanted to see the Best 50 episode despite the problems with the video in some spots. The voting was clear with over 90% “Yes.” This special episode is presented with all breaks and commercials intact. There are a lot of problems with the video dropping out. Unfortunately, this is the only copy of this episode I have been able to find.
The chairman seems to be sick, but he insists his body is fine. The doctor doesn’t seem so optimistic. I think the doctor says something about remembering the happy memories. He will count down the best fifty dishes in Kitchen Stadium history. (We see the Iron Chefs sorting through post cards, so perhaps the audience got to vote on this ranking.) I was hoping for a little more from the battles, but the segments between announcement of the battles takes up the biggest portion of the show.
- Regular announcer Kenji Fukui along with a guest announcer ??? Nishikawa.
- They announce it in sections: 50-41, Chen, 40-31, Sakai, 30-26, Sakai, 25-21, Kobe, 20-11, Michiba (drunk perhaps?), 10-4, 3, 2-1.
- Between groupings of battles, they show a segment which features a different judge from the past: (Kayoko Kishimoto, Tenmei Kanoh, Asako Kishi, Chai Lam, Sachiyo Nomura, ???, Kazuko Katoh, Oishi Megumi, Kaori Momoi, Shinichiro Kurimoto)
I don’t know a lot about this episode. I have only seen one web page
about it. (The page has each battle listed in order, so don’t go there unless you want to see the rankings.) I tried to give a brief explanation above of the things I think I understood to be happening. (As usual, please correct me when I am wrong.) I also do now know exactly when the episode aired. It seems to have been before the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics judging by some of the commercials. It was after Kobe’s debut, but before Morimoto arrived. If anyone knows of an exact air date, please let me know.
Thanks to a commenter, we now know that this originally aired February 12, 1998.
That does it for 2008 at the Iron Chef Collection. We will be back soon with more exclusive Japanese episodes as well as a few more additions to Beyond Kitchen Stadium. As always, we will continue to search for new videos and episodes for you. See you soon.
‘T was the night before Christmas and in old K.S.
All the Iron Chefs were stirring, it’s what they do best.
The ovens were lit and the theme was prepared.
In hopes that the Chairman soon would be there.
A handsome man enters. The women go ga-ga.
I knew in a moment that it must be Kaga.
His jacket, eye catching. His style, quite unique.
His friends, we’ll see later to offer critique.
The stars of the show from their podium came.
The announcer Fukui called each one by name.
On, Kobe, the youngest. On, Morimoto!
Now, Sakai! Now, Chen. Stand in front of your photo.
With skills of great masters the chefs start at their task.
If there’s something we want to know, Ohta will ask.
Sakai with his circle molds. Chen with his wok.
Kobe makes pasta. Morimoto will shock.
The Chairman just smiles as he exits the scene.
Happy Christmas to all and Allez Cuisine.
(Apologies to Clement C. Moore for butchering his Christmas classic.)
It is Christmas in Kitchen Stadium, and we have several Christmas themed battles for this week.
- Chicken Battle (110) – Ishinabe vs. Borie – This is the only Ishinabe battle that ever aired on Food Network. It was the very first Iron Chef Christmas battle from back in season 1.
- Strawberry Battle (249) – Sakai vs. Waki – Dr. Hattori calls this challenger a genius.
- Oyster Battle (348) – Sakai vs. Groult – The challenger was the second MOF winner to do battle in Kitchen Stadium. The first was Jacques Borie from the Chicken Battle above.
- Turkey Battle (647) – Morimoto vs. Ogue – The challenger trained under a famous 3-star French chef. (We also have the original Japanese version of this episode. Be sure to check out the Christmas-style music during the recap of dishes and announcement of judges.)
- Chestnut Battle (541OA) – Kobe vs. Seki – While not officially a Christmas battle, I can’t help but think of The Christmas Song when I saw the theme listed. Did they roast these chestnuts on a open fire? Watch and find out in this ICC Exclusive from 1997.
I know what you’re thinking. “Wait a minute. The King of Iron Chefs Tournament is not an ICC Exclusive. I saw it on Food Network.” Yes, that is true; however, Food Network left off some very important pieces of the final episode of our beloved show.
Here are some of the differences between the Food Network version we all saw and the original Japanese broadcast:
- There are actually two floor reporters for this battle. Ohta and a female announcer (Chiyo Abe). On the FN version, all floor reports are given as Ohta, even though the female is covering the challenger’s side.
- A little bit more with the guests at the beginning.
- Entry march of all former Kitchen Stadium challengers. Every challenger marches in and all challenger names scroll across the bottom of the screen. I wonder why Food Network cut this. I thought this was extremely cool. Perhaps they didn’t want to remind us about all of the episodes they skipped.
- Short interview with Shu Tomitoku about the theme ingredient.
- There is a little bit more between the end and the presentation of the dishes. Just some shaking of hands between kitchen staff and some shots of the crowd.
- Food Network puts a short recap between the presentation of dishes and tasting. The original episodes do not.
- There is a short section of Fukui talking, then we see the chefs backstage before a commercial break.
- There is a very short interview with Kandagawa and Shu Tomitoku again before the announcement. They also show the lovely new Nissan that will be presented to the winner.
The FN version ends with Sakai holding up the trophy as the credits roll. The Japanese version has an additional 10 minutes or so after the trophy presentation. The things listed below all took place during this additional time that Food Network chose to omit from their version.
- Sakai gets a “golden key” from Nissan as he is awarded the new car.
- Sakai says a few more words to the crowd.
- All of the Iron Chefs gather at the base of the steps to the podium and Chen Kenichi makes a speech to the crowd.
- The four active Iron Chefs return to the podium for the final time and take their places in front of their portraits.
- Kaga makes one final speech. He begins to get a little emotional. It’s not something we are accustomed to seeing from the Chairman. Instead of “awakening” his Iron Chefs, this time, he orders his Iron Chefs to “sleep.” And the four Tetsujin slowly sink into their platforms and disappear for the final time.
- The chairman declares Kitchen Stadium closed, and bites one final yellow pepper. The Kitchen Stadium is filled with the past challengers, all holding yellow peppers in their hands as the final credits roll.
- The final scene is of the chairman sitting at his desk and writing one final note. He says something about January 2000. His note simply reads ”See you soon. Sept. 24, 1999 T. Kaga”
- In the very last shot, we see Sakai being tossed in the air by his kitchen staff in celebration of his double victory in the final Iron Chef Tournament.
I can’t believe Food Network left all of that out after the decision. It really was a perfect way to send the show out in style. I think the best parts were the entry of all 300 challengers as their names scrolled across the screen and the way the Iron Chefs were lowered into their platform. (I think that was a nice way to symbolize the end of Kitchen Stadium.) We once had a commenter who said they hoped we got the original broadcast version of the final episode because Food Network left out some important moments. I am so glad we got to see it.
New in the database this week: King of Iron Chefs Tournament Final – Original Version (736cOA)