This week in Iron Chef history, March 22 – March 28:
- 212 (3/27/1994) – Cheese – Michiba vs. Hideaki Odakura
- 313 (3/25/1995) – Spiny Lobster – Michiba vs. Shu Chu
(First week of the Hong Kong Special)
- 413 (3/22/1996) – Bell Pepper – Nakamura vs. Lin Kumbi
- 512 (3/28/1997) – Honey – Sakai vs. Hiroyuki Kitami
- 711 (3/26/1999) – Angler – Morimoto vs. Seiya Masahara
- 413 (iPod), 711 (iPod)
The Cheese battle was one of those highlighted in the Legend of Michiba special. The challenger from the Bell Pepper battle once fought Michiba to a tie then lost in the first Kitchen Stadium overtime battle. He wants a shot at the new Iron Chef Japanese. The Angler battle saw the appearance of the fourth Otah Faction challenger. Unfortunately, we are also reminded by this list of one of the Iron Chef specials that has eluded us, the Hong Kong Special from 1995.
See you next week.
This week in Iron Chef history, March 15 – March 21:
- 211 (3/20/1994) – Scallop – Chen vs. Kyoko Kagata
- 312 (3/17/1995) – Cod – Sakai vs. Isao Yuasa
- 412 (3/15/1996) – Scallop – Sakai vs. Senji Osada
- 511 (3/21/1997) – Wakame Seaweed – Nakamura vs. Takashi Mera
- 710 (3/19/1999) – Oxtail – Sakai vs. Koji Hosogai
- 710OA (Original Japanese version), 710 (MP4 for iPod viewing)
Among the battles that took place this week in Iron Chef history: In the cod battle, Sakai takes on the chef that cooks for the Japanese royal family when they visit western Japan. You may also remember him because of his use of litmus paper. Sakai’s scallop battle is against a chef who is an expert in vacuum cooking. Finally, the challenger in the Oxtail battle was chosen by frequent judge Tenmei Kanoh. (And unlike last week, there are virtually no differences between the FN dub and the OA version.)
See you next week.
This week in Iron Chef history, March 8 – March 14:
- 210 (3/13/1994) – Tomato – Sakai vs. Hiroyuki Kitami
- 311 (3/10/1995) – Squid (Yarii Ika) – Chen vs. Tetsutoshi Shimazu
- 411 (3/8/1996) – Cod – Chen vs. Tatsujiro Yoshida
- 510 (3/14/1997) – Papaya – Chen vs. Yuji Wakiya
- 609 (3/13/1998) – Broccoli – Kobe vs. Mario Frittoli
- 709b-OA (3/12/1999) – Egg – Morimoto vs. Nakamura
- New York Battle Part 1 (3/12/2000) – The Iron Chefs in New York
- New York Battle Part 2 (3/12/2000) – Rock Crab – Morimoto vs. Bobby Flay
- New York Battle (Original Japanese Version) (3/12/2000) (Check the comments for a pretty long list of differences. Most are very minor, but one is pretty big in my opinion.)
There are a couple of interesting battles this week in Iron Chef history. First, we have the squid battle between Chen and the man who has over 200 pizza recipes. The second battle pits Chen against the Vice-President of the Japan Chefs Association. Kobe takes on a man who owns 8 restaurants. The egg battle is an ICC Exclusive. (Watch for the Michiba ingredient reveal and Kaga’s laughter at it. ). Finally this week, we have the infamous New York Battle between Morimoto and Bobby Flay. Was Flay just playing the “ugly American” because the producers asked him or is he really that much of a #%@!$? You decide.
See you next week.
This BKS video features the girls of Morning Musume, the popular Japanese idol group, and their attempt to cook like the Iron Chefs. You might remember a couple of these girls from previous BKS videos. Nozomi Tsuji and Kago Ai were featured in Ryori no Tetsu-Kappa. The Iron Girls enter Kitchen Colosseum. The girls will split into two teams: Italian (Green) vs. Chinese (Red).
The master chef teaching the Italian team is two time challenger in Kitchen Stadium; Hiromi Yamada (217 – Cabbage vs. Chen, 1994 Mr. Iron Chef).
The master chef teaching the Chinese team was also a challenger in Kitchen Stadium; Nawasaka Matsuo (539OA – Spare Rib vs. Chen.)
The girls are getting lessons from the chefs. The pasta looks OK, but Nakazawa Yuko seems to be having a little bit of trouble with the fish. In the red kitchen, Ishikawa Rika watches the chef take a thin slice of pepper and says, “Muri.” (Impossible), but she still makes an effort.
It’s time to finally begin. We don’t get our usual Fukui-san, but we do get to see the ever present Dr. Yukio Hattori. The guests include a familiar face to IC fans. Tatsuo Umemiya (guest and challenger in ep 245), Hayashiya Kobuhei (actor), Imori Miyuki (actress). And the most familiar voice in Kitchen Stadium, Shinichiro Ota is also on hand.
The three theme ingredients are: Red Pacific Sea Bream (Tai), Matsuzaka Beef, Ostrich Eggs.
The teams will be cooking one at a time. The Chinese team is selected to cook first. The rules are that the master chef can give advice during the first 50 minutes of the battle, but he must not touch anything. During the final 10 minutes, he is allowed to directly help the girls with their dishes.
Chinese Team – Round 1
Abe Natsumi quickly removes the scales from the fish while Rika almost removes her fingers while cutting off a slab of beef. Fortunately, the chef reminds her to tuck her fingers under when doing knife work. They are stuffing the fish with oolong tea. Yaguchi Mari is preparing salt for a salt-crust grill treatment for the fish. They seem to be taking a long time to cut into the ostrich egg so they can start their dessert. They are going to make an ostrich egg meringue and a mango puree.
Rika forgets the rule that the chef can’t touch anything, so he can’t even taste her dish. She decides on her own that it is “O.K.” Abe grows impatient waiting for her fish and says the oven is “osoi” (slow).
Italian Team – Round 2
Nakazawa Yuko was chosen to do the main dish but doesn’t seem too excited about working with the fish. The Italian side also has abalone, squid, and shrimp. While the Chinese team took the time to saw through their ostrich egg, the Italian team is going after theirs with a hammer. They ask Nakazawa what she is feeling, and while I’m not sure what she says, I would imagine it is something about not wanting to put her hand in the fish. They put a huge slab of beef on the grill. Of course, they are making pasta. The chef really has to move fast during his ten minutes of action. After it’s done, they ask Nakazawa if that was her first time cooking fish. (I think.) She said, “Yes.”
It is time for the judgment, but not before Morning Musume performs their #1 song Happy Summer Wedding. (Subtitled PV here.) Anyway, back to the judgment.
Umemiya – Chinese Team 16, Italian Team 16
Kobuhei – Chinese Team 18, Italian Team 17
Imori – Chinese Team 18, Italian Team 19
Totals – Chinese Team 52, Italian Team 52
A tie!! Oh well, at least we got to see Morning Musume have fun in the kitchen.
New in the database this week: Ryori no Tetsu-Musume
Sakai vs. Philippe Groult
Originally aired 12/15/95
Iron Chef: The Official Book episode# 111
Iron Chef Collection episode# 348
A special challenger, for a special Christmas battle: Philippe Groult, who studied under Joel Robuchon at Jamin from 1981-84. In 1982, at age 28, Groult won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF, a prize also awarded to Robuchon, and to Claude Le Tohic, currently head chef at Robuchon’s restaurant in Las Vegas). Groult went on to open his own restaurant, L’Amphycles, in Paris. He earned two Michelin stars in two years.
Robuchon himself has a few words for the Chairman: “Although it’s going to be an uphill battle, I trust his talents. I want him to proudly represent the true flavors of French cuisine. With his depth of knowledge, skill, and experience, I’m sure he can win.”
Groult challenges Sakai — a strictly French battle. The unveiled ingredient is “what the French go crazy over on Christmas Eve, with champagne glasses in hand–”
Actress Fumie Hosokawa (After seeing some of her other work, a special BKS edition may be needed. -Keith) and Honorary Chef French Yutaka Ishinabe join Kenji Fukui and Dr. Yukio Hattori on the commentators’ panel. (more…)