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.
Iron Chef 548sub - It is the last battle of the year (1997), and the chairman wants to use a theme ingredient he has been wanting to use for a long time. It is the largest fish that can be caught in the waters off Japan. The challenger is the “Don of Kansai cuisine” and frequent thorn in the sides of the Iron Chefs, Toshiro Kandagawa. (This episode is in Japanese with English subtitles.)
Iron Chef 601sub - For the first battle of the new year (1998), the Chairman selects a special challenger from Sendai. He is an expert at using Miso from all over Japan. (This episode is in Japanese with English subtitles.)
Iron Chef 602OA – The challenger is the owner/chef of a French restaurant in Japan. He trained with three-star chefs in France, so he should be a formidable foe for Kobe. (This episode is in Japanese with no subtitles)
Iron Chef 603OA – The challenger comes recommended by frequent judges Yasushi Akimoto and Tenmei Kano. (This episode is in Japanese with no subtitles.)
UPDATE: I’ve added .mp4 versions to the download page for these four episodes. If you want to stream instead of downloading, you can by copying the direct download URL into a media player such as VLC Player. To get the direct download URL, go to the download page and click “Download MP4″. The next screen will have a link under “Click here if you are not redirected automatically.” (You can cancel the download.) Paste that URL into the box that opens when you select “Open Network Stream” and the video will begin streaming.
Thanks for letting me put up my personal post on Monday. Here are some “new” original episodes for you.
Iron Chef 202 – The challenger is a Chinese cuisine chef from Hong Kong. He loves to cook on his super hot fire. (I thought I heard 60,000 kilocalories, but I don’t know exactly what that means. Someone feel free to enlighten me.) He has served Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan among others. Nice touch from the Chairman asking who he is going to battle in Chinese. It’s an all Chinese cuisine battle as he takes on Iron Chef Chinese Chen Kenichi.
Iron Chef 203 – I believe this is the first time we have an amateur cook rather than a professional chef as the challenger. (You will hear the chairman say “Shirouto” several times. It means novice/amateur.) He will take on Iron Chef Japanese Michiba in an egg battle. Apparently the challenger’s wife is happy with the theme. Ota reports that as soon as she heard it announced, she did the “guts pose” in the royal box. Will her confidence lead him to victory?
Iron Chef 204 - The challenger was a gymnast, then a professional boxer, and now a highly trained French Chef. (He is still in the news, serving up dishes with dirt at his restaurant. Yep, dirt.) Don’t worry; the theme is not top soil. It’s sea bream and Iron Chef Michiba will be looking to deliver the knockout blow. (I don’t know what Fukui is really saying, but you know his dubbed version would be breaking out every boxing pun in the book for this battle.)
(This one’s a personal post from me. I’ll be back to the “regularly scheduled” Iron Chef posts later this week. –Keith)
March 11, 2011, 2:46 PM.
Today marks the two year anniversary of the 2011 Touhoku Earthquake and Tsunami. I remember staying up all night watching pictures/video of the devastation and just staring at the screen not believing what I was seeing. Buildings washed away in a matter of minutes. Families separated, wondering if they would ever see each other again (and the sad realization that many would not.) I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through something like that.
The earthquake was centered off the northeast coast of Japan. I visited Sendai on my trip last summer, but our schedule did not really leave time to get out to see any of the areas that had been hardest hit by the tsunami. I was able to meet a couple of guys who live in Sendai, Maynard Plant and Blaise Plant of the Japanese music group Monkey Majik, who stayed to help the community in the weeks that followed the disaster when they probably easily could have called their record company and said “get us out of here.” That’s one of the reasons I have so much respect for them and was so honored to have met them. I still get goosebumps when I watch the video for Blaise’s Take My Hand, which he wrote after the earthquake hit.
I saved a lot of videos of the events as they unfolded and in the weeks that followed. I’ll watch a few of them tonight. (It’s still weird to see the Music Station episode from one week later with no audience, messages of encouragement from the various musical artists between performances, and a heart wrenching PSA encouraging people to reassure their children that everything is OK and that they not alone.) I’d encourage you to send a thought/prayer/whatever-you-do for the people of Japan as they remember that day and hope they don’t ever have to see another one like it. がんばって日本