Chairman Kaga is a Diabolical Mastermind.Ever wonder why we never see any of the challengers again? If they win, they are abducted and mind-wiped, and they become a minion of the Gourmet Academy, ready to move against the world with their superior cooking skills. If they lose, they become the next battle's theme ingredient.
Chairman Kaga is a vampireHe likes poofy shirts. He cannot swallow the capsicum, but intstead appears to gag; perhaps he cannot eat solid food at all. Losing challengers are never seen again. He drains them dry. Also, he gets subtitles instead of being dubbed into English. This is because he hypnotized whoever is in charge of the dubbing so that no one spoke the Black Speech in English.
Chairman Kaga either swore off drugs or started taking the right onesSeriously: Watch some of the early episodes (the ones with Michiba as IC Japanese). The man was seriously tripping off something. The Kaga we know and love is a dignified Large Ham. The early Kaga was a manic-depressive madman who wouldn't sound out of place yelling, "The theme ingredient is... ORPHANS!"
Yutaka Ishinabe, the original Iron Chef French, was eliminated for trying to rebel against Kaga's mad rule.Consider: when he rose into Kitchen Stadium, he was holding a capsicum, Kaga's trademark. Clearly, he was signaling his desire to steal Kaga's power. In his last battle, the only one he ever lost, Kaga "accidentally" gave away the theme ingredient a little early. Kaga was setting The Starscream up for a fall.
Yutaka Ishinabe is being retconned.Beyond several 'honorary' cameos and a blink-and-you-miss-it spot in the opening credits (check the wall behind Kaga), Iron Chef Ishinabe has pretty much disappeared from Iron Chef canon. A highlight special made for American audiences featuring Iron Chefs Hiroyuki Sakai and Chen Kenichi outright claims that Sakai is the first Iron Chef French. Food Network and Fine Living Network have only shown one of his matches, the only one that he lost, noted above, as opposed to Food Network showing several of Iron Chef Japanese I Rokusaburo Michiba and Iron Chef Japanese II Koumei Nakamura's battles. (Fine Living, not so much.) This smacks of Retcon.
The real Chairman was the psychic judge they had on, Kazuko HosokiIf you think about it, the Chairman should only show up sometimes to test how it's going and wouldn't be on every episode. There was no clear reason to have a psychic on a cooking show. There must be something sinister involved!!!!!!1!1!oneoneone
Yukio Hattori, the chairman of a nutrition college, is the real Chairman of the Gourmet Academy.Think about it for a bit. The commentary booth is the perfect place to monitor goings-on. And the only time Hattori had to serve in "official" capacity as Chairman was when Kaga "boycotted" proceedings because of a losing streak.
Chairman Kaga faked his death by fugu poisoning.When the 21st Century battles were held, Sakai and Morimoto lost their battles to their longtime rival and an American upstart respectively. Having lost face so publicly and in such important battles, Kaga faked his death so that he could disappear for good. He was only brought out of his self-imposed exile when his nephew approached him with the plans for Iron Chef America, and then only to give his blessing (a blessing his other nephew, who tried to continue Iron Chef in Japan, sorely lacked).
One or more characters is a Time Lord.Rule of Cool here. But Chairman Mark could have pulled a page from his uncle; perhaps Diabolical Mastermind-ness runs in the Kaga family. And Alton Brown certainly holds a lot more power than Kenji Fukui ever did, and is on equal standing with the Chairman.
Alton Brown is the true chairman of the American Kitchen Stadium.Alton Brown DOES hold a lot more power than his predecessors, and he is credited with hosting duties in the credits. (Mark Dacascos isn't even IN the credits.) It's possible that he was the one to revive the Gourmet Academy; he placed Mark as a figurehead to give Iron Chef America some credibility. More telling evidence: You would think the Chairman would be heavily involved in The Next Iron Chef, since whomever wins becomes his newest
One of the American Iron Chefs is leaving.The first Next Iron Chef competition was held because Mario Batali had left the Food Network over a contract dispute. The Food Network just announced a second season of The Next Iron Chef. Presumably, this means one of the current Iron Chefs is leaving. We don't know who, but three of them have good reason to:
Alton Brown appealed to Chairman Mark's pride or honor to attempt a Uriah Gambit and gain unquestioned control of the show.It has just been announced that Chairman Mark is on Dancing with the Stars (American vs.) this season. Anyone who has watched seasons of that show knows that, underneath the heartwarming vignettes and beautiful moves, it's a blood sport — both contestants and pros get injured frequently. They are encouraged to stay in while injured. (Last season, two "dances" had to be judged via rehearsal footage.) In short, it is one of the few competitions even more dangerous than Iron Chef. So, Alton Brown appealed to Chairman Mark's honor and got him to want to be on that show. The object is to supplant Mark. Ideally, Mark will be so badly injured that he will be unable to do his job ever again. There is also the possibility that he will be kicked out of the Gourmet Academy because he's been away for too long — Dancing with the Stars takes six weeks plus however many weeks he can stay in the competition (it's live!). Alton will then seize control, perhaps placing another figurehead in the Chairman slot.
Chairman Mark can kill you with his brain.Or at least he has thought about it. Did you see the look he was giving Alton when Alton was mocking him for not getting brain freeze?
Kaga is a witch and Game Master a la Umineko no Naku Koro niAnd all of Iron Chef was a game between himself and other witches in what's known as the realm of gods to decide who was superior. Chairman Kaga was an image of himself to allow himself to play. The Iron Chefs were his "furniture" (a term used in Umineko for servants summoned by a witch). In the end, the only challenge Kaga had was himself.
Chairman Koji is a descendant of the Kaga family.For those that don't watch Futurama, he was the Chairman-Expy in the Affectionate Parody of Iron Chef in "The 30% Iron Chef". And Futurama does take place a millenium in the future. Who's to say that he isn't a descendant of the Kaga family, somewhere?
Chairman Mark Wants to Return to Japan to Ultimately Usurp Chairman Kaga.Chairman Mark's ambition is to return Iron Chef to Japan and reign there as true Chairman. The show may be over in Japan, but Kaga's legendary status as Chair of Chairs still stretches over Mark, who wants to reign under his own steam. He is slowly amassing his own army of Iron Chefs to return and challenge Kaga's chefs. An epic clash in Kitchen Stadium will ensue. Morimoto will defect halfway through the battle and sabotage Team America's dishes. The Chairmen will have a Ham off which will end with Mark fracturing his hip. All will seem lost for Iron Chef America until...
Alton Brown is using the Next Iron Chef competition to get his own Iron Chef and take the show over after the Iron Chef War.Going off the "Alton Brown is The Starscream" theories, Alton Brown initially proposed this competition under the impression that these new Iron Chefs would be wordlessly loyal to the Chairman. (Batali's fallout with Food Network stems from his realizing the horrible truth behind Kitchen Stadium. He will be victim of a tragic umami-related death soon.) Alton realizes that Chairman Mark's ambition to usurp Kaga is foolish in its own right, but he sees a possibility in the NIC competition. Unbeknownst to Mark, Symon is already working for Alton; Morimoto will join him soon after. Along with the Next Iron Chef, Morimoto, and Symon, Alton Brown will hang back during the Iron Chef War until Sakai has exhausted himself and Team America is all but depleted. Morimoto will reveal his true allegiance to Alton Brown and, with a unprecedented display of grandiosity, will cast both Kaga and Mark down and reign as the true Chairman with Morimoto, Symon and the Next Iron Chef (who will be Mehta).
Bobby Flay is An Ice Person.In the eggnog/ice sculpture battle, someone joked about Old Man Winter looking a lot like Flay. And well...that'd be cool, admit it.
Alton Brown wants to challenge an Iron Chef.Maybe it's a part of one of the above WMGs, maybe not. But seeing how Alton did say, "so this is how it feels," and touted himself (exaggeratedly, but what do you expect?) as a force to be reckoned with. He wants to challenge an Iron Chef. It's not like there isn't a precedent. Yukio Hattori had challenged two Iron Chefs before (and lost). As for why Mark hasn't accepted Alton's challenge — depending on how you view him, he either wants to spare Alton the possible agony of defeat or doesn't want to risk Alton winning and gaining more clout in Kitchen Stadium. The substitute commentator should Alton challenge an Iron Chef would be one of three choices:
There is a war going on, but not between Kaga, Mark, and Alton.It's between Mark and the Chairman from the Japan Cup. The Chairman from the Japan Cup is also one of Kaga's nephews. He tried to carry on his uncle's legacy, but failed spectacularly. Meanwhile, Mark tried elsewhere, in America, where Iron Chef was still a popular show, and succeeded where the Chairman failed. The Chairman, bent on revenge against Mark for stealing what he feels is rightfully his, is secretly training the six remaining Iron Chefs for a battle royale against Mark's Iron Chefs. Morimoto will be specifically targeted for 'turning traitor' and going to Mark's side. Mark is aware of this; hence, he held the two Next Iron Chef competitions to build his numbers up so he can be evenly matched against the Chairman. Batali leaving threw Mark for a loop, but he has an ace in the hole: Alton Brown. All the supposed antagonism between them is to throw off the Chairman (who might be watching the show). Mark may name Alton an Iron Chef, either by giving Alton the same wager Kaga gave Hattori (defeat an Iron Chef and you can become one yourself), or by an impromptu "knighting" on the day of reckoning. These would be the battle lines:
Mark is grooming Alton to be his successor.Why would Alton try to usurp Chairman Mark when he's due to inherit Kitchen Stadium soon anyway? For reasons currently unknown, Mark has decided to retire. Rather than close down Kitchen Stadium as his uncle had, he decided to name Alton Brown his successor. The hard time he gives Alton is because he's a believer of 'tough love', unsurprising given his martial arts background. This is also why Alton had a big hand in The Next Iron Chef and filled the Chairman's role in the Super Chef battle: this way, he's not a complete novice when Mark finally hands the reins over.
Kaga is fluent in French.Check the France special. When Kaga is talking to Pierre Gagnaire, and later to the Duc and Duchesse de Brissac, there is no translator in sight. Now the question becomes, why is Kaga fluent in French? Dollars to donuts, he spent many years in France before going back to Japan to found his Kitchen Stadium.
The Chairman in Iron Chef UK is the black sheep of the family.Proof: it was almost a decade before we learned he existed. Family is very important in Japan; he must have lost face. He has even lost the right to use his own name.
What might happen in the eventual Grand Finale of Iron Chef AmericaBecause all good things eventually come to an end. One or more of these things might happen, if and when they close KSA down for good:
Chairman Tamaki's relation to Kaga
Legally, Mark inherited Kitchen Stadium Japan and appointed Tamaki as chairman.This goes with an above WMG that Kaga was alive during the creation of Kitchen Stadium America but died before the creation of the revival. Mark, as Kaga's sole heir, inherited Kitchen Stadium Japan and everything that went with it upon Kaga's death. However, having already tried to juggle two stadiums (America and Australia) and failing at it (leading to Australia's closure), Mark chose to appoint someone to serve as Japan's chairman. The question now becomes, how did Tamaki come into consideration and why did Mark pick him?