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Awesome / Iron Chef

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    Iron Chef (Japan) 
  • Early on, Michiba showing the first hints of what he can do with Japanese cuisine by pulling a victory out of the Foie Gras battle. This would continue as the Chairman revealed in a later episode recounting Michiba, he'd purposely pit Michiba in battles that most Japanese chefs would have been out of their depth in to see just how far his creativity and sheer skill could go.
  • Any time a chef sends a dish up in a dramatic blaze (using alcohol, generally). (This is generally noted in the English dub of ICJ with Fukui saying "whoa, flamola!")
  • Anytime the theme ingredient is brought out in a special way, like hanged bacon or two groupers that has to be brought in and given to the chefs by professional fishermen.
  • Sakai defeating Chen to claim the title 'King of Iron Chefs', and then immediately after defeating Alain Passard in the final (regular) Kitchen Stadium battle.
    • And he beat Chen in a lobster battle, a theme ingredient he'd gone 0-3 with.
  • Chen battling his mentor, Takeshi Saito, who trained under Chen Kenichi's father, Chen Kenmin, in a Szechuan VS Szechuan duel. Kaga considered it an emotional battle between two masters, and Chen marked it as his best battle because his mother shown up, making it both a true emotional family AND a master/student affair. To add to the awesome, both chefs decided, in Chen Kenmin's honor, to make their take on Chen Kenmin's most famous dish, Prawns in Chili Sauce, with Saito going for a traditional Prawn in Chili Sauce with extra prawns used to make a broth to flavor the sauce, which Dr. Yukio Hattori even said that it would be really hard to top this variation due to how incredibly flavorful the dish would be. Chen Kenichi, however, countered Saito and won with his version of prawns in chili sauce:a newer variation of his father's recipe using ketchup and bread to dip into the prawns in chili sauce, showing a new style of Chili Prawns, and Kaga considers it so delicious it earned the #1 spot on his favorite dishes.
  • Using the cursed ice cream machine to make Trout Ice Cream and having it taste good (even though he didn't win the battle), is one for Sakai.
  • Immediately preceding the final battle (and sadly cut from the Food Network broadcast), almost all the challengers on Iron Chef (over three hundred) entered Kitchen Stadium one last time. (The only one not there was the by then deceased Rory Kennedy.)
    • Sakai defeating Morimoto to get into the finals. With a perfect score.
    • After Morimoto had racked up a perfect score the week prior in the final "regular" challenge match in Kitchen stadium, to boot.
    • Michiba defeating Chen to win his second Mr. Iron Chef title. On his 65th birthday. In his final regular battle.
  • In the eggnog/ice carving battle of Iron Chef America, Morimoto had a smoker made of ice.
    • He then proceeds to bring it out again later in another episode.
  • In Battle Cauliflower of Iron Chef America, the challenger actually challenged Iron Chef Symon without sous chefs. Once the Iron Chef realized this, he kicked his own sous chefs out of the kitchen. They went 60 minutes and made 5 dishes on their own.
    • And then Iron Chef Symon goes Serial Escalation and finishes early enough to have champagne with the judges. And yes, he did win that one.
    • Older Than They Think: Sakai did the same thing when Masanobu Watabe challenged him without sous chefs (though that's partially subverted as Watabe is such a demanding Jerkass that no one would work for him. Still a CMOA for Sakai, though).
      • Sakai started with sous chefs, and only kicked them out after commentary kept making reference to it. Watabe even said Sakai didn't have to do it, and afterward Sakai said he didn't want to do it again.
  • Chen and any battle where the ingredient is stacked against him and/or Chinese Cuisine.
    • Chen won the yogurt battle against a French-Italian-Japanese chef, despite the fact that yogurt is hardly (if ever) used in Chinese cuisine and being under huge pressure the entire battle while his opponent was pretty relaxed. The look on his face when he won reflects just how surprised he was to beat such odds.
    • In the 300th Challenger episode, Dominique Corby (a French chef working for Le Tour d'Argent, an old French restaurant in Paris of the highest reputationnote ) challenges Chen and the theme ingredient seems heavily stacked against Chen: foie gras. No known Chinese dish uses foie gras, and (according to Hattori) nor is there any ingredient in Chinese cuisine that Chen could easily use foie gras as a substitute for. One would think Corby would win the battle handily, while Chen would produce good but ultimately inferior dishes. But despite the massive handicap, Chen surprisingly makes five superb dishes that wowed the judges and possibly opened up new opportunities for the use of foie gras in Chinese cooking. When the results are tallied, the results lead to a TIE, surprising everyone. Going into the overtime battle, Chairman Kaga reveals the backup ingredient: asparagus—this one, an ingredient both the French and Chinese chef were very familiar with. Again, both chefs manage to make the results result in an unbelievable second tie. With everyone probably already exhausted from two back-to-back battles (the chefs from cooking, the judges from eating too much, and everyone fatigued from the amount of time it took, period), Chairman Kaga declares both are winners.
  • The Ohta Faction: Led by Tadamichi Ohta (who, himself, defeated Sakai), a league of traditional Japanese chefs who hate Morimoto with an intense passion and it might not just be kayfabe; they wish nothing less than to see Morimoto destroyed due to Morimoto's... unique interpretation in everything he cooks. This league's chefs, internationally renowned, have repeatedly challenged Morimoto specifically to try to prove to him that traditional cuisine trumps new dishes invented on the spot — Morimoto winning 4 out of 5 of the duels.
  • The first US Challenger, Ron Siegel, challenging Sakai, one of the best Iron Chefs when it comes to seafood, in a "lobster battle" and winning. (In a book on Iron Chef that sold in the US, some of the recipes Ron used are published in it.)
    • Even better, he won all four votes and had a near-perfect score, while having sous chefs that couldn't speak English.
  • Michiba returning to the stadium one more time and besting his successor in the later 2012 revival series, Jun Kurogi - at the ripe old age of 81.
  • While it never aired in the US, New Year's Eve 1996, Michiba vs. Nakamura, has several:
    • The whole episode was broadcast live, with the extended 100-minute battle ending precisely at the stroke of midnight.
    • The opening ceremony consisted of a procession of most of the previous challengers up to that point in the show's history bringing ingredient offerings to be used in the battle. They also pulled double-duty as part of the 100-man tasting panel.
    • The theme ingredients were chosen by an archer on horseback shooting at three targets, each partitioned into four sections: one for meat, one for vegetables, one for fish. What was ultimately selected? Pork, sweet potato, and octopus.
    • The result: Nakamura defeats Michiba 55-45.

    Iron Chef America 
  • Chopped Grand Champion Madison Cowan teams up with Lance Nitahara and judge Amanda Freitag to take on Jose Garces on Battle Kale was plain awesome on many levels.
    • First, Lance Nitahara teams up with Madison Cowan. Yes, that Lance Nitahara that gave away half his winnings to his opponent.
    • Next, Amanda Freitag teams up with Cowan setting up a revenge/grudge match against Garces because she lost to him on the 2nd season of Next Iron Chef.
    • Third, Alton talking smack to Cowan about "being in our house," with different rules and formats, and how he's not going to have an easy time in Kitchen Stadium.
    • Finally, the result. Madison curb-stomps Garces in both taste and originality, effectively giving Madison the win!
  • The "Fusion" episode of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption forced the chefs to create dishes pairing unlikely foods. Amanda Freitag got calamari and marshmallows, a pair that disgusted all the other chefs, too. And then she won the challenge with it.
    Judges: We were dreading this combination, actually, but you did something amazing with it.
  • The “Deep Freeze” episode forced the chefs to get creative with the presentation of their dishes, as all of the dishes and serving vessels had to be constructed of ice. For Team Cora/Irvine the ice carvers create an actual working ‘’slushie machine’’ for their beverage.
  • The “Battle Cauliflower” episode turns into a one-on-one battle between Michael Symon and challenger Neal Fraser when Fraser decides not to have sous chefs assisting him in his kitchen. Once he finds out that Fraser is going it alone, Symon immediately kicks his sous chefs out of his kitchen.