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Headscratchers / Iron Chef

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  • Ahem. JUST HOW MANY SIBLINGS DOES CHAIRMAN KAGA HAVE? I mean, you've got his nephew, Chairman Mark. Then you've got his other nephew, the UK chairman (who is currently unnamed). And if you count the Japan Cup as canon, then you've got his other other nephew (who I think I read somewhere was played by Masahiro Motoki). So that's what, three different siblings?
    • He'll have as many sibling or relations as the spinoffs need. He's a fictional character like Steven Colbert's 'character.'
    • Maybe he has one sibling who has multiple children? Some of the nephews could themselves be brothers.
      • Hm. Could be. Technically we don't know the names of the Chairmen characters from US and UK, we just call them by actors' names and treat it as Alter-Ego Acting. (As far as I know, the Japan Cup Chairman is the only one confirmed as Alter-Ego Acting.)
      • Besides, what's so shocking about a man with three brothers?
      • It's exasperating to have it sprung into canon without warning.
      • Keep in mind, you're grumbling over the "canon" of a cooking competition.
  • And while I'm thinking about it, who the hell is playing the UK Chairman? British tropers, help me out here!
    • Eizo Tomita, according to a website I can't link to because of Keep Circulating the Tapes.
  • So, I've been watching the Australian run of the Japanese series on-and-off and I'm wondering, is Iron Chef Italian ever actually going to appear outside the intro?
    • He does appear in one or two episodes.
    • I've seen him before. He got picked more when he was first introduced, and competitors would pick him because he was the least experienced of the Iron Chefs.
    • To clarify: I mean he's not even an option. He appears in the intro, then when the show proper starts and challenger is introduced the three Iron Chef's make their entrance: IC French, IC Chinese, IC Japanese. It's like they took the intro from the last season and put it on the first, except when one of the "Big Three" change so does the intro. It's very confusing as to why he gets credit when I've never once seen him appear.
    • This is because he wasn't actually on the show until the latter half of the show's run. For some reason the dubbers decided to include him in the dub intros for every episode they localized- even though he's in roughly less than half of them!
  • Why is dramatically biting a bell pepper so dramatic? Bell peppers are yummy!
    • I'd imagine it's a combination of Refuge in Audacity and Rule of Cool. It's dramatic cause it's so out there, which makes it cool. And yes, yellow bell peppers are yummy.
    • The drama probably has nothing to do with the ingredient being disgusting or overly spicy/salty/whatever. It has more to do with Mundane Made Awesome because, let's face it, he is dramatically biting into a fruit in such a way that the dramatism of the act is giving weight and significance to it. That's not something people normally do with fruits.
    • Also, in Japan, bell peppers aren't a common part of local cuisine, so biting into it like one would an apple is a way to show that Chairman Kaga is worldly and urbane. Though Takeshi Kaga (the actor) can't QUITE keep it together.
  • Don't know if this occurs in other versions, but on Iron Chef Australia, stop telling us what the dishes are going to be beforehand damnit! It takes so much mystery out of things, not to mention trying to keep the hosts guessing as to what's being made.
    • Eh, it may fall under YMMV, I know it's happened a few times on ICA, but I personally find it fascinating to see how it becomes what the chef says it will be.
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    • In terms of the Australian version, I was more annoyed at the commercials spoiling who the Iron Chef would be in the next battle. Maybe it's because I'm spoiled by the way SBS does the commercials for ICJ, but I would've preferred some element of surprise.
  • The existence of The Next Iron Chef. Okay, yes, it can be entertaining in its own right, but it does feel a little bit like milking the Iron Chef name.
    • Agreed. Especially considering it has little to do with Iron Chef. I would have liked it if it was basically tournament style Iron Chef matches, but they go for reality show style challenges that would fit more in Top Chef than Iron Chef.
    • I thought it was interesting the first time they did it, and a reasonable way to choose who (among the top applicants) most deserved the position of Iron Chef, but since then they've changed the position of Iron Chef (American) from a position that has to be earned to a prize that can be won. When you have six Iron Chefs and are still running another season of a show dedicated to replacing an Iron Chef who intends to step down, it's a good sign that something's gone wrong.
  • Am I the only one that doesn't like Michael Symon? Maybe it's the whole Ascended Fanboy thing, or the fact that Symon was redundant since they have Cora, or the fact they seem to plug Symon into other cooking shows on Food Network and The Cooking Channel, but I get a weird Shia LaBeouf vibe from him.
    • Really, with Batali and Cora gone, Symon and Bobby Flay are the only ones left with any on-screen charisma, with Morimoto's draw being the tricks he pulls in the kitchen. Frankly Garces and Forgione are pretty boring to this troper's eye.
    • Cora isn't gone. She was just on the brand new episode (Battle Leg of Lamb). Garces and Forgione haven't been on enough to get into the groove of things.
    • But again, it's a YMMV that Symon has on-screen charisma. He has lots of personality, certainly, but that doesn't keep people from finding his personality annoying, especially when he giggles like a goofball every five minutes. Food Network clearly thought that they had another Guy Fieri on their hands, because "Hey, goofy guy who's always chattering to people, they'll love him just like Guy!" The fact that most of the attempts to give him other shows have lasted about a season or so should be proof that a lot of the audience thinks different.
    • It's definitely a YMMV thing. I have this same reaction to Alex Guarnaschelli now that they've started shoehorning her into everything. I just find her really smarmy and abrasive.
  • Why doesn't the American run have any French Iron Chefs?
    • Well, Iron Chef Forgione is classically trained in France and in French cuisine.
    • And up until that addition, it's probably because French food is not as large a part of the American culinary landscape as others, being largely present only somewhat in cajun/creole (and it's... evolved... a bit). Italian and Asian food especially have become part of the "melting pot", while French food is a bit outsider and foreign.
      • Really? Half the things in classical french cuisine have an American equivalent that descended directly from that dish or style, as well as similar dishes from elsewhere that evolved to be similar to the French dish.
      • Descended from French. Evolved from French. Thus not French anymore.
  • On ICJ: Why did so many challengers so often go for the intra-cuisine battles? (Outside of the ones like the Ohta Faction who were trying to prove a point.) They had to know that because the style of the challenger was known, but the Iron Chef (except in certain circumstances) was not, the ingredient would either be chosen to favor the challenger or as a "neutral" one common to most cuisines. Moreover, the out-of-cuisine Iron Chefs were not usually expecting to be chosen, giving a surprise advantage. True, this didn't always work (see: Sakai in the Jinhua pork battle against a Cantonese chef, or Chen and Michiba in their foie gras battles against French chefs), but why unnecessarily level the playing field when you have a choice?
    • For Glory. They wanted to prove they were BETTER CHEFS, not just that they could win an ultimately arbitrary challenge by exploiting its rules. When the iron chef is put completely out of their element by a challenger in theirs, win or lose, the audience admires the iron chef for their skill and versatility in doing as well as they did and the challenger walks away with their name added to a list. If the challenger willingly stacks the deck against themselves and still wins, the victory is absolute.
    • A mitigating factor for Italian challengers is for the longest time there WASN'T an Iron Chef Italian.
  • Why did ICA force them to have five dishes every time, that seems a bit of a bind on their creativity? Is it really better to have quantity over quality? ICJ had chefs make as many or as few as they liked and the quality was better for it (Jacques Borie won his battle with one dish because the other was disqualified for not having the theme in it.)