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Food Network Iron Chef Make Believe? Flay should be nominated for an Emmy.

Didn't anyone else catch this?

Flay vs Tourondel battle goat cheese. The camera focuses in on Bobby Flay putting the finishing touches on one of his dishes. He's obviously sweating it to the very last second, his competitor is finished with time to spare.

You hear the female announcer say "30 seconds to go". The camera pulls away from Flay and you see (and hear) one of his sous chef's say "this is when he tell's me he needs something else". Within two seconds Bobby says "one of the dishes is missing here". Our blond sous chef comes to the rescue presenting the gnocchi dish.

The beauty of TIVO is the ability to re-play TV, and, there it is. It's obvious that Iron Chef is also as perfectly manicured for pubic consumption as are Food Network's other make believe shows.

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  1. it doesn't seem as challenging to me as the japanese version. There they have to plate 6 dishes each of the dish they plan to serve. Iron Chef American just plates 6 dishes in total. Plus they get pretty easy ingredients (at least in my opinion). So far all I see is MEAT MEAT MEAT. Once in a while they will get something else, but its boring

    For instance, I watched the cabbage battle on ICJ today (dvr-ed it). That seems like a more difficult thing to use. Also, broccoli, foie gras, truffles, etc.

      1. re: Trixie Too

        Interesting article; thanks for sharing.

      2. Thanks for the article Trixie Too. I don't know what made me think that these guys were really cooking, I guess some tooth-fairy thinking? One of the worst PR things that Food Network has done is give us behind-the-scenes looks at their shows. Yes, the whole thing's a sham.

        1. As for the lack of tension when the ingredient was revealed, I heard that the chefs are given a list of three possible ingredients so they can be mentally ready. Has anyone else heard this?

          3 Replies
          1. re: babette feasts

            I believe a list of possible ingredients were also given to the Iron Chefs on the original Japanese series. Of course the ingredients were much more interesting and "non-standard" so planning wouldn't be as easy task.

            Example: sea cuccumber and beef cheeks on the same possible list would drive any normal chef to think twice or to hedge his bets. Don't see that with AIC.

            1. re: babette feasts

              When I was in Seattle recently Tom Douglas at Dahlia Lounge was there and talking about his ICA experience (he won by the way). He was given three possible secret ingredients, and before going to tape, he and his sous chefs practiced the possible dishes they would prepare on the show.

              1. re: babette feasts

                That is true, knowing that wrecked the show for me. It's like it's professional wrestling or something.

              2. I've never seen an entire episode of ICA, even though I used to be an ICJ junkie, so I can't really comment on how 'real' ICA is or isn't, but I think the program is indicative of The Food Network's change in direction with their programming - away from cooking, with more entertainment and 'lifestyle' shows (whatever that means).

                BTW, interesting typo on the last paragraph of the OP...what would Freud say??

                2 Replies
                1. re: ricepad

                  "It's obvious that Iron Chef is also as perfectly manicured for pubic consumption ..."

                  iron chef - pube challenge - that one i'd watch!

                  1. re: ricepad

                    With a heavy German accent, "Pass ze dental floss, liebchin".

                  2. I miss the old Japanese version from the mid 90's...the mistranslations were the best!

                    ahh...MONKFISH BATTLE!!....sigh.....

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jbyoga

                      I loved the ADR. How could you watch epidodes of IC (Japan) without laughing? Come on, especially when they referred to one of the announcers as "Squeeze On".
                      I was mimicking that for weeks. ;-)

                      ADR defined: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubbing_...

                    2. I remember one of the earlier episodes where Flay was plating. His sous chef was rushing to finish a plate and Flay turns to him and whispers, "Dude, we have an hour"...and the kitchen stadium clock said something like 2 minutes left. I took that to mean that the buzzer was bogus and that chefs would have time to rearrange their food off camera...which is fine because it is entertainment. But be a little more discrete about it!

                      1. The chefs have more time after the buzzer to arrange dishes for each of the judges. The food would be ice cold if they had to plate it within the hour time limit. I will say the show is much tougher for the Iron Chef's. Someone like Flay will come in and do 5 or 6 shows in a row, so that is 15 to 18 possible ingredients that they have to work on. You can clearly tell when the Iron Chefs are fresh and when they are on number 5 in two days.

                        1. Is there anyone more annoying (and less talented) than Rachel Ray ?

                          3 Replies
                            1. re: ricepad

                              It's close, but Sandra Lee's is the most annoying show on. Matching her kitchen, clothes and tablescapes to the meal, is pure nonsense.

                              1. re: ricepad

                                If I hear her say, "And now I want you to..." one more time, I'm going to kick my TV.

                            2. Not to mention those plunging necklines.............

                              1. Well, The Food Network has bills to pay so they're not above giving the public what sells. Look at Mario. Here's a guy with a real understanding of food and knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. I feel like every time he opens his mouth I learn something. He's tossed out and in his place we have an over-large and excessively toothy smile and gratuitous cleavage. Pretty little Giada who, while using breadcrumbs in a recipe last week told us that they may be dry, is going to be our guide to the world of Italian cooking. And that Ladies & Gentlemen is what they teach at Le Cordon Bleu.

                                1. Yes, Giada seems nice and all BUT geez those low cut tops are a bit excessive, I was thinking too. Is it to distract one from the simple food she prepares, unlike Mario???
                                  Still partial to the chefs on PBS - Lidia B., Jacque Pepin, and I miss seeing Julia Child from time to time. Oh well.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: PastaFace123

                                    And Rick Bayless, who is oh-so-informative!

                                  2. Yeah he does seem to be "away" an awful lot. Maybe the constant parade of gay florist, interior decorators, and Ina saying "fabulous" put him in rehab somewhere.

                                    1. I'm sorry OP but I have to disagree with you, or at least to the best of my knowledge of how the show is filmed currently. I was invited to two separate filmings of Iron Chef a few weeks ago to do a "behind the scene" article for Slashfood.com. I thought the show was amazingly well done and enjoyed it tremendously. I actually brought binoculars both times so I could watch everything in detail.

                                      The do have huge pots of water already boiling before the show because it takes too long to bring that much water to a boil.

                                      The chefs know that the secret ingredient will be one of three or four but don't find out which one until the show starts and they only find out the list of possible ingredients a short while ahead of time.

                                      The actual one hour filming of the show is exactly that, a timed, one hour, non-stop action piece. It is as frenetic as it seems on tv.

                                      Afterwards they then spend 45 minutes filming the judging for each chef and this is edited down for time. The judges ad-lib and don't have any scripts. Some comments were unbelievably funny. The food the judges get is the same cooked during the contest and held warm and plated right before serving each dish.

                                      The actual show isn't scripted or pre-set in any way, although they do take a few versions of Altons greetings and finale. What you see the chefs do on tv is actually what happens.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: JMF

                                        anyone know what the secret ingredient was from this article??