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Question About Next Iron Chef Challenges

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Having now watched the Next Iron Chef series, I had a question regarding the challenges. The challenges do not seem to fit the ultimate overcome of the show, which is a chef that uses 1 secret ingredient to make 5 dishes.

I understand that they were testing based on "qualities" they felt the Iron Chef should possess. But I found this problematic. Notably, when they cooked on a charcoal grill outside with no running water. I'm sorry, I don't know how this is similar to anything they would encounter as an Iron Chef. They would always be competing in a Kitchen Stadium - like environment.

This is similar to asking a 100m Runner at the Olympic Trials, to first compete in a Speed Skating qualifier.

Similar problems with the use of new food technology. When would that ever be necessary in Iron Chef? I can agree with weird ingredients, and forcing them to prepare food differently... but do they even have a rapid chiller in Kitchen Stadium?

Sorry if this is in any way repetitive. I went back a few pages in posts, and saw nothing on the subject. I was just curious what others thought, and an explanation on why I am completely wrong. :)

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  1. You might want to take some time (albeit probably at least an hour) to read the NIC threads on Michael Ruhlman's board (he was one of the judges). They give an insider's perpective on the show.

    Apparently, the whole idea was that these challenges would show whether the candidate could seriously think on his/her feet, and be able to adapt at a moment's notice for strange ingredients, environments, equipment, etc.

    And keep in mind that, if the challenges had all been kitchen stadium-centered, they would never have been able to put together a multi-episode series. Boring!...

    It's the entertainment value more than what they would actually meet in Kitchen Stadium. The producers must have brainstormed to figure out "How else can we *%#@ with these guys?"

    And they do have a blast chiller on the ICA show. Not exactly what was used on the one NIC episode, but not too far off.

    1. Check out the discussion going on with the topic heading: Is Iron Chef for Real?, started a few days ago...

      1. Thanks both of you for your replies. I'll check out both threads. I tried to investigate the topic, but I wasn't sure where to start.