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Nov 16, 2008 10:15 PM

ICA: Thanksgiving showdown

Why, oh why, do these FN clowns keep having celebrity judges that know nothing about food, and are so closed-minded? Tiki Barber is just not suited for this show. Lou Diamond Philips, on the other hand, seems to be really enjoying himself and is obviously quite open to some of the more challenging foods. So I guess that when the producers ask people to be judges, they may not know ahead of time how they're going to react - but maybe they could ask? I never thought I'd say that Donatella is the most knowledgeable judge - but tonight, she is.

It was a good show anyway. Unfortunately, as long as Morimoto keeps insisting on making offal (like duck stomach), he's gonna lose the Tiki's of the world. Me? I'd probably mark down a chef for not serving me something that challenged me, and then left me feeling wonderful about learning a great new dish.

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  1. I missed Jeffrey! I also must have missed when Ted Allen went from being a judge to a commentator. I think all three judges "enjoyed themselves." You are correct that of the judges, Donatella tonight wore the crown..
    I did think, loss notwithstanding, "team Morimoto" had the more interesting menu. Tradition reigned, however.

    1. The origional Iron Chef program from japan featured celebrity judges. I guess the food network is just following suit. Unfortunatly the thing I really liked about ICA was the part where they had judges who were foodies. That and Mario Batali.
      It makes me sad that a guy as talented as Morimoto just doesn't seem to translate on American television. Or maybe he just doesn't translate on the new food network where real professional chefs are going like the dinosaur. All hail Morimoto, Batali, and yes even Alton. I shed a tear everytime I see the ever vapid sandra lee masacaring cuisine season after season. I have all but given up on the food network. Shame.

      14 Replies
      1. re: keith2000

        I don't know why they insist on "translators" for Morimoto, especially when he's speaking English to start with! Nothing wrong with his English! And I love his sense of humor. I was sorry they handicapped him by pairing him with Cat Cora. She does seem to have her fans. I'm just not one of them.

        Did anyone else think that Morimoto looks like he has lost weight? And this is the first time I've seen him do a show wearing glasses instead of contacts. Did anybody else think he looked tired and not his usual self?

        1. re: Caroline1

          I have often wondered about the translating thing myself. It should be obvious to everyone that he speaks English. Ridiculous!

          1. re: Caroline1

            I def noticed he lost a lot of weight... and I've always been a fan of his, from his Japanese IC days. He seems to be more relaxed on ICA, goofing and joking around a bit. It's really too bad that FN insists on the bad dubbing, I wonder if he feels insulted at all.

            1. re: spicychow

              Thank goodness I'm in good company! WHY are they dubbing him? His english is wonderful!? His accent isn't even that thick.

              And I was very surprised team "East meets South" lost. I thought they had the more original menu, and better plating.

              I'm yelling at the screen when Bobby Flay served Navajo fry bread as an "Indian meets the Pilgrims" dish...didn't know indians from 3,000 miles away were at the first Thanksgiving in New England.

              Adding western flair, say you are adding western flair. Don't say it's an original indian dish. grrr. lol.

              I like celebrity judges, just not two at a time. And Lou Diamond Phillips had two many "Bobby I want to be just like you when I grow up" to tell me it was fair judging.

                1. re: sommrluv

                  "I'm yelling at the screen when Bobby Flay served Navajo fry bread as an "Indian meets the Pilgrims" dish...didn't know indians from 3,000 miles away were at the first Thanksgiving in New England."

                  The fact that wheat is not native to the Americas, and Native Americans didn't develope fry bread until later than the Pilgrim's Thanksgiving, that didn't bother me. I just took it in the spirit it was intended.

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    I believe he made a all masa (dried corn) fry bread.

                    Still bothered me, regardless.

                    Didn't bother my husband. But the plating twerked him. Iron Chef Sundays are serious family fodder around here!

              1. re: Caroline1

                Morimoto doesn't actually need those glasses. They are worn for purely aesthetic reasons. I heard this several years ago and a wikipedia search confirms. I another one that think it's insulting that they overdub his voice. His English and accent is fine.

                1. re: Caroline1

                  I love Morimoto and have often wondered why they dub him when everyone who interacts with him on the show understands him. If they can, why won't we? Anyway, sometimes I think they dub him to retain that original campiness of the way it was to watch the original IC. I've even wondered if the same person is doing "the voice of Morimoto" now on ICA as on the original IC.

                  Who knows.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    It seems, as of late, that anyone on TV with an accent will get a subtitle. On ICA, they take it a bit further (and back to the shows roots) with dubbing on Morimoto. I will admit, while I have never had a problem with his accent, his often humble attitude and the general timber of his voice have made him a bit prone to "whisper" speak. His voice, while perfectly intelligible, can be exceptionally quiet.

                    It's interesting to contrast the statements on this thread with some of the ones here: , BTW...

                    It's interesting to contrast this discussion

                    1. re: Scortch

                      I think your point that he's soft-spoken is an interesting one. And he does say some surprising things, (like his beauty and the beast comment, which wasn't dubbed) it does sometimes take a second for my brain to connect with what he says. They do edit ICA to be really faced-paced, so, maybe they've decided they can continue to dub him so they don't have to pace it more slowly for people to realize what he's said before moving on to the next shot.


                      1. re: Scortch

                        Often as not, I have been far more suspicious that some jerk at the mixing board has turned down the volume on Morimoto than that Morimoto was speaking that softly! Besides, any audio engineer worth more than a half grain of salt could boost M's voice and make him come through loud and clear. I put the "Morimoto speaks" issues at the feet of production people all the way.

                    2. re: Caroline1

                      Morimoto's definitely lost weight, and after actually eating his food, I always root for him, knowing full well he'll probably lose. I called this one before the show started, but I really thought I was wrong when I saw the dishes. Symon actually did not impress me as much as I thought he would have after some of his other challenges (ICA and Dinner Impossible)

                  2. Tiki Barber has a lot of criticism thrown his way as a player-turned-sports-commentator for stating the obvious and not providing any insight - his performance as a judge on ICA reinforced that. He seems like he was just there for a free meal and didn't add anything to the show. Just a dull, apathetic personaility.

                    The new Iron Chef coats look sweet, so props to Mark Ecko for designing those. The one exception is Morimoto's coat, it seems to be influenced by his silver Japanese Iron Chef show but it didn't look like it fit properly and was didn't have the sharp lines as the other coats.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Bunson

                      Maybe it's the weight loss?

                      I had problems with Tiki complaining about "where's the West?" I mean - "I didn't like this." is a perfectly acceptable thing to say about any food. But implying that the Asian heritage of a food is something to be avoided puts him in the class of no-nothings, to me. Lou didn't necessarily like the yakitori pieces any better, he just didn't make a point of saying something offensive.

                      1. re: applehome

                        I think you could take his comments another way. Morimoto and Cora were billing their menu as a fusion (they actually said 'East meets South'). If the dishes presented did not live up to this, i.e. they were lacking one half if this purported fusion, then his criticism is legitimate.

                        1. re: kmcarr

                          well - a) he misunderstood, because he asked for west, not south, and b) there was plenty of Cora's cooking (representing the south, where she's from) prior to the yakitori, and yet he took a bite (and I'll give him credit for trying it, at least), and then blurted out the comment about where's the west. I took it for what it was - a very negative and ignorant comment, much like asking where the white food was after eating chitlins.

                    2. But truly, am I the only one who misses Jeffrey?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: grantham

                        His commentary? Yes. Especially when he says something to the effect of "I'd actually pay for this in a restaurant."

                        But watching him eat? No. There's just something revolting about watching food fall out of his mouth and juice dribble down his chin...

                        1. re: hypertomatoes

                          Wow! I didn't know we could talk about table manners...! Good. So why doesn't someone teach Jeffrey how to hold a damned fork or spoon? I know preschoolers who handle flatware better than Jeffrey does! bugs the hell out of me.

                          1. re: Caroline1

                            I want to marry Jeffrey. I love the snark. we could snark out way through dinner together and I could wipe his chin.

                            To far??


                            DH has alittle crush on Cora so it all evens out.

                            1. re: sommrluv

                              Well, I do have to confess that I'm sort of hoping for the day he makes some smart ass remark to a fellow judge and they just raise an eyebrow, look him in the eye and say, "Jeffrey, hold your fork properly!" LOL!!!!

                            2. re: Caroline1

                              I hadn't noticed the Jeffrey holding cutlery thing, so as I watched again tonight the rerun of last year's "battle thanksgiving," I only noticed Jeffrey holding the fork funkily in one frame. I did, however, notice the talking with the mouth full.

                              He still is my favorite ICA judge, however, although, I must say, Michael Symon is my least favorite Iron Chef.

                              1. re: grantham

                                I watched that show tonight too. Jeffrey is a polished, talented, intelligent writer. I just find the "reality" of him jarring! The way he was dressed. The rumpled open collar. He eats almost everything with a spoon that he holds like a two year old and talks with his mouth full. He's an interesting study in how we humans can be packaged. A medium such as this (Chowhound) where most people use "handles" and avitars and we all live in a state of no "three dimensional" interaction is certainly an interesting one. We have no means of knowing who eats with a spoon unless they tell us! Reminds me of some early sci fi TV shows such as early Star Trek and Outer Limits and some plots where creatures from other worlds were simply scintillating masses of energy that transmitted thgouhts telepathically. No blonds, No brunettes. No fat or thin. Just intelligence. But I'll bet the cooking shows on their home planets sucked! '-)

                        2. Anyone remember what was in the rub that Bobby Flay put on the venison? Mustard and ???