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Alton Brown is starting to really tick me off! Plus other Iron Chef beefs....

alkapal Dec 5, 2010 05:03 AM

I watched the Iron Chef Battle Bell Pepper the other day, and was quite annoyed at how unnecessarily smart-ass AB has become. He would say quite sarcastic things about the challenger, and also some comments made me think he knew how the "Battle" would be finally judged. Is he prescient?

Plus, I was annoyed at the judging on that Bell Pepper show. Have they changed the protocol to one in which they now ask an overall assessment of the Iron Chef's "overall success" at the end of the judgment on his dishes alone? The Bakhoun "lady" is getting more ridiculous; I thought she was going to have some form of ecstatic experience, and I thought she might lick her plate clean at another moment. That was Adam Richmond? What has happened to him -- he looks, um, different. And Nigella. Gee guys, I'm sorry, but eye candy isn't enough to make her appearance there worthwhile; her commentary was inane. http://eater.com/archives/2010/11/29/...

Steingarten would've told Forgione his fish was overcooked, as you could plainly see on TV. Steingarten would tell them what's what.

In scoring originality, the judges ding RJ Cooper, when basically all Forgione did was mince peppers (other than the pasta and the sorbet). Bogus!

Is the fix in on this show now? Why can't they have judges who will talk about the food honestly, instead of oohing and aahing and pandering. Occasionally, they will say how this really doesn't highlight the theme ingredient.... I felt like there was a lot going on that WASN'T about the food (like maybe assuring the newest IC a WIN).

Finally, on a technical note, I have NEVER seen such rapid-fire cutaway editing on Iron Chef in my life. How can one follow it? Here Chef A is making a sauce, blending it, then Chef B's sauteeing something for 2 seconds, then Chef A is adding some ingredient into the sauce that he is still blending, then Chef B is tossing in something to the saute pan, then Sous Chef A is chopping something, then Sous Chef B is piping something, then..... You get the idea. -- all that in what seems to be about 10 seconds....via 2 second snippets without CONTINUITY.

(PS ALton, you've done gone too far with that dieting. You're looking wizened.).

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  1. r
    reatard RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 08:02 AM

    I think Alton looks great. It's sad in America that we are so use to seeing "average", i.e. fat, people we think that someone at a healthy weight looks "wizened".

    18 Replies
    1. re: reatard
      Whinerdiner RE: reatard Dec 5, 2010 08:27 AM

      No, I don't think he looks great. We've been fans and have been following him for years. We were just recently remarking how tired and drawn he looks. I don't think it's a fat vs healthy weight issue. I think it's a take a break and recharge issue.

      And I don't think Iron Chef is the same anymore. It does seem "fixed". Maybe it always was, it just shows more now. The atmosphere seems to have changed. Some of the more recent battles have seemed almost relaxed, with joking, back slapping, drinking, like a busy shift at work, not a contest.

      1. re: reatard
        linguafood RE: reatard Dec 5, 2010 10:59 AM

        Nope. I did not grow up in the US and am quite familiar with 'average' sized people. When I saw Alton come out of his diet, my thoughts were 'omg, the guy's dying.' He looks like crap.

        (And I do hope there is nothing seriously wrong with him. Some people just look unhealthy when they are skinny.)

        1. re: linguafood
          reatard RE: linguafood Dec 5, 2010 11:37 AM

          Where did you grow up?

          1. re: reatard
            linguafood RE: reatard Dec 5, 2010 11:46 AM

            Germany. Which is doing a great job fattening up these days, too.

            Regardless of that, living in a fairly athletic college town these days, I'm pretty confident about my ability of "judging" whether somebody looks (and we are only talking about looks here) healthy or not. Alton Brown looks as sick as a dog these days, and I find him hard to look at.

            The chairman is skinny, too (and athletic), but doesn't look like he is dying.

            1. re: linguafood
              Chemicalkinetics RE: linguafood Dec 5, 2010 03:45 PM

              "The chairman is skinny, too (and athletic), but doesn't look like he is dying."

              Mark Dacascos is a martial artist for his whole life and you have never seen him being fat, so... that is different.

              You are just not used to Alton's new look. If you can pretend that you have never seen him before and judge him as a new person, then you won't feel like he is dying. We human has a tendency to see any one who suddenly lose a lot of weigh as being sick. To some extends, this is true. Under normal circumstances, if a person loses a lot of weight for no reason, then the person is sick, so we have this mentality built in our head. The problem is that it does not apply for a person who is on an aggressive diet.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                linguafood RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 5, 2010 04:32 PM

                Yes, I am aware of the fact that the chairman dude is in serious shape b/c of his martial arts.

                That does not change the fact that Alton Brown looks, TO ME, like crap. I also frankly didn't think he was all that huge, watching older GE shows.

                Believe me, I've had plenty of time to "get used to" his new look, and it sucks. Glad he is healthy, but he LOOKS gaunt, old, and sickly. And judging from some of the replies by other people, I don't seem to be the only one.

                1. re: linguafood
                  irishnyc RE: linguafood Dec 5, 2010 06:33 PM

                  I agree AB isn't looking good. Skeletal is the word that comes to mind.

                  1. re: irishnyc
                    rockandroller1 RE: irishnyc Dec 6, 2010 04:23 AM

                    I agree as well. We always remark about how ghoulish he is looking whenever we tune in these days. He doesn't look a well man.

                  2. re: linguafood
                    yfunk3 RE: linguafood Dec 5, 2010 06:36 PM

                    I think Alton looks sort of gaunt and unhealthy, too. But it could just be the natural way he aged was being masked by being heavier. Had a friend who lost 40+ lbs. While she had looked about ten years younger than she actually was before, after she got to her current weight (the skinniest she's been in her entire adult life), she realized she had "aged" appropriately. Seemed having chubby cheeks just fills in those wrinkle lines. She's in no way unhealthy and is still upset that she can't lose the last 15-20 lbs that she wanted to, but she's definitely in great health. Just that her face bears the mark of having lived an unhealthier life in the past.

                    Anyway, that's what I think Alton's case is. It's probably just wrinkles appropriate to his age + a bit of loose skin from losing some fat in the facial area/not taking great care of his skin.

                    1. re: yfunk3
                      linguafood RE: yfunk3 Dec 5, 2010 06:39 PM

                      I'd rather be wrinkle-free longer. And better looking. But that's just me.

                      1. re: yfunk3
                        Chemicalkinetics RE: yfunk3 Dec 5, 2010 07:10 PM


                        Yep, I said in an earlier response: "problem is that when people loss a lot of weight, their skin look loosen and wrinkles deepen. In short, the person will look older."

                        Basically, when a person loses weight, he or she may look older, but isn't really older. Alton was overweight, now he is at the proper weight.


                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          yfunk3 RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 6, 2010 04:58 AM

                          Yup, sorry. I failed to scroll down before I replied. Will be more patient next time and read through the rest of the thread. ::redface::

                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      Parrotgal RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 15, 2010 12:34 PM

                      I agree about not being used to the look. I think he looks wonderful. I've lost 60 pounds in the past year, and although I'm not really near an "ideal" weight yet, I get the "too thin, gaunt" all the time. People are so used to me fat that even halfway normal looks skinny. Not that I mind being called skinny!

                      And unfortunately, I do look somewhat older, because I don't have fat plumping out the wrinkles!

                      1. re: Parrotgal
                        mucho gordo RE: Parrotgal Dec 15, 2010 12:59 PM

                        Interesting comment. I just lost 50 pounds and a neighbor told Mrs. G I look younger. Go figure.

              2. re: reatard
                Sal Vanilla RE: reatard Dec 5, 2010 03:07 PM

                I read an interview with him the other day. he said he was watching his weight (they asked him what was for lunch) so he was having chicken and claw or something like that. I thought - has that adorable man looked in the mirror lately? He is so gaunt. I worry. His face is so drawn.

                Does being overweight exclude one from having the ability to recognize the diff between frightful and healthy?

                Yeah - fit as a fiddle:

                1. re: Sal Vanilla
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: Sal Vanilla Dec 5, 2010 03:30 PM

                  I know, but he could be in risk of diabetes. For example, Mike Huckabee went through a huge weight loss after being told about his health. You can see he lost a lot of weight:


                  I also know people (personally) who went through massive weight loss due to diabetic risk. Who knows. Alton Brown may be doing this for a real health reason. The problem is that when people loss a lot of weight, their skin looks loosen and wrinkles deepen. In short, the person will look older. Here is a picture of Dick Cheney after losing weight and he looks much older. You may not even recogenize him:



                  Granted that he lost his weight for a completely different reason.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    Sal Vanilla RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 5, 2010 07:08 PM

                    Gosh. I had not thought about someone having to be ultrathin. I hope he is doing OK.

                    You are right about the wrinkles. It reminds me of something Luisa Tetrazzini said (Opera Singer and the woman Chicken Tetrazzini is named for). She said she cared nothing for dieting because fat fills out the wrinkles... or something like that. Very true. Reason number 231 I have spent decades holding on to my freshman 15... er 20.

                    1. re: Sal Vanilla
                      lagne RE: Sal Vanilla Sep 9, 2012 01:47 AM

                      One of my culinary school teachers has been trying to break into "The Next Food Network Star" for the past two years. This year, they told her that she needed to lose 60 pounds, then try again - because FN is encouraging all of its personalities to lose weight, and they want to start off any prospective new personalities on "the right food," weight-wise. Don't know if that's already been addressed, as I've only skimmed replies, but I found it interesting. My teacher isn't a porker by any means... a 60-pound loss would certainly put her in "gaunt" territory.

              3. v
                vafarmwife RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 08:13 AM

                I'm over Alton's not funny comments. Also it's a surprise when Iron Chef doesn't win so yeah I think the fix has been in for a long time.

                1. paulj RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 08:25 AM

                  There is already a thread about this episode, with generally more positive comments.


                  1. mattstolz RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 08:27 AM

                    im still a huge fan of alton. and the only smart ass comment i remember was when the challenger was smashing the hell out of his fish to get it to cook faster, alton said it was because he was in the weeds. which i agree with... why else would you do that to a poor innocent piece of fish??

                    i think alton is allowed to be biased towards the iron chef. its like the PA announcer at a sporting event. of course theyre gunna favor the home team, cuz theyre the home team!

                    i think what you noticed about adam was the fact that he wasnt trying to be over the top ridiculous like he is on man vs food. i actually kinda enjoyed this side of adam, it was much more refined and like he actually deserved to be judging on iron chef.

                    as for nigella, i actually totally agree with you on that one. besides the eye candy thing. cuz she is not IMO.

                    1. sweet_polly RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 08:35 AM

                      I love Alton, but I agree that he looks terrible...ill, almost. I comment on it every time I watch the show. He could use a good stylist, as well. He was so cute when was doing "Good Eats".

                      I'm not thrilled with the insipid judges they are using lately, either. I really miss Jeffrey. I wonder why he hasn't been on the show lately?

                      1. paulj RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 08:59 AM

                        'overcooked' - what does that mean?

                        1. ipsedixit RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 10:51 AM

                          I actually prefer the new format of the judging where they give their overall impressions.

                          Alton is Alton. It is what it is. He's certainly less annoying than the Chairman.

                          Without ever actually tasting the food, it is impossible to say whether the judging is fair or not, or whether the fix is in.

                          I've always felt that the judges should be sequestered while the chefs are cooking their dishes so that they can do a "blind" tasting without knowing whether the IC or the Challenger made the tasting menu they are judging. Having the Iron Chef (or the Challenger) standing there will inevitably result in judging bias -- intended or otherwise.

                          With cooking-reality shows (e.g. Iron Chef, Top Chef, etc.), just sit back and enjoy the drama. If it's fixed, it's fixed and there's nothing you can do about it. So why not just enjoy it for what it is -- pseudo reality drama.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            paulj RE: ipsedixit Dec 5, 2010 11:50 AM

                            What's the direction of that 'judging bias'?

                            May be the dishes should be submitted in identical numbered Styrofoam boxes. The judging phase of chili and bbq competitions make great television. :)

                          2. Chemicalkinetics RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 11:46 AM

                            And Mark Dacascos is not alloying as hell? I like the guy in his movies, but his role in Iron Chef is really stupid.

                            18 Replies
                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              Chimayo Joe RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 5, 2010 01:55 PM

                              They should at least write him a few more lines. It's always "Excellent choice" no matter which Iron Chef the challenger chooses, and he has about three versions of "What was the theme for your succulent variations today?"

                              1. re: Chimayo Joe
                                Chemicalkinetics RE: Chimayo Joe Dec 5, 2010 02:17 PM

                                "This is a horrible choice. Horrible". <-- that would be funny.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  sweet_polly RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 5, 2010 02:31 PM

                                  It would! Especially if it was followed with "Prepare yourself for a serious arse-kicking".

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                mucho gordo RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 5, 2010 03:53 PM

                                Absolutely agree. His histrionics are totally inane and, did you ever notice that during his acrobatic stunt, at the beginning, his shirt rolls up and you can glimpse a bit of belly but when he lands, the shirt is neatly tucked in?

                                1. re: mucho gordo
                                  paulj RE: mucho gordo Dec 5, 2010 04:05 PM

                                  Is that true for every episode? :)

                                  1. re: paulj
                                    mucho gordo RE: paulj Dec 6, 2010 09:08 AM

                                    Sure, it's all on videotape; the standard opening scene for all episodes.

                                    1. re: mucho gordo
                                      paulj RE: mucho gordo Dec 6, 2010 09:48 AM

                                      They should fire the continuity editor!

                                      1. re: paulj
                                        mucho gordo RE: paulj Dec 6, 2010 09:54 AM

                                        Maybe they aren't even aware of it. Maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there. Look closely next time and see if you can spot what I'm talking about. Confirmation would be nice.

                                        1. re: mucho gordo
                                          huiray RE: mucho gordo Dec 12, 2010 04:14 AM

                                          Definitely there. I noticed that very early on. The discontinuity in 'flow of movement' between the shirt-out frame and the shirt-in frame is jarring, there is a very noticeable (to me) "jump".

                                  2. re: mucho gordo
                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: mucho gordo Dec 5, 2010 04:54 PM

                                    These are also over the top. I am always amazed that the guests (challengers) do not just start laughing out loud:


                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                      mattstolz RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 5, 2010 05:45 PM

                                      haha if you notice, they never show the contestants during those. i have a feeling they ARE laughing out loud.

                                      my favorite reveal ever was pizza dough. we died laughing at that one

                                      1. re: mattstolz
                                        Chemicalkinetics RE: mattstolz Dec 5, 2010 07:20 PM

                                        Why does the producer think it is important for him to scream like this, I tell you, if a baby is in the audience, the baby will probably start crying.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          mattstolz RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 5, 2010 07:44 PM

                                          because then we get to laugh at him.

                                          and if a baby gets into kitchen stadium before i do, im gunna call the foodnetwork studios myself and complain

                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        paulj RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 5, 2010 05:49 PM

                                        If they did start laughing, the producers would just ask for another take. One of those 'behind the scenes' articles mentioned 3-4 takes for the secret ingredient unveiling. That gives also gives the contestants a little more time to think about the preparation.

                                        1. re: paulj
                                          mattstolz RE: paulj Dec 5, 2010 06:19 PM

                                          one of the behind the scenes articles ive read said the contestants are given a list of three ingredients that it may be so that they can request the rest of their ingredients to be in the IC pantry. so i think that they have plenty of time to think of menus/preparation

                                      3. re: mucho gordo
                                        thew RE: mucho gordo Dec 7, 2010 06:59 AM

                                        what? they edit things on TV? OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        1. re: thew
                                          huiray RE: thew Dec 12, 2010 04:23 AM

                                          Shocking!! Just SHOCKING!!!!! How DARE they!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Sigh. All the above, but especially the Chairman's antics, yelling, his head making that swooshing sound every time he moves it etc etc makes me prefer the original IC Japan. Kaga knew how to pull off 'campy' without being ridiculous. On ICA, even the plating of the dishes often seems so...excessive, confused, just TOO MUCH STUFF on them, except for Morimoto - usually - who then gets dinged on presentation by the American judges on more than one occasion. The clean lines and looks of the plates on ICJ looked so much more elegant.

                                        2. re: mucho gordo
                                          iL Divo RE: mucho gordo Dec 15, 2010 05:37 AM

                                          it's very chop choppy to me

                                      4. goodhealthgourmet RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 02:59 PM

                                        you're *just* getting annoyed with him now? wow alka, you're far more tolerant than i am. i was over his shtick about 2 years ago.

                                        if you ever want to get drunk really quickly, watch an episode of ICA and do a shot every time Alton does one of the following:
                                        - proclaims an array of ingredients or dishes to be a "veritable cornucopia" of something
                                        - refers to an ingredient or dish as a "device"
                                        - uses "goodness" as a noun (e.g. "all that beefy goodness")
                                        - feigns surprise when he guesses correctly what a chef is making before the final dish comes together
                                        - comments on the fact that he doesn't get to taste the completed dishes

                                        you'll be hammered in no time.

                                        1. Caroline1 RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 03:33 PM

                                          (PS ALton, you've done gone too far with that dieting. You're looking wizened.).....alkapal

                                          And they say TV makes you look at least ten pounds heavier... My god! I agree. He is looking downright gaunt!

                                          1. mattstolz RE: alkapal Dec 5, 2010 06:55 PM

                                            i just decided that the thing i like least about the new additions to the episode layout is that they show the chef discussing what they are gunna make with their sous chefs right as the battle is starting. i like trying to figure out what theyre gunna make as they go! it takes some of the fun out of it

                                            1. alkapal RE: alkapal Dec 7, 2010 06:44 AM

                                              good gracious people! the thing about alton's wizened appearance was JUST THE POST SCRIPT!

                                              what about the editing? the inane judging? come on!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                hueyishere RE: alkapal Dec 7, 2010 07:22 PM

                                                Ok, I donl't like the judging, the bickering is way to much and I think that the "Iron Chef's" are no better than other Chef's, who compete against them.

                                              2. Firegoat RE: alkapal Dec 7, 2010 07:48 AM

                                                I love the cheesy goodness of the chairman. I like Alton's snark. He is looking a little like Skeletor, but hey that's his choice. He's never commented on my weight.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: Firegoat
                                                  alkapal RE: Firegoat Dec 7, 2010 08:41 AM

                                                  skeletor never comments on weight.
                                                  ps, as much as i hate to feed this, alton was never fat as i saw on his show. he was normal. just FREAKIN' NORMAL, people!

                                                  i liked alton, but i don't like what he has become.

                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                    Firegoat RE: alkapal Dec 7, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                    Well don't take my chairman away then. I need my eye candy.

                                                    1. re: Firegoat
                                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: Firegoat Dec 7, 2010 02:56 PM

                                                      "Well don't take my chairman away then. I need my eye candy."
                                                      he's all yours - i thought he looked much better without hair ;)

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                        Firegoat RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 9, 2010 09:26 AM

                                                        Yay! Hear that ladies? Shoo! All mine!

                                                        1. re: Firegoat
                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Firegoat Dec 14, 2010 06:14 PM

                                                          Mark Dacascos showed up at the end of what *had* been an excellent episode of Hawaii Five-O last night...it appears as though he'll have a recurring role. i know you like him, but it killed the show for me because in my mind he really is typecast as the Chairman, and it just seemed wrong!

                                                    2. re: alkapal
                                                      vafarmwife RE: alkapal Dec 7, 2010 02:53 PM

                                                      "i liked alton, but i don't like what he has become."

                                                      This comment is so true on so many levels. I liked ICA and the Food Network, but I don't like what they have become.

                                                    3. re: Firegoat
                                                      iL Divo RE: Firegoat Dec 15, 2010 05:41 AM

                                                      he did comment on his weight when he did that show lived tv show of his, something about on the road with alton or something, anyway, he said he saw a pix of himself while on a fishing trip in a boat or something, and thought he looked too big. I'd be more precise but it wasn't anything that had any reason to stick in my memory bank. but again, he did mention it.

                                                      did anyone else see that show? he also crashed his motorcycle and ended up breaking his something or other..

                                                    4. iL Divo RE: alkapal Dec 7, 2010 12:22 PM

                                                      no time to read all this right now, but will say about the format of the show and the 4 judges and the comments about how you think they pulled off their task, I think it's changed the show too much.............I did like the sparkling wine show more than the peppers one though.

                                                      1. h
                                                        hueyishere RE: alkapal Dec 7, 2010 07:18 PM

                                                        Alton Brown does not look healthy nor happy,

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: hueyishere
                                                          iL Divo RE: hueyishere Dec 8, 2010 02:06 AM

                                                          apparently some time ago he saw a pix of himself and decided he was too big so went on a healthy way of eating diet and lost a lot of weight. the hairdresser in me wants to do something, anything, different with his hair though.
                                                          maybe too much stress is on him due to the number of shows he now does, it's taking a toll perhaps...I know I can only juggle so many balls at one time before my mind gets crowded

                                                        2. Bob W RE: alkapal Dec 9, 2010 09:24 AM

                                                          I have one very small beef, more of an annoyance..the breathless, dramatic way Kevin Brauch overpronounces some of the judges's names, with the worst by far being Donatella Ar-PAI-a. When I see her face I cringe because I know what's coming in a few seconds.

                                                          Other than that, I like KB. Kon ben wa!

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: Bob W
                                                            kleine mocha RE: Bob W Dec 10, 2010 02:09 PM

                                                            I think folks are forgetting that Iron Chef has always been about camp. I mean, seriously, the whooshing sound effects when the chairman turns his head or makes a gesture? Enjoy it for what it is--a campy, silly, cookfest.

                                                            1. re: kleine mocha
                                                              Firegoat RE: kleine mocha Dec 10, 2010 03:41 PM

                                                              I admit it. I LOVE the camp. the swishes. LOVE it. Guess I should turn in my chowcard as well.

                                                              1. re: Firegoat
                                                                huiray RE: Firegoat Dec 12, 2010 04:28 AM

                                                                One can be campy without being ridiculous. IMO, ICJ and Kaga could do it; ICA and Dacascos cannot. Obviously YMMV.

                                                                1. re: huiray
                                                                  Firegoat RE: huiray Dec 19, 2010 11:05 AM

                                                                  Maybe I enjoy it more since I only see the show maybe six times a year, tops. Or maybe I just like camp? Hard to tell. Will someone pass the Fritos and ketchup now?

                                                              2. re: kleine mocha
                                                                mucho gordo RE: kleine mocha Dec 10, 2010 03:51 PM

                                                                "CAMPY"! Maybe that's it. Maybe campy-ness is a generational thing and us ol' geezers can't appreciate it.

                                                                1. re: mucho gordo
                                                                  kleine mocha RE: mucho gordo Dec 19, 2010 09:50 AM

                                                                  Just an example, one one of my Tivoed challenges (Cora v. Simon, so it can't be too old), Alton fantasizes about being a challenger himself, emerging from the tunnel, then is chagrined to see the Chairman waiting for him. He pretends to explain he was back there to check for a burned out light. The Chairman haughtily dismisses him, and Alton retreats, tail between his legs. It's all just silliness, and I give him credit for playing along, whether it's faux gravitas or faux humility. Simon trounced Cora, by the way, in what I think was a holiday chocolate challenge.

                                                                2. re: kleine mocha
                                                                  paulj RE: kleine mocha Dec 10, 2010 07:26 PM

                                                                  From Wiki article on Sakai
                                                                  "Reactions to Sakai's appointment to Iron Chef were largely negative amongst chefs circles, largely because of the low stature of Iron Chef among chefs at the time which led many to believe would ruin their reputations as chef..."

                                                                3. re: Bob W
                                                                  lenwood RE: Bob W Dec 15, 2010 06:27 AM

                                                                  Yes-- One Japanese phrase and he can't pronounce it correctly. That annoys me.

                                                                  1. re: Bob W
                                                                    ritabwh RE: Bob W Aug 29, 2012 06:52 PM

                                                                    IC japan, the original had the floor reporter who was even more breathless and frantic.
                                                                    "kaga sama!!!!" "KAGA SAMA!!!!!"

                                                                  2. jiminy RE: alkapal Dec 10, 2010 04:55 PM

                                                                    I would love to see some of the Original IC's (the Japanese ones) do battle with the imposters, and I agree the judging is a bit weak of late. Stiengarten is honest, but that that was about it.

                                                                    Too bad Bourdain has a real hate on for food network, he'd make a great judge. he's awsome on allstars

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: jiminy
                                                                      paulj RE: jiminy Dec 10, 2010 05:28 PM

                                                                      Today, Cooking Channel, has IC battle bell pepper. Should be an interesting contrast with the recent ICA bell pepper episode.

                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                        paulj RE: paulj Dec 10, 2010 08:09 PM

                                                                        The ICJ bell pepper dishes did not look particularly attractive (chewy pasta with an ugly green pepper sauce?), and the judging was hardly revealing or sophisticated (pepper stuffing flavored with curry powder!). Only 1 of the 4 judges had a culinary background, and we heard her comments on only 3-4 of the dishes. Lots of 'Italian' v. 'Japanese' jingoism as well.

                                                                        Maybe the problem with ICA is that it isn't campy enough; we judge it as though it were the culinary equivalent of a Cliburn competition, rather than a derivative of an over-the-top Japanese game show.

                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                          alkapal RE: paulj Dec 11, 2010 11:21 AM

                                                                          the judging on the original japanese iron chef was typically well-informed and thoughtful, from people with culinary experience (or, considering the harry winston-clad fortune-teller, people who must've had lots of dining experience in fine establishments).

                                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                                            paulj RE: alkapal Dec 11, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                            I would agree about the 'dining experience in fine establishments' bit - actors, song writers, baseball stars, MPs. But can't the same be said for ICA judges?

                                                                            In this list of notable judges, I only see 2 with professional culinary experience.

                                                                            My impression (without looking up lists of judges) is that the US panel usually has 2 food professionals (chef, owner, critic, writer), and one 'pretty face'.

                                                                            In this latest US bell pepper episode, all 3 have food related jobs (v only 1 of 4 in the Japanese episode that I just watched).

                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                              ritabwh RE: alkapal Aug 29, 2012 06:56 PM

                                                                              i loved the fortune teller as well the sports announcer and all the various starlets who would giggle behind their hands.

                                                                      2. iL Divo RE: alkapal Dec 15, 2010 05:29 AM

                                                                        one thing I've noticed about the IC's is that there is a common factor.
                                                                        none of them get over excited, they are very methodical.
                                                                        it's like they get in a focused zone and stay there all through the challenge.

                                                                        1. s
                                                                          smooshie RE: alkapal Dec 19, 2010 10:31 AM

                                                                          Alton Brown is a jerk.
                                                                          I worked with him on a promo several months ago and he had such a foul demeanor. He was beyond smart-ass--really he was malicious and barely cooperative. Having been a big fan of his in the past, I was extremely disappointed.
                                                                          Speaking with people on the set who have worked with him more regularly, apparently he's become quite a curmudgeon since dealing with his food issues and losing weight.
                                                                          On the upside, Ming Tsai was a doll--really a very nice person to work with.

                                                                          1. s
                                                                            sisterfunkhaus RE: alkapal Dec 19, 2010 11:09 AM

                                                                            I honestly thought he was sick and had cancer or something. He looks very strange. I don't have cable any more, so I no longer get to watch Iron Chef. Sad to hear it's gone so far downhill.

                                                                            1. alkapal RE: alkapal Dec 20, 2010 05:11 AM

                                                                              i watched a couple of recent holiday focused iron chefs, and alton is sitting at the judge's table. i sense that he is very unhappy, and i never got that feeling back in the "normal weight" good eats days. i can't speak to his "feasting" series, where he was a little heavier. but i recall in the feasting on waves episodes, he just didn't seem very warm to the locals. he was a bit desultory.

                                                                              i want the happy, enthusiastic alton back on tv!

                                                                              1. s
                                                                                SusieQ222 RE: alkapal Aug 25, 2012 07:29 PM

                                                                                OK. Mum hates the facial hair that both Alton & Kevin sport.. I think Alton's ok... Mum thinks he looks like he can't afford a razor. She calls it the Bo look as in hobo... & Kevin Brauch looks like he missed a bit when he was shaving. What can I say? Maybe I agree with her. She's 70, I'm 48. I think the tiny missed bit on the chin looks rediculous, but I've gone past people's looks? I like them both. I like Karine Bakhoum, I like Steingarten, I like NIgella Lawson. Someone wins in Iron chef someone loses. I think the thing to remember is they wouldn't BE there unless their food is good whether they win or not. Alton looks a bit thinner... maybe older... doesn't look like he's at death's door. They're all people. We go up & down in weight, I love people if I olve them, skinny or fat, hairy or hairless.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: SusieQ222
                                                                                  huiray RE: SusieQ222 Aug 25, 2012 07:48 PM

                                                                                  I like facial hair.

                                                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                                                    SusieQ222 RE: huiray Aug 25, 2012 08:05 PM

                                                                                    I don't dislike facial hair either. I think what I said was my mother was being too picky by talking about people's looks. Facial harstyles come & go & for me... the tiny bit below the lower lip just looks like they missed. Personal preference, but I don't dislike people for sporting it. I take people as they come. young old, thin heavy short tall black white any religion you want... You're nice to me, I'm nice to you, Sorry if I unintentionally offended you?
                                                                                    I apologize... :-)

                                                                                2. s
                                                                                  SusieQ222 RE: alkapal Aug 25, 2012 07:30 PM

                                                                                  As an aside... Do Alton & Kevin get along? Alton seems to be pushing the south of the border thing. At first I thought he was just joking... I thnk he is right?

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: SusieQ222
                                                                                    paulj RE: SusieQ222 Aug 25, 2012 08:49 PM

                                                                                    Alton always makes a comment like 'my favorite Canadian'. Otherwise nationality or personality does not come into their interactions.

                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                      SusieQ222 RE: paulj Aug 25, 2012 09:11 PM

                                                                                      Hmm... that could come off as sarcastic. If you were looking for it. I like them both. I've heard Alton quibble about spelling or pronunciation... guess it's all good natured.

                                                                                  2. iL Divo RE: alkapal Aug 26, 2012 06:44 PM

                                                                                    AB has gotten very sharp of late.
                                                                                    Watching the NFNS he showed a whole new side of himself to me.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                      chris2269 RE: iL Divo Sep 9, 2012 07:14 AM

                                                                                      There is also a great interview with him on the Nerdist Podcast.

                                                                                      1. re: chris2269
                                                                                        iL Divo RE: chris2269 Sep 9, 2012 11:40 AM

                                                                                        I do like him, he is just many shades

                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                      smithduke RE: alkapal Jun 5, 2014 09:12 PM

                                                                                      I completely agree with you! He's a pompous ass and treats the contestants as if they are beneath him, Now he's getting Giada to do the same.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: smithduke
                                                                                        paulj RE: smithduke Jun 5, 2014 09:24 PM

                                                                                        Cutthroat Kitchen is the most interesting thing currently on FN.

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