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Iron chef America- what are they doing? And why?

i'm watching the battle right now, and it's Morimoto vs the competitor in battle seaweed. Why do they have as judges stupid anorexic actresses that don't know anything about food (because they're usually borderline anorexic due to their need to stay thin)? Honestly, the "judges" seem like the sorriest lot ever- why not use people who really love food? Is that so hard?

Morimoto has proven himself way beyond these bimbos.

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  1. Who were the judges? Any repeats, or all new faces?

    1 Reply
    1. re: paulj

      Stefan Gates, Julie White and Michael Fernandez

    2. How do you know Julie White is anorexic?

      She looked fine to me.

      9 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Julie White has been on multiple times. She knows what she is talking about, is funny and is a good eater. What's the problem? And did you ever think, maybe the EDITING sucks?

        Another regular actress they have on is Cady Huffman. She a delightful female Jeffrey Steingarten, though clearly a tad more feminine...

        1. re: happybaker

          This was a typical line up - a food professional (critic or writer), someone with links to the secret ingredient, and a celebrity.

          People like Cady and Julie are not bad choices. They've traveled and eaten at fine restaurants. They are far more likely to have had caviar and truffles than most viewers. In this case Julie wasn't as familiar with seaweed as the other judges, but she was far more articulate and entertaining. I suspect a lot of viewers identified with her, trusting her reaction to the black nori sauce more than that of the other judges.

          1. re: paulj

            I wouldn't mind seeing a 10 year old, a starving African refugee and a 500 lb compulsive over-eater as judges or 3 anorexic supermodels. Change 'em up every week. Believe me, there is nothing more challenging as a cook as cooking for the general public with all their weird food hang-ups. Can you prepare a caviar dish so it is palatable for a 10 year old?

            1. re: LorenM

              On battle Hot Dog they had a pair of sports commentators. Their tastes leaned much more toward the ball park hot dog than the typical IC offerings.

              1. re: paulj

                That makes sense. However I would love, love, love to see battle liver with child judges for instance. What an honor it would be to hear "Gee, I always HATED liver, but this was really good"! That takes some rare skill! Battle foie gras to a bunch of food critics and restauranteurs? Snoozefest! Like preaching to the choir.

              2. re: LorenM

                While that would be interesting, I'm not so sure that's the spirit of Iron Chef America, and it certainly wasn't the spirit of Iron Chef.

                The competition was to see who could prepare the best dishes from the secret ingredient, not who could necessarily please the most diverse of palates.

                Maybe you say the two are the same, but I'm not so sure that's the case.

                There are those who swear by Kraft Mac N Cheese and wouldn't touch anything made with a Emmenthal, Gruyère and Fontina sauce that's finished off a touch of truffle oil.

                There is nothing wrong with that diner, but I don't believe that was the target judge that the original Iron Chef was looking for, nor is it the on that Iron Chef America is targeting.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  You are right. I suppose I am just kind of tiring of ICA and imagining an entirely different show (I have entirely too active an imagination, also). I really preferred the Japanese version, with it's exotic and often totally foreign ingredients and techniques and do enjoy Chopped (making good food from crappy or incompatible ingredients). I guess ICA just feels like retreads of old episodes to me. Doesn't help that I find Alton intensely annoying as well. Morimoto is still a pleasure to watch, though.

                  1. re: LorenM

                    What is exotic or foreign to you in ICJ most likely was familiar to the judges, and v.v.

                    Often the IC battle was between some innovator and a representative of the traditional. Especially in the later battles with Morimoto, he was the innovator, stretching the experience of the judges.

                    While the IC ingredients were often more exotic to American viewers, I think the plating and originality of the ICA dishes are generally more advanced. I can't speak for the taste. At least that's my impression when I watch reruns of IC on CC.

                    1. re: paulj

                      Regarding the plating and originality aspects - not so sure about the superiority of ICA over ICJ in that regard. I often feel that the ICs on ICA other than Morimoto go overboard w/ the plating (especially in the beginning) and especially with Bobby Flay - they often look like explosions and train wrecks to me with body parts strewn over the landscape (it was particularly bad in the beginning of ICA), while Morimoto's look sleek and elegant/refined to me. The platings on ICJ were almost always restrained and tasteful. Originality - I think there was as much of it, if not even more, on ICJ as on ICA.

        2. Stefan Gates is a totally respectable food writer - I'd trust his judging any day, and I thought his comments were interesting and informative.

          1 Reply
          1. The original frequently had a giggly Japanese soap starlet among the judges - so they are just being true to the original : ) Shouldn't a true Iron Chef be able to wow a food critic, a restaurateur, and a starlet all at the same time? If the food ONLY appeals to the geeks, what is it worth?

            1. I think they use a celebrity judge thinking that the common viewer will be able to relate to a "less" refined palate.

              As for figure, I don't see the problem. Food critics/enthusiasts come in all shapes in sizes. I don't think you have to look a certain to be able to appreciate food.

              Further, the argument could be made that a borderline would increase ones focus/interest in food given that they're likely hungry all the damn time :D