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Losing interest in Iron Chef America

Bob W Jan 9, 2012 07:15 AM

Sorry chairman, but the revolving door is not doing it for me. I tried watching the first Zakarian show, and ended up shutting it off in the middle and deleting it.

Zakarian, Forgione, Garces are certainly talented chefs, but that's all they are to me. Watching a show with them as the Iron Chef to me is like watching two challengers. In the immortal words of Bill Parcells, they are simply JAGs. Just another guy.

Flay, Morimoto, and Batali have that something extra.

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  1. j
    jerkstore RE: Bob W Jan 9, 2012 03:20 PM

    I am right there with you, Bob. In fact I lost interest a few seasons ago when the Batali and Morimoto episodes began to dwindle.

    1. paulj RE: Bob W Jan 9, 2012 05:45 PM

      You got 2 out of 3 in the latest episode

      While Batali is gone, I don't detect a significant drop off in Morimoto and Flay appearances. In 2010, season #8 Morimoto peaked at 7 episodes, but that was above the 3-4 of previous and subsequent seasons. (Wiki has a nice set of tables of episodes)

      1. b
        BarackHObama RE: Bob W Jan 9, 2012 06:23 PM

        it has always been awful

        2 Replies
        1. re: BarackHObama
          paulj RE: BarackHObama Jan 9, 2012 06:55 PM

          So do you watch it faithfully even though you don't like it, or just like commenting about something that you never watch? :)

          1. re: paulj
            BarackHObama RE: paulj Jan 11, 2012 05:52 AM

            i've seen enough to know that it is obnoxious and fake.

        2. iL Divo RE: Bob W Jan 9, 2012 06:58 PM

          where did Batali and Cora go?

          4 Replies
          1. re: iL Divo
            paulj RE: iL Divo Jan 9, 2012 07:04 PM

            Being an Iron Chef is not a full time job, so presumably both have continued to do what they did before - run one or more restaurants. Elsewhere Cora's family has been mentioned, as well a talk show appearance. Batali made the Spain road trip series, and has insulted some paying customers (Wall street bankers).

            1. re: paulj
              iL Divo RE: paulj Jan 9, 2012 07:10 PM

              so are they both off the show then, for good or not....................sorry its' late here :(

              1. re: iL Divo
                Firegoat RE: iL Divo Jan 10, 2012 06:03 AM

                Cat Cora has a new show coming out with Curtis Stone "Around the World in 80 Plates" on Bravo.

                1. re: Firegoat
                  iL Divo RE: Firegoat Jan 16, 2012 10:14 AM

                  maybe these Iron Chefs just get bored of the show and concept.
                  sheesh, I would, and would also want to end something I no longer have a passion for.
                  I'm waiting for MS to leave, although I hope he doesn't.

          2. hill food RE: Bob W Jan 9, 2012 07:21 PM

            w/o the bad voice dub of the original Japanese version it just sort of lost something at the start.

            13 Replies
            1. re: hill food
              zin1953 RE: hill food Jan 9, 2012 07:30 PM

              It is even better with the Japanese soundtrack and bad English subtitles -- but, I agree, the bad voice dub was also entertaining . . .

              1. re: zin1953
                Bob W RE: zin1953 Jan 10, 2012 06:26 AM

                Cooking Channel, 11 pm, every night!

                One of my most memorable life's lessons comes from the original Iron Chef: On an episode in which the secret ingredient was the apparently disgusting natto, one of the judges, a good sport, said, "Well, some days you get homard lobsters, and some days you get natto."

                So true!

                1. re: Bob W
                  EWSflash RE: Bob W Jan 15, 2012 07:10 PM

                  That's hilarious- and so true.

                  1. re: EWSflash
                    paulj RE: EWSflash Jan 15, 2012 08:09 PM

                    That's where I learned about nato. I think it was a tie breaker ingredient (30 minutes). But I must have missed the comment that implied the judge(s) did not like nato - though I'm sure some Japanese like it better than others. I think it is eaten more as a condiment with breakfast rice than as a fancy cooking ingredient.

                    Koniyaku was another such ingredient (both as tie and introduction).

                    I have enjoyed ICJ more as a window on Japanese food culture than as a cooking show.

                    1. re: paulj
                      freia RE: paulj Jan 16, 2012 06:29 AM

                      I recall battle natto as being characterized by the judge's comments as "wow, this tastes good you can't even TASTE the natto"...lololol
                      Seemed that the mark of a great natto dish was to completely disguise its taste!

                      1. re: freia
                        ritabwh RE: freia Mar 8, 2014 10:15 PM

                        natto is a like a fine soft ripened cheese.
                        the stinkier the better. :-)

                      2. re: paulj
                        ritabwh RE: paulj Mar 8, 2014 10:14 PM

                        i am a little late to this party, but i recommend this post. :-)

                2. re: hill food
                  bulavinaka RE: hill food Jan 16, 2012 04:15 PM

                  Totally agree. I tried watching ICA a few times and it just never captured my interest like the original. The format works a lot better in Japan for some reason. Also, the host and comments by the various folks get on my nerves. I can take about the first 10-15 minutes and then I have to cut it. I hope no one tries to duplicate Dotchi Cooking - that would really suck over here...

                  1. re: bulavinaka
                    ritabwh RE: bulavinaka Mar 8, 2014 10:16 PM

                    ICA is all about alton brown. i love alton brown from good eats but i do not care for his persona in ICA.

                    1. re: ritabwh
                      paulj RE: ritabwh Mar 9, 2014 09:32 AM

                      If you'd watch the show with mute on you'd barely know AB as there. He is the main voice, but the camera is rarely on him.

                      1. re: paulj
                        ritabwh RE: paulj Mar 11, 2014 11:18 PM

                        i dunno paul. i think he is a big presence at the judging table leaving the chairman mute at the head of the table.
                        anyway it is moot because i rarely watch ICA anymore. i just remember being annoyed at alton brown.

                        1. re: ritabwh
                          zin1953 RE: ritabwh Mar 12, 2014 06:24 AM

                          Alton isn't @ the judge's table . . . unless the Chairman isn't there.

                          Je suis confus . . .

                          1. re: zin1953
                            ritabwh RE: zin1953 Mar 12, 2014 09:16 PM

                            ah wells. my memory must fail me. i haven't watch ica in a very long time. :::bowing out:::

                3. paulj RE: Bob W Jan 9, 2012 07:37 PM

                  and yet, people complain that FN has abandoned food for personalities. Seems that personality does matter! as long as it is the right kind. :)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: paulj
                    The Dairy Queen RE: paulj Jan 10, 2012 12:34 AM

                    Sad, but true!


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      BarackHObama RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 11, 2012 05:53 AM

                      too bad there are no personalities on food network
                      only media whores

                    2. re: paulj
                      AsperGirl RE: paulj Jan 13, 2012 03:57 AM

                      First they make an Iron Chef America that is more based on personality than food, unlike the original Iron Chef. Then, they hold real contests that pick iron chefs who cook better than they project a personality. There's no hook, if you can't follow the food closely due to sketchy narration and then you have dull chefs.

                      What I watch is Next Iron Chef. Next Iron Chef is the new Iron Chef.

                    3. Bob W RE: Bob W Jan 10, 2012 06:28 AM

                      Just for the record, I do like Symon!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Bob W
                        davis_sq_pro RE: Bob W Jan 10, 2012 06:47 AM

                        Agreed on Symon. And that personality DOES matter. But so does skill, and in my opinion Garces, Forgione, and Zakarian aren't in the same league as guys like Morimoto and Batali. And they would be absolutely crushed in a battle with the likes of Chen Kenichi. Good chefs, perhaps, but Iron Chefs they are not. The show has definitely jumped. (But I'll still watch it, every week, just to see how bad it gets :-))

                        1. re: davis_sq_pro
                          Bob W RE: davis_sq_pro Jan 10, 2012 07:48 AM

                          +1 for Chen shout-out!

                          1. re: Bob W
                            livetocook RE: Bob W Jan 12, 2012 01:55 PM

                            lol. My hubby loved Chen. I was more of a Hiroyuki Sakai gal ;)

                            1. re: livetocook
                              Bob W RE: livetocook Jan 15, 2012 06:09 PM

                              The Delacroix of French Cuisine!

                              1. re: Bob W
                                Rella RE: Bob W Jan 16, 2012 12:21 PM

                                I don't watch TV anymore, but I do read about it :-)
                                When Symon was a challenger, I thought the wasn't a good chef at all. But later, watching a couple of his instructive TV shows, I learned to like him.

                        2. re: Bob W
                          EWSflash RE: Bob W Jan 15, 2012 07:13 PM

                          I really disliked Symon at first, but he's won me over.

                        3. a
                          Aaaaargh RE: Bob W Jan 10, 2012 09:35 PM

                          I've become a big fan of Chopped! 4 chefs competing, one eliminated after each round, an a bunch of weird ingredients. It's much more exciting and interesting to watch the successes and failures of more average chef faced with a challenge!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Aaaaargh
                            DGresh RE: Aaaaargh Jan 11, 2012 12:00 PM

                            I'm not a huge fan of chopped (though I do watch it when I stumble across it), but I agree that it's fun to see "on the fly" creativity, as opposed to Iron Chef, where we all *know* that they are absolutely not making this stuff up on the fly.

                          2. Kagemusha RE: Bob W Jan 12, 2012 02:36 PM

                            The whole concept is limping badly. Just too many juried hour-long torments and whether the casting is stars or dogs does nothing to relieve the triteness and tedium. Tuned out a couple years back and don't miss 'em--at all.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Kagemusha
                              freia RE: Kagemusha Jan 12, 2012 03:02 PM

                              I think its limping badly. I liked the Japanese version most, where you picked an Iron Chef based on cooking style not on the personality. Iron Chef Japanese, Iron Chef French, Iron Chef Italian, you know, then you had battles based on best of food styles rather than choosing a personality per se.

                            2. hill food RE: Bob W Jan 12, 2012 09:47 PM

                              a neighbor and I used to joke about the voiceovers in the original and the judges were usually movie stars "oh yes! it looks he is doing a most amazing thing with sauteed liver and rock candy" "oooh, very intriguing"

                              I sort of doubt that was the true dialogue but it was a lot more fun than the US version.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: hill food
                                freia RE: hill food Jan 13, 2012 02:46 AM

                                "...and Iron Chef Japanese is PULLING OUT THE RICE COOKER! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???? Will Iron Chef Japanese FINISH IN TIME????"
                                LOLOL I loved the lod show

                                1. re: hill food
                                  ritabwh RE: hill food Mar 8, 2014 10:19 PM

                                  actually, the hokey voice over translations were pretty accurate.

                                  1. re: ritabwh
                                    zin1953 RE: ritabwh Mar 9, 2014 08:18 AM

                                    . . . except for their inane pronunciations of French.

                                    1. re: zin1953
                                      ritabwh RE: zin1953 Mar 11, 2014 11:21 PM

                                      no joke! it took me years to realize that the chairman was saying "allez cuisine". imind you, i speak japanese. i thought he was saying some weird japanese phrase that sounded like alle kizeene. :-)

                                2. c
                                  ChiliDude RE: Bob W Jan 12, 2012 10:27 PM

                                  I lost interest many years ago in the Iron Chef series, Japanese and American, once I saw how frantic the production of a meal was. The show makes cooking look like drudgery.

                                  1. f
                                    FoodPopulist RE: Bob W Jan 13, 2012 10:55 AM

                                    The show needs more conflict. The best thing about the original Japanese show was Morimoto vs the Ota faction.

                                    What the show needs is a string of sneering French traditionalist challengers and an Iron Chef to face them while violating their sensibilities.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: FoodPopulist
                                      livetocook RE: FoodPopulist Jan 13, 2012 11:12 AM

                                      hahah. YES!! +1 for the Ota faction. It came off as some sort of Mafia group. Loved the vibe.

                                    2. r
                                      Rick RE: Bob W Jan 15, 2012 06:19 PM

                                      I used to love Iron Chef, back in the late 90s early '00s I think it was, when it used to be an Asian show voiced over for us. Ever since they brought it over here it lost its magic for me.

                                      1. EWSflash RE: Bob W Jan 15, 2012 07:15 PM

                                        My main gripe is with the judges. They used to have a group of snarky people who know a lot about food. Now they have actresses and jocks. I miss Jeffrey Steingarten in particular, even though he always pisses me off.

                                        1. b
                                          Bunson RE: Bob W Jan 15, 2012 10:22 PM

                                          ICA is getting tired because almost every food show is now some sort of a competition and it's just been beaten to death. ICJ was really the first "competitive" cooking show where there was a winner/loser when someone was cooking a piece of food. It was somewhat tongue-in-cheek at the time but competitive cooking is now probably the biggest sub-genre of food programming.

                                          It's almost like Survivor and reality TV. It was the groundbreaker but now there's so much reality TV the original show itself is tired and worn out.

                                          1. l
                                            LikestoEatout RE: Bob W Jan 16, 2012 03:50 AM

                                            I have lost interest when they have shows like last night when it was Battle Tortilla and Tequila. First you take Ecuadorian chef Garces and the Argentine lady and make them make Mexican food with a "mixologist". After about 5 minutes I could not watch any longer.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: LikestoEatout
                                              xo_kizzy_xo RE: LikestoEatout Jan 16, 2012 05:01 AM

                                              Good to know I wasn't the only one!

                                              1. re: LikestoEatout
                                                paulj RE: LikestoEatout Jan 16, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                Neither contestant is known for cooking food from their country of origin, though both have stayed within the broader Hispanic world.

                                                Given the challenger, Chef Alexandra Raij, what you have chosen (for IC and ingredient)? Maybe it is time to revive the 'what you choose as a secret ingredient' thread

                                                IC has done a mixologist pairing before - in 2007 with Batali and mangos, and same winning bar tender, Tony Abou-Ganim

                                                1. re: paulj
                                                  freia RE: paulj Jan 16, 2012 09:39 AM

                                                  I'd love to see the show go back to the basics...can Iron Chef French cook a better french inspired meal than the challenger can in his/her culinary area? And the secret ingredient would be....giant water bugs

                                                  1. re: freia
                                                    paulj RE: freia Jan 16, 2012 01:11 PM

                                                    The American chefs are not tied as closely to a particular culinary area as those Japanese chefs in the 1990s. In this latest battle, Garces is described as 'Latin Fusion', and Raij as 'Contemporary Spanish'. (from the Wiki ICA episode guide). Batali was 'Italian', but no one batted an eye when he based his dishes on his latest trip to Spain.

                                                    Morimoto cracked the original Japanese mold, with a modern American-Japanese fusion. Compared to the American contestants he is thoroughly Japanese, but he was the main target of the Ohta faction (representing traditional Japanese cooking). But I think Japanese have different ideas about team spirit and competition, ones that don't fit was well with contemporary American chefs.

                                                    For some reason I'm reminded of MXC, the redubbed Japanese game show that Spike TV used to run - and its contrast with the individualism of American elimination shows.

                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                      freia RE: paulj Jan 16, 2012 01:43 PM

                                                      OMG I LOVED that show...MXC was awesome! I miss the days of the Japanese Iron Chef...

                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                        FoodPopulist RE: paulj Jan 16, 2012 07:52 PM

                                                        What would be fun would be to have a specifically Italian-American Iron Chef defending the fusion of Old World and New World against a horde of authenticity snobs who whine about anything presenting itself as Italian-influenced that wouldn't be done back in Italy a hundred years ago.

                                                        1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                          paulj RE: FoodPopulist Jan 16, 2012 09:17 PM

                                                          and the secret ingredient? fresh New Jersey tomatoes?

                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                            FoodPopulist RE: paulj Jan 16, 2012 11:07 PM

                                                            I have a few ideas.

                                                            California Wine
                                                            French cheeses
                                                            Ham, including Smithfield ham, proscuitto di Parma, and serrano ham

                                                2. j
                                                  JVHcook RE: Bob W Jan 16, 2012 05:18 AM

                                                  Totally agree with you, the novelty seems to have worn off and all the bells and whistles just bother me now. I still learn something interesting now and then, but now it's very rare. My favorite part is when they introduce the challenger and getting to see their career and restaurant, because right now I'm still learning about all the famous/talented chefs out there.

                                                  1. Bob W RE: Bob W Jan 17, 2012 08:39 AM

                                                    Last night I watched the Flay/Valladolid vs Morimoto/Zimmern Battle Sea Whistle Salmon. Pretty good show. Morimoto is a funny guy. Nice looking fish!

                                                    1. Professional_Amateur RE: Bob W Jan 23, 2012 07:32 AM

                                                      I thought the show took itself too seriously and could not live up to the original Japanese one which at least had some charm, some humour. I could never sit through a whole hour of the American version and the Super Chef thing was excessive, over the top.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Professional_Amateur
                                                        Bob W RE: Professional_Amateur Jan 23, 2012 01:33 PM

                                                        Well, to give the current chairman some credit, to me it looks like he's always on the verge of cracking up when he gives his opening spiel about the theme on which our chefs will offer their succulent variations. 8<D

                                                        1. re: Bob W
                                                          hill food RE: Bob W Jan 23, 2012 03:37 PM

                                                          who also has a supporting role on the current incarnation of Hawaii 5-0 (yeah I know it's all just TV)

                                                      2. iL Divo RE: Bob W Mar 3, 2014 07:19 AM

                                                        I didn't want to start a new thread on ICA for fear there was already one going and I'd get bashed for doing another. Yes I did a search and although my topic wasn't listed, once again fear prevails and caution takes over.

                                                        I have never been into ICA as much as others possibly are.
                                                        Watched the new one that I'd taped the other night just now. Was surprised at something but since I don't want to spoil for people that haven't viewed it yet, curious if anyone catches what I thought was an over-site.

                                                        16 Replies
                                                        1. re: iL Divo
                                                          DGresh RE: iL Divo Mar 3, 2014 07:50 AM

                                                          I used to typically watch this on Saturday afternoon at 5, but they no longer do the replay at that time so I'm all off-kilter. Who was on the episode if I want to try and find it myself?

                                                          1. re: DGresh
                                                            iL Divo RE: DGresh Mar 3, 2014 08:01 AM

                                                            it featured Bobby Flay and Angelo Sosa. AS was on at least one of the TVFN shows, maybe Top Chef or ??
                                                            there's just one thing that I noticed and wonder if what I saw was typical of the show or not. won't ruin it for you or others though.

                                                            1. re: iL Divo
                                                              paulj RE: iL Divo Mar 3, 2014 12:45 PM

                                                              I watched it last night, but not with much attention. That said, I didn't notice anything unusual. Come to think of it, I even missed the scoring.

                                                              But looking at
                                                              I'm not surprised at the outcome.

                                                              1. re: iL Divo
                                                                paulj RE: iL Divo Mar 4, 2014 02:26 PM

                                                                You aren't going to get an meaningful replies by playing coy. What did you find odd?

                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                  iL Divo RE: paulj Mar 7, 2014 11:33 AM

                                                                  Im not being coy paulj I didnt want to ruin it for anyone whod not seen it
                                                                  it was new
                                                                  he didnt make it to the judges table in the time alloted to get it there, the time clearly ran out and he wasnt penalized
                                                                  was shocked and thought by end of show theyd have taken points off

                                                                  1. re: iL Divo
                                                                    The Dairy Queen RE: iL Divo Mar 7, 2014 11:40 AM

                                                                    That is kind of shocking! Maybe it happens more often than you'd think and they usually edit it out and, as you say, it was an oversight that they didn't this time. Or, maybe they tried to edit it out and just couldn't make the storyline work if they did, so they left it in and hoped no one would notice?


                                                                    1. re: iL Divo
                                                                      DGresh RE: iL Divo Mar 7, 2014 12:05 PM

                                                                      I took a look, and you're right, he didn't make it to the table. But his foot was on the stairs to the podium, and who knows, maybe that is the criterion. Certainly I've seen them in the process of putting it on the table (10 inches above) when time runs out, and that's been deemed ok. I guess I wouldn't call it a grievous miss.

                                                                      1. re: iL Divo
                                                                        paulj RE: iL Divo Mar 7, 2014 12:31 PM

                                                                        Are you referring to the 20 minute 1st course? That's a gimmick that they've added in the last couple years. All it adds is some drama.

                                                                        Considering that they shoot multiple takes of things like the unveiling of the secret ingredient, I don't pay much attention to that run to the judge's table.

                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                          iL Divo RE: paulj Mar 9, 2014 10:04 PM

                                                                          so you know >
                                                                          no coyness involved here
                                                                          just wanted to make that known

                                                                        2. re: iL Divo
                                                                          paulj RE: iL Divo Mar 8, 2014 08:13 PM

                                                                          I looked at this again with OnDemand. Yes, BF was stepping onto the platform at the 0 mark. But how many plates was he carrying? 2 at most. Maybe an assistant was up there already?

                                                                          I suppose the producers could have made a big deal about it. What would that contribute to the overall flow and tenor the show? CH posters complain enough about 'all-competitions-all-the-time', and not enough focus on food and cooking.

                                                                          I'm writing this at around the 15 minute mark. The editing has one food-porn zoom after another.

                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                            DGresh RE: paulj Mar 9, 2014 03:14 AM

                                                                            they *ALWAYS* carry only one plate. I guess unless it's Sosa with his sword thing. But presenting them all in one thing like that is really unusual.

                                                                      2. re: iL Divo
                                                                        mucho gordo RE: iL Divo Mar 7, 2014 11:25 AM

                                                                        If you're referring to the chairman's inane acrobatic entrance where his shirt rolls up revealing his belly but is perfectly tucked in when he lands, yes, I've seen it.

                                                                    2. re: iL Divo
                                                                      scubadoo97 RE: iL Divo Mar 3, 2014 07:42 PM

                                                                      I actually like new posts. Old ones can get so long it's cumbersome.

                                                                      For me the curve balls and general shift in the show although staying fresh leave me wanting for straight up cooking in a competition

                                                                      My viewing has declined. Watch it as a sedative :). White noise

                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                        Puffin3 RE: scubadoo97 Mar 4, 2014 05:59 AM

                                                                        Our family gathering around the TV with chips and dip to watch the original IC is a fond memory for sure.
                                                                        I started watching ICA. Then I saw Flay jump up on his cutting board and that ended ever watching ICA again.
                                                                        When ever that little red haired weasel appears on my TV screen I press 'previous'.

                                                                        1. re: Puffin3
                                                                          zin1953 RE: Puffin3 Mar 4, 2014 06:17 AM

                                                                          And in Japanese! Ahhhhh, those were the days . . .

                                                                          It started declining when they dubbed it into English and, it's only gone down from there.

                                                                          Granted there are some days when it can (at least) still be interesting, but it's never been as good as the original.

                                                                      2. re: iL Divo
                                                                        DGresh RE: iL Divo Mar 4, 2014 02:16 PM

                                                                        I didn't notice anything odd; now I'm curious!

                                                                        I *hate* the use of a valuable, tasteless ingredient in food. Just the thought of where it ends up is offensive to me!

                                                                      3. c
                                                                        ChiliDude RE: Bob W Mar 9, 2014 11:37 AM

                                                                        I had no interest in that frantic show once I saw that it was insane. I'm surprised that no one got killed by someone running with knives.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: ChiliDude
                                                                          ritabwh RE: ChiliDude Mar 11, 2014 11:23 PM

                                                                          that's right. it's all fun and games until some gets hurt. :-)

                                                                          1. re: ChiliDude
                                                                            zin1953 RE: ChiliDude Mar 12, 2014 06:30 AM

                                                                            WEll, thank heaven they weren't running with scissors! ;^)

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