Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Jan 1, 2014 01:14 AM

The Original Iron Chef.

You know, of course Food Network used to have an exciting, interesting, fresh, cultural show called Iron Chef. Well, I know they still have some form of it, but I truly do miss the older version(s) from across the land. I like to see unexpected, unique things prepared with a time limit such as Giant Octopus, Ostrich Eggs & Goat's Tongue just to name a few possibilities. That's why I'd love to watch the Original Iron Chef rather than the lame new version of Iron Chef on Food Network. Any of you guys remember the show &/or have any comments on it past or present?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)

      Yeah, but sometimes the computer might not have access to those (or any other) Videos if blocked. On top of that, what if you're spending an extended period of time at a friend's, family member's or partner's house? Then you might not have any computer access at all, ya see? I get the point though.

      1. re: ShowUsYourRack

        You might just have to wait until you can get to your computer again. I mean, you likely spend some time in the office where you can't watch tv shows either, no? '-)

      1. re: Leepa

        Thanks! Got the site bookmarked. Going to watch the first episode soon.
        Man those were the days!

        1. re: Puffin3

          No doubt about it. That's why I created the thread here so that we could discuss all those good, interesting times for Food.

      2. The Food Network was a late-comer to the glory that is the original Iron Chef. Apart from it being produced and run in Japan for several years, some cities in the US (San Francisco among them) showed the original IC, subtitled, for many years - which is how I became addicted. Then the show got into negotiations with the Food Network, and they stopped subtitling it (we still got the Japanese version, but untranslated: it was more of a challenge to watch, but still fun). Then Food Network got the rights to most of the original shows - but not all: AFAIK they haven't shown a lot of the ones from the Nakamura era. (He preceded Morimoto as Iron Chef Japanese: his last dish was a huge tuna tail plopped in a container of sake and sprinkled with gold flakes).

        Good times, good times. It was interesting seeing Morimoto go from a young, brash, rebellious chef to the respected keeper-of-tradition he is today. In his first few battles, IIRC he kept trying to convince the judges that this is how people in the US ate things, really (yeah, right).

        And the judges! The standard line-up was Intellectual Guy (usually Kurimoto Shinichiro, a politician who went from the Lower House to the Upper House in the course of the show) , Bimbo of the Week, Regular Joe, and Picky Lady (usually Kishi Asako).

        I have a Chen Kenichi cookbook, in Japanese. He was always my favorite Iron Chef, because he always looked so surprised when he won. I'd have loved to try Sakai's dishes, though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tardigrade

          It's kind of interesting when you watch the judges talk about the dishes that you think are incredible as if they are inferior, with the highly rated dishes often being/looking repulsive & weak. Things can appear &/or taste different from one Country to the other. I'd still like to sample & see it all though.

        2. In the first couple of years of Cooking Channel (the FN secondary channel) they ran through the original IC series several times. Now CC is showing reruns of ICA.

          While I enjoyed learning about new things on ICJ (e.g. konyaku, nato), I've seen most episodes. So I'm not dying to see them again.

          Why do you consider ICA lame? Just because it isn't as foreign (and therefore exotic)?

          1 Reply
          1. re: paulj

            To me it's just boring, common, nonsensical discussion while zooming in on some Foods that are actually much easier to prepare than the host(s) brag about. It's not just the Food, it's the little use of variety, ya see? The same Foods seem to kind of repeat themselves after every few episodes. It would also be cool to see more imported things brought in as the main ingredient, don't ya think? Oh well.

          2. I stumbled across an episode of the Iron Chef version in America that starred William Shatner as the Chairman. I about laughed myself into a hernia.....

            4 Replies
            1. re: Firegoat

              That does sound like a joke, but who knows what they were/are thinking…lol?

              1. re: Firegoat


                A 2001 2 episode show on UPN. No connection with FN's ICA.

                1. re: paulj

                  Ah, I saw the one with Todd English as one of the contestants. If you think the current Iron Chef America is over acted by the chairman you've seen nothing! I found it on hulu and couldn't resist... nothing like William Shatner strutting around through a screaming crowd in a brocade duster with two "sportscasters" in yellow jackets up in a booth giving live reports...

                  1. re: Firegoat

                    ICJ was much campier than ICA is. The UPN show tried to translate the camp, and went way over the top.

                    I look at both ICJ and the UPN one now, and I'm grateful that we have the version that we have now, and the (usually) high caliber of judges.

                    I will never forget the moment in one of the Flay/Morimoto battles (2nd?) when they invited an audience member to judge. His "homage" to the aformentioned "bimbo of the Week" was to comment "I feel like I'm tastimg the clouds!".