Sunday, 26 October 2003

Weird Wide Web

The Iron ChefImagine, if you will, a TV program that is an unholy hybrid of Pokemon, The Galloping Gourmet, Pot Black, and Sumo Wrestling.

There you have "The Iron Chef", where each week a challanger gets to take on the Three Gods of Cooking, the Iron Chefs!

Who can forget when one of the usual Judges, Dr Hattori, took on the Master of the Japanese School, Iron Chef Michiba.

"Iron Chef Michiba, I choose you!"

Today's ingredient.... Truffles! An ingredient so subtle, so rare, that just a hint can make all the difference to a culinary masterpiece. So of course they provided a whole basketful of them. There was Truffle Ice-cream, sliced Truffle in Port Wine, Spring Rolls with Truffle Jelly...

From one of the many(!) Fan Sites :
Get ready for the seaweed and giant eels to start flying as Ultimate Fighting Champion meets Julia Child in this Japanese cult hit. After the surprise ingredient is revealed, the challenger and the Iron Chef face off in a frenetic culinary battle against each other and the clock. The guest panel judges the menus to determine who is victorious and who is vanquished.

If you haven't seen the show, Iron Chef is a Japanese variety/cooking show of sorts. Known in Japan as "Ryori no Tetsujin" (Cooking Iron Man), it is produced by Fuji International TV. It started airing in 1993 until 1999 when the show ended its run. 1 or 2 specials are still usually produced in a year.

The concept of the show is that a flamboyant gourmand, portrayed by Kaga Takeshi, lives in his castle with his "Iron Chefs." These Iron Chefs are the top chefs in the culinary fields of Japanese, Chinese, French and Italian cooking. Each week, Kaga will choose a challenger chef (from anywhere on the planet) to "do battle" against his Iron Chefs. Kaga will present a theme ingredient and each chef will then be charged with preparing a multi-course meal that utilizes the theme ingredient in each course.

The chefs have one hour to cook. Then, Kaga and four judges taste the food and pronounce winner. Sometimes there are ties and a cook-off battle will need to be held. The great appeal of the show is its meld of sports commentary with a cooking show. There is a sidelines announcer, Ota Shinichiro, who provides a play by play commentary on the dishes as they are prepared. There are also two announcers, Fukui Kenji, who provides most of the announcements and Hattori Yukio, who is the "color" man and fills in the viewers with tidbits of culinary knowledge.
ACME Earthquake PillsIn the Grand Tradition of all Talent shows, the Judging panel consists of one person who actually knows something about the subject, one bon-vivant/raconteur, and one brainless bimbo. The specimens of the latter genus appear in Kimonos, and have less evident intellect than most of the ingredients. Perhaps more than some of the asparagus spears, but certainly less than any of the vertebrates, or even shellfish. About even with the Cabbage.

If you've never heard of it, seek it out. The Universe is a stranger place than you can imagine.

And then there's the Original Catalogue of ACME products! Why wait? Make your own Earthquakes! Loads of Fun!

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