Iron Chef Exchange

(Ryori no Tetsujin)

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OK. You've all previously thought that Mr Nylon Net was a pretty COOL sort of a dude, who uses cool words like "cool" and "dude".
Well, maybe I am, but I'm also an IRON CHEF (JAPAN) cool dude slut.

Don't ask me why.
Maybe it's Sakai's sad moustache.
Maybe it's Chen's playful girlish glee.
Maybe it's Michiba's stern majesty.
Perhaps it's timorous Kobe, who lurks in the dark recesses of Iron Chef's corridors of shame, only dragged out when the ingredient is not Italian.

(I'm quite worried about Kobe... I fear the other Iron Chefs poke him mercilessly with chopsticks behind the rice cooker.)

Anyway. Let's get back to our woks.
I am a digital collector and I want to collect every Japanese Iron Chef episode

Animated Chairman Kaga

Iron Chef News

  • 15 August - It's great that we are once again getting IC 5 nights a week, but so far all but one has been a recent repeat.
  • 31 July - Woohoo! SBS has sent us IronChef-Carrot[ep030@19940527]Chen&Takahashi - a long-awaited [dd]upgrade!
  • 23 July - today's afternoon broadcast was Bamboo-Shoot[ep024@19940415]Chen&Takahashi, last seen 26 November 2013. So, nothing new of interest to report here.
  • 22 July - Hooray? SBS is resuming Iron Chef broadcasts in weekday afternoons! Not sure yet whether they are just going to repeat the stuff we already have, but any broadcast is better than none, right? Allez cuisine!

Old news...


Iron Chef Download

To help share the joy, I'm offering regular downloads my Iron Chef Japan episodes - nearly all are HDTV recordings at over 600MB. With any luck, we can upgrade all the digitaldistractions [dd] versions: a now-defunct but fondly-remembered site that once was the only source of Iron Chef episodes; sadly, its episodes seem to have been taken from analogue TV onto VHS tape, so their quality was poor compared to my new digital recordings.
You can help the flow of Iron Chef by making a donation below - it will make your soul cheffier. It will inspire you to allez to the cuisine and bang a nail through an eel's head, wear sequinned capes, and dramatically munch on raw bell peppers during dinner parties.

You can donate even just $1 >> <<and feel cheffier ALL day -
but you might feel a little SAD at midnight
'cos you're getting a LOT of Iron Chef for next to nothing.

Or you can drop a few more yen in the wok >> << and feel cheffier for a LONG time
and even request DOWNLOADS!

  • The episode at the bottom is the latest addition. The one at the top will be the next to disappear - without warning.
  • Remember to RIGHT-CLICK and choose "SAVE LINK AS" or "SAVE TARGET AS"... or you'll watch it in real time.
    1. Crayfish[ep097@19950915]Sakai&Aubron-HD-v2.avi - 19 July
    2. Curry-Powder[ep115@19960119]Sakai&Ushimaru - 31 July
    3. Carrot[ep030@19940527]Chen&Takahashi - 3 August - a rare [dd] upgrade!
    4. Cuttlefish(Squid)[ep291@19990820]Morimoto&Watanabe-HD - 10 August
    5. Eel,Conger[ep290@19990813]Kobe&Sakai-HD - 16 August - you have to love an eel battle!
    6. Eel,Giant[ep242@19980807]Morimoto&Handa-HD - 25 August - and ladies love a giant eel!

My Iron Mission

I have collected many episodes of Japanese Iron Chef from torrents, TV and trades but this is just over a two-thirds of the 308 Iron Chef episodes. The first ones (about 220 Megabytes each) came from the sadly-departed digitaldistractions on the internet, but most of those have now been replaced by much better quality copies (about 650M). When SBS broadcasts them in HD (a practice briefly restored once a week in 2014), they are about 1.3 GB.

If, by any miracle, you have an episode that neither I nor ironcheffans.info have, would you like to trade? Please note that I am not really interested in the Japanese-dialogue versions. I really only want the delightful American-dubbed versions, or subtitled versions.

Please let me know at . All the episodes I have to trade are in DivX format. They will play on a computer with software like Windows Media Player or the great VLC player, and they will only play on a normal DVD player if it has a "DivX Certified" sticker on the front. Please don't ask me to convert DivX to DVD format for you.

Let's hope one day there will be an official Iron Chef Japan DVD collection!

Below is my current episode list (or see it fullscreen)

Notes...

  • The first column shows the battles I need. If it says "Y" or "Y <sub|jap>", I don't need it! ("Sub"=English subtitled, "jap"=japanese dialogue with no subtitles.)
  • Theme ingredient names are tricky - they are sometimes translated into English, sometimes in Japanese (e.g. Ayu = Sweetfish) and sometimes the Japanese names vary (e.g. Umi or Uni).  Sometimes, translated names are American, not Australianised (e.g. shrimps are prawns here in spite of what Paul Hogan says in those tourism ads). It's a tough decision sometimes. I do the best I can. When in doubt, fast-forward to the competitor's name. It works every time.
  • Competitor names can be tricky too. The chairman announces Japanese names (in Japanese) as Familyname Givenname (e.g. Michiba Rokusaburo, when his family name (surname) is Michiba and his given name is Rokusaburo. It seems Chinese names such as Chen (family name) Kenichi (given name) follow the same pattern*. The translations, however westernise the naming order: European names are given as Givenname Familyname (e.g. Gillian Hirst). And the Iron Chef book's spelling of names can be quite creative at times. Be careful out there!
  • As you Iron Chef fans know, many secret ingredients were used more than once : for example, beef appeared 5 times, bell peppers 4 times. Digitaldistractions had an unhelpful filenaming scheme like Squid 1, Squid 2. Using the theme ingredient and the the competitor's surname in the filename avoids confusion since no competitor has battled the same secret ingredient twice. So, when referring to episodes, please refer to the theme ingredient and the competitor's family name (e.g. Guinea Pig vs Hamataka).
  • Ironcheffans.info uses a series/episode number scheme (e.g. 439 = series 4, ep 39) which can look a lot like the consecutive numbering scheme I use (e.g. 159 = episode 159). I wish we could all use the standard internet naming scheme, e.g. S04E39). I'll get around to renaming my files one day (as if the filenames aren't long enough already).

I was delighted to find important missing episodes such as the famous OSTRICH BATTLE versus Australian female chef Gillian Hirst on 10 July 2008. Alas, it was a raw undubbed and unsubtitled ep with only Japanese dialogue. See some stills from the Ostrich Battle. You'll be familiar with Gillian even if you've not heard of her: she's the stern Australian lady marching into the stadium during the opening credits of every episode.

Gillian Hirst

I sent a copy of the episode to Gillian who had never seen it. Her children were amazed. This episode is particularly important because it earned Iron Chef an Emmy Nomination in the USA!

Gillian Hirst


So, to get back to our woks, let's form a digital yakuza and swap episodes, eh? The bonus is that in our yakuza, you don't have to get a full-body tattoo or cut off your fingers. Well, you can if you like, but it's not strictly necessary.

Soon we will have a global repository of complete Iron Chefiness. If we keep it up there may be Iron Chef: The Movie, or at least a PBS documentary.
At least we can hope that Fuji TV releases episodes on DVD for us.

Mark, nylon.net

Allez cuisine!

See Morimoto-san on Hawaii 50 doing karaoke and fish forensics - June 2011 

 


Episode Summary

While many of the original Japanese episodes were dubbed by Americans into the cheesy dialogue we all know and love, not all episodes were dubbed. Here's a brief summary of what we're missing out on. Series 5 is particularly poorly represented.

Series 1 – 1993 - 10 episodes – 2 dubbed
Series 2 – 1994 – 49 episodes – 35 dubbed
Series 3 – 1995 – 53 episodes – 44 dubbed
Series 4 – 1996 – 52 episodes – 32 dubbed
Series 5 – 1997 – 50 episodes – 0 dubbed
Series 6 – 1998 – 47 episodes – 41 dubbed
Series 7 – 1999 – 36 episodes – 35 dubbed

It still astounds me how the Japanese could turn out up to 53 programs in one year!

Episode information is taken from the great Iron Chef Official Book, but it has its faults. For example, the Nakamura retrospective episode and the Indonesian emperor episodes are not listed, and the challengers' names are often represented in - shall we say - creative ways.


Rokusaburo Michiba

 

Hear Chairman Kaga unveil the ingredient and call for the competitors to allez cuisine!


Iron Chef Fails

The success of the original Iron Chef was always hard to quantify. It certainly wasn't the Chairman's acting - or was it? It wasn't the scintillating dialogue - or perhaps it was. What was it? Passion! They didn't always know what they were doing, but they did it with style, panache and attitude, and for that we love them. Their wannabes, however, flamed and burned like zealous kamikaze 神風

Iron Chef America - with William Shatner

From here - Iron Chef USA – Like the original Japanese series, the show featured an eccentric chairman, played by William Shatner, who creates his own Gourmet Academy with four elite chefs who take on challengers in a specially-constructed Kitchen Arena ("Kitchen Stadium" in the original). However, unlike the original and the later Iron Chef America adaptation, Kitchen Arena was set in Garden Arena (a venue often used for boxing) in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and not on a sound stage. Fans of the series, and critics at large, point to many aspects of the show for the reason why the series failed. Among the most notable reasons was the audience factor: the original Iron Chef (and Iron Chef America) had only minimal guest and VIP seating, while Iron Chef USA was shown in front of a larger audience. The audience also tended to be louder and rowdier, in sharp contrast to the relatively quiet audiences of Iron Chef. Another sharp point of criticism was directed at the commentators, who often showed their lack of knowledge of food (with lines such as "What? It's the sperm? We eat that?" in reference to sea urchin roe; "What's that tool called he's using to cut the ravioli?", "That would be a ravioli cutter"; and "it's a sauteed Ho Ho", "He's got a flour thing going" and "It looks like he enjoys cooking with booze."). However, critics saw Shatner's portrayal of the chairman in Iron Chef USA as a redeeming quality, as his performance paid homage to Takeshi Kaga and his antics on Iron Chef.

Iron Chef America with the 'nephew' of Chairman Takaga

Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) who has emailed me to request Iron Chef episodes begins with the sentiment, "I love Iron Chef (Japan) but I really hate the insolent upstart bastard American version" (or words to that effect).

Australian Iron Chef

Got the host wrong. Tried too hard. Lasted one series before the plug was pulled because it was too expensive. It was like the merciful drowning of a deformed puppy.

Have other international versions made your wok boil? Do you have other love/hate comments about Iron Chef or this site? Please let me know in the form below...


 

 
Iron Chef Sakai gets milk!
Iron Chef Sakai gets milk for the Milk Battle

 


Did You Know About Iron Chef...

During a few episodes of series 5 a theme ingredient gimmick was used?

Challengers were allowed to choose from four boxes, each of which contained a theme ingredient.

What happens to the dishes shown at the end of cooking time?

In one episode, Fukui mentions that he and Hattori will be sharing the demonstration dish. So now you know where it goes!

Does the challenger know ahead of time what the theme will be?

A week before the show tapes, both the Iron Chefs and the challenger were given a list of five ingredients. The final ingredient was chosen from this list but they didn't know which it would be until Kaga announced it during the taping. This way they had some time to request special ingredients and cooking utensils (not to mention special serving dishes like the ice bowls seen on Battle Salmon Roe). Also, after the theme ingredient was announced, the chefs had about 5 minutes to gather their wits and get their cooking strategy sorted out before the "Gong of Fate" sounded. Part of the reason for that is that the cameras and crew needed to position themselves for the next shot.

Where was the show filmed?

The weekly shows were filmed in FujiTV's V4 studio, the biggest studio they have in Odaiba, near Tokyo Bay. This set was used for many other shows, so it needed to be taken down after each taping session and reassembled each time. Special gas lines for the stoves and water lines were laid down each time, too. The fire department had a few members standing by during tapings to supervise.

Who are the commentators?

Mr. Kenji Fukui is the main commentator that does all of the introductions and most of the talking. The gentleman on the far left is Mr. Yukio Hattori, owner of the Hattori School of Nutrition. Hattori is quite knowledgeable about food and often provided insight and education about the theme ingredient or culinary techniques. The people in the middle are the guest commentators who tended to be celebrities and not necessarily food experts. Typically one woman and one man are the guest commentators/judges.


Kent Frick voices Chairman Kaga

What is the broadcast history of the show?

In Japan, the show started in October 1993 originally as a 30 minute program on Sunday nights. The show was wildly popular, so they expanded it to an hour (45 minutes without commercials) and it was on air Friday nights at 10:00pm. Occasionally, a longer special would air. These usually tend to be around the New Years time frame. The viewing audience tended to be the younger generation, mainly men and women in their 20s and 30s. In 1994, the show was nominated for an Emmy. In 1997, it was nominated for another Emmy in the International Division under the "Popular Arts" Section. The show stopped its weekly production in September of 1999, though the producers said they would continue to make specials, about 4 a year. Two have been produced so far in 2000. The weekly show production was halted because the producer wanted to end the show while it was still popular (typical for Japanese programs) The high costs to produce the show - including Kaga's extravagantly foppy clothes! - may also have played a role.

How are the chefs scored?

Each chef may be awarded up to 20 points by each judge, with ten given for taste and five each for presentation and originality.  Winners were determined by the number of judges who scored them higher.  If tied, points were counted and the chef with the greater number of points became the winner.  In later series, if still tied, a 30 minute "overtime" tie-breaker cook-off took place with a new (and cheap) ingredient.

How often did the Iron Chefs win?

Where did the original theme music come from?

The movie Backdraft, by Hans Zimmer. Listen to a bit

What is the roaming reporter saying every time he starts to speak?

"Fukui-San"which is the equivalent of "Mr Fukui". He's politely interrupting the commentator, Mr Fukui.

Why did Kaga boycott the Piglet Battle?

Supposedly ashamed by the performance of his Iron Chefs, the less romantic truth is that Kaga (the actor) was also in a stage production at the time, and there was a scheduling conflict with taping of the battle and one rehearsal that could not be resolved. (Thanks to TV Tropes)

Why is Kaga's voice not dubbed most of the time?

Most of the time, Chairman Kaga is not dubbed into English because he's just so Bad Ass in the original Japanese. They dubbed him over only when they realized they couldn't get international rights to some of the music they used and would have to create a new audio track. And even then it was only during the introduction of the challenger, all his lines in Kitchen Stadium remain intact.

Most of the fully-dubbed Kaga episodes occurred early in the series; when the producers realised the show lost something without Kaga's deep baritone, they went with the original audio instead. (Thanks to TV Tropes)

 

DUBBING IRON CHEF - how it was done

Dubbing Iron Chef


Iron Chef Merchandise

Feb 2011 - The weird and wonderful world of Iron Chef Merchandise now has a page of its own.


Chairman Kaga unveiling the theme ingredient


In Sydney for the Iron Chef Event 2010, Iron Chef French, Hiroyuki Sakai and Iron Chef Chinese, Kenichi Chen talk to SBS Food about the Japanese cult food show that made them famous.


IRON CHEF LINKS


 

And if you get bored late at night, here's a good idea.
Memorise this prayer and recite it to every person you meet the next day.

Hours of fun are guaranteed for the whole family!

Click this to get the full atmosphere of the experience (MP3)

A man's fantasy became a reality in a form never seen before: Kitchen Stadium, a giant cooking arena. The motivation for spending his fortune to create Kitchen Stadium was to encounter new original cuisines which could be called true artistic creations.

To realise his dream, he secretly started choosing the top chefs of various styles of cooking, and he named his men the Iron Chefs: the invincible men of culinary skills.

Iron Chef Japanese is Masaharu Morimoto.
Iron Chef French is Hiroyuki Sakai.
Iron Chef Chinese is Chen Kenichi.
And Masahiko Kobe is Iron Chef Italian.

Kitchen Stadium is the arena where Iron Chefs await the challenges of master chefs from around the world. Both the Iron Chef and challenger have one hour to tackle the theme ingredient of the day. Using all their senses, skill, creativity, they are to prepare artistic dishes never tasted before. And if ever a challenger wins over the Iron Chef, he or she will gain the people's ovation and fame forever!

Every battle, reputations are on the line in Kitchen Stadium, where master chefs pit their artistic creations against each other. What inspiration does today's challenger bring? And how will the Iron Chef fight back? The heat will be on!

Amen!

Sayonara

さようなら

Created 2 April 2006

Last changed Monday, August 25, 2014 3:04 PM