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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Iron Chef



In my over-excited watercooler chats, I've noticed that people are either huge Iron Chef fans, or they just don't get it. But what's not to get? Over-excited Japanese gameshow, slow motion wok tossing, extreme competitiveness under a guise of humble modesty... not to mention pagodas carved out of carrots and the hilarious voiceovers! Oh, when oh when, are they going to bring this series out on DVD?!?!

According to Iron Fans Online, the kitchen stadium cost 40 million yen/US$400k to build and took four hours to set-up. One million yen (US$10k) was spent each week on utilities installation and supply (gas and water) and another 700,00 to 1 million (US$7k-$10k) was spent for ingredients. No wonder they always seemed to have an ample supply of foie gras and truffles!

The site also says the stadium kitchen larder was stocked with:

  • over 1,500 plates, bowls and dishes
  • over 30 types of meat, 75 fish, 90 Japanese vegetables, 70 western vegetables, 30 fruit, 45 dairy products, 25 grain products, and 30 processed food products
  • about 250 seasoning sauces, pastes and powders including almost all miso/soy sauce brands, over 50 wines and liqueurs vital in French cuisine, and over 40 Chinese seasoning pastes/powders
  • 300 glass bowls of various sizes
  • 100 stainless steel bowls
  • 50 baskets
  • 120 containers
  • 30 frying pans
  • 15 Chinese woks
  • 20 brass pans for French cooking
  • 8 giant pots
  • 6 30-inch. cutting boards, and
  • 2 specially-ordered Chinese cutting platforms.

Whew! No wonder we still haven't managed to create our own Iron Chef-style cook-off at home!

Of course, there is the online Paper Chef competition which is underway this minute! The 7th Paper Chef installation has the four mandatory ingredients of buttermilk, medjdool dates, honey and eggs. The creative results are always mindbogglingly impressive, so check out the wrap-up in a week or so.

Or if the thought of all that creative cookery just makes you thirsty, you can always play the Iron Chef drinking game. There are numerous variants of this all over the web, so I've combined most of them here for you below... bang a gong, it is on!

Iron Chef Drinking Game
Divide the group into Challengers, Iron Chefs, and Commentators. If you're not with a drinking crowd, yet you still want to play (!?), give everyone paper and pencil. Instead of drinking, make a mark on the paper as instructed. The group with the lowest combined points win. Whereas in the drinking game, the group that is the most sober wins, if anyone is still interested in winning at that point.

Challengers
One drink when the challenger says, "I will win." If he/she uses the word "definitely", take an additional drink.
Two drinks whenever a challenger declares a chef should bring out the natural flavour of an ingredient.
Two drinks anytime your chef is announced as being the master of some inane ingredient, such as salt.
Two drinks if the theme ingredient is not seafood.
One drink if the theme ingredient is foie gras, caviar, shark's fin or truffles.
One drink if other Iron Chefs, past or present, are on hand to witness the battle. One extra drink if all the current and former Iron Chefs are present.
Two drinks if the Iron Chef writes up a menu beforehand. If the Iron Chef is Michiba, then take only one drink.
One drink when the challenger rushes to beat the Iron Chef to the theme ingredient to get the best selection.
One drink for Michiba's "broth of vigour".
Three drinks if your chef is using bird's nest as an ingredient. Take one additional drink if it's red bird's nest.
One drink anytime the ice cream maker is shown.
One drink anytime entrails are used.
Two drinks anytime your chef uses an odd prop in the presentation of one of his dishes (e.g. newspaper or a Coca-Cola paper cup)
Two drinks each time the challenger carves food to look like something else, such as a pagoda. One additional drink if it breaks.
Two drinks if your chef throws out a dish.
One drink if your chef uses one of the following luxury ingredients: caviar, foie gras, truffles, shark's fin, champagne, uni or sea urchin roe. One additional drink per additional luxury ingredient (unless of course, this is the theme ingredient).
Two drinks if the opponent makes a dessert out of a non-dessert item (like oyster or caviar).
One drink if your chef says his or her dishes are "okay" or "alright".
One drink when your chef prepares a dish that requires partial assembly by the judges.
Two drinks every time your opponent is seen smiling during the tasting.
One drink each time your opponent personally serves out his or her dish.
One drink if your opponent successfully controlled the smell of an ingredient.
One drink if Kishi Asako harshly criticises your chef's dish.
Two drinks if Kishi likes your opponent's dish.
One drink per judge that votes for Iron Chef.
One drink when the Iron Chef, relieved to have won, rubs his face with his hands and then squints and blinks repeatedly.

Iron Chefs
Two drinks anytime it is a special battle that features only one particular Iron Chef rather than being chosen by the challenger at the beginning of the show.
Two drinks for Kobe's string ensemble.
Two drinks if the theme ingredient is not seafood.
One drink if the theme ingredient is foie gras, caviar, shark's fin or truffles.
One drink when the Iron Chef rushes to beat the opponent to the theme ingredient to get the best selection.
One drink if the Iron Chef complains the ingredient is not often used in his style of cuisine.
One drink each time the challenger's supporters are boisterous. One additional drink if the challenger's supporters brought war drums with them.
Two drinks if your opponent writes up a menu beforehand.
Two drinks anytime entrails are used.
Three drinks if your chef is using bird's nest as an ingredient. Take one additional drink if it's red bird's nest.
One drink anytime the ice cream maker is shown.
Two drinks anytime your chef uses an odd prop in the presentation of one of his dishes (e.g. newspaper or a Coca-Cola paper cup).
Two drinks if your chef throws out a dish.
Two drinks each time the Iron Chef carves food to look like something else, such as a pagoda. One additional drink if it breaks.
One drink per luxury ingredient used: caviar, foie gras, truffles, shark's fin, champagne, uni or sea urchin roe.
Two drinks if the opponent makes a dessert out of a non-dessert item (like oyster or caviar).
One drink if your chef says his or her dishes are only "okay" or "alright".
One drink when your chef prepares a dish that requires partial assembly by the judges.
Two drinks every time your opponent is seen smiling during the tasting.
One drink each time your opponent personally serves out his or her dish.
One drink if your opponent successfully controlled the smell of an ingredient.
One drink when Kishi Asako tears into your chef's dish.
Two drinks if Kishi likes your opponent's dish.
One drink per judge that votes for the opposing chef.
Three drinks if the challenger wins.

Commentators
One drink when Fukui says "bang a gong, it is on".
Two drinks anytime anyone says that the Iron Chef, his Challenger, or the Challengers team needs to redeem him/her/itself with this battle.
One drink when there's unnecessary dubbing, such as for grunts, laughs, and "hmmms".
One drink if someone comments on the difficulty of using the theme ingredient.
One drink whenever a commentator mentions how expensive the ingredient is.
One drink whenever someone says, "I think he may steam that".
One drink when the announcer mentions a chef has his/her rice cooker on.
One drink any time someone comments that a chef is using the "double-cleaver technique".
Two drinks if a replay is shown. Take an additional drink if the replay involves fire.
One drink if one of the commentators asks, "I wonder what he/she's going to do with that?" or any similar question.
One drink when someone describes a dish as being "luxurious."
One drink when someone complains a chef is being wasteful. One extra drink if it is Nakamura who is being wasteful.
One drink if someone mentions America, the United States, or New York during one of Morimoto's battles.
Two drinks when the commentators go off on some random topic unrelated to the competition.
Two drinks if someone proves Hattori wrong.
Two drinks if Fukui or Hattori comments that they've "never seen that before."
One drink if someone alludes to Morimoto's earring.
One drink if the commentators comment on a chef's sweating.
Two drinks if a commentator questions the idea of making an ice-cream out of a non-dessert item.
Two drinks if Fukui or Hattori accuse a chef of targeting a judge by using one of their favorite ingredients.
One drink any time a judge that looks like a rap star makes an intelligent and complex critique of one of the dishes.
One drink any time a judge takes his/her first bite of a dish, then his/her eyes get really wide and he/she makes some type of vapid, overexcited comment on the dish such as "This is very good!"
Two drinks when a judge claims he or she is being "selfish" when evaluating a dish.
One drink every time a judge is "reassured" by a dish.
One drink each time a judge says a dish "speaks" or "has a message".
Three drinks whenever a female judge describes how the dish interacts with her mouth, such as "This feels slippery in my mouth!"
One drink when a female judge covers her mouth and giggles when tasting a dish.
One drink if Fukui asks if the winner will be the Iron Chef or the "hero" of the challenger's particular cuisine.
One drink per point disparity between the scores for the Iron Chef and the Challenger that exceeds one by any individual judge (e.g. If one judge gives the Iron Chef 19 points and the Challenger 17 points, drink twice for a two point difference).

Everyone
One drink when Kaga Takeshi says, "If my memory serves me correctly ..."
One drink when Kaga bites into something and looks pensive, such as the bell pepper during the opening credits (and yes, this one counts too!). Anyone who laughs when he does it takes an additional drink.
Three drinks if the ingredient is lowered from the ceiling instead of raised up from the floor.
Two drinks if the ingredient is still alive when presented to the chefs.
Two drinks if the initial preparation of the theme ingredient makes you ill (you may want to make sure you have a clear path to the bathroom first, though).
One drink if a chef uses bonito.
Applaud if Chin makes a fried rice dish at the last minute.
Two drinks if the judges are tied two to two and the battle is decided on points. Two more drinks if the points are tied and there will be a half-hour tie breaker.
Four drinks if it is the Iron Chef's retirement battle.
Three more drinks if he wins it.

6 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 6/05/2005 10:00:00 pm


6 Comments:

  • At 6/05/2005 10:43 pm, Blogger Clare Eats said…

    OMG AG U R AWESOME
    i am roflmfao!
    and next weekend is a long one... hmmm
    perhaps I might need to do this next saturday night!!!!!!

    I LOVE IRON CHEF ( we r def among the people who get it!)

     
  • At 6/05/2005 11:47 pm, Anonymous gwenda said…

    haha i like the drinking game!

     
  • At 6/06/2005 5:51 pm, Blogger Niki said…

    I *love* Iron Chef, and reckon it's the voice dubbing that makes it into such an unmissable show. I had a real laugh at the drinking game rules. My personal favourite is when the host delivers some serious pronouncement about the ingredient like 'Remember, the sweetest part of the eggplant is.....UNDER THE CAP!" or "Legend says the asparagus should only be peeled with the fingers of young maidens..."

     
  • At 6/07/2005 7:38 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Clare Eats - Glad you liked it, but I didn't make it up, so I can't take the credit for it!

    Yay. Long weekend.

    I had this in mind when I was watching last week and couldn't stop chortling when the ice cream maker was featured with the asparagus!

    Hi Gwenda - Yeah it's pretty funny. I laughed out loud at a couple of lines!

    Hi Niki - Iron Chef rocks! And yes, those Japanese sayings are hilarious.

    I love it when the chefs start smiling cos they can overhear what the commentators are saying. And the judging is always hilarious.

     
  • At 6/07/2005 9:30 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    Allez cuisine!

    OK...how did you know that I just loved the Iron Chef? Did you know that Chef Sakai was here for a bit cooking with a couple of the local chefs? I wanted to eat at one of the restaurants that he was cooking at, but it was all booked by the time I called to make reservations. =(

     
  • At 6/08/2005 9:36 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Reid - Hehe!

    I really wanted to go to an Iron Chef restaurant when I was in Tokyo but alas it didn't eventuate. Next time I will definitely be more organised!

    We'll get there some day I'm sure. Then we can personally judge whose cuisine reigns supreme! =)

     

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