In the words of my uncle…… “Allez! Cuisine!”
Cooking shows are always welcomed in our household, and Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend was no exception. As soon as I saw it in my Netflix recommendations, we dropped all else which we were watching at the time to binge the 8 episode series.
For us, we were completely unfamiliar with the Iron Chef franchise. I was aware of the original Japanese iteration which used to air on SBS (Australian foreign language TV channel), with dubbed English commentary. And from what I understood was, it was all a bit intense and wacky, like the Japanese are. So, I was surprised to find how polished and “normal” the Netflix version of Iron Chef was. Sure, the Chairman is a bit random, with his opening monologue and comedic poses. And the fact that he actually plays no part in the actual judging of food or any say in the outcome of the challenges. But aside from that, it’s pretty much just another cooking competition.
Yes, all the contestants and Iron Chefs are renowned figures in the culinary scene, but admittedly aside from Curtis Stone we hadn’t heard of any of the others?
The 60 minute timeframe to cook-up 5 dishes seemed nearly impossible, but with a team of sous chefs the unmanageable was made more manageable. And my wife did question how ‘secret’ was the secret ingredient? As she pointed out correctly, in the Tailgate cook-off, one of the teams had a very unique method of serving up their food, and those implements surely weren’t just lying around in a cupboard at Kitchen Stadium. Which then suggests that the chefs had prior knowledge of what to expect, and had more time to plan out their dishes than what we’re led to believe. Which makes sense, otherwise how could you devise up 5 unique dishes and cook them all in 60 minutes?
And yeah, all of the dishes looked amazing, the daily theme was fun, the judges were fair in their critique, and the on-air chefs all had character. Although the outcomes were all a bit too predictable I thought. Of course, the 5 Iron Chefs couldn’t possibly lose to the challengers, there was one particular cook-off where the outcome was a bit suspect (the Iron Chef received more critiques on his food compared to the Challenger); and the finals did seem like the challenger had it in the bag, but she happened to lose by the smallest of margins, thus retaining the unbeaten streak of the Iron line? While the final challenge for the ‘Iron Legend title’, that was all too impossible in my opinion. Like she had to produce 5 dishes on her own (with her team of sous), while the Iron Chefs only had to focus on one dish each? The odds were heavily stacked in favour of the Iron boys & girls. And this highlights the impossibility of Japanese game shows, I remember feeling like this in the final round of Ninja Warrior, where the champion had to tackle an obstacle five times larger, longer, and harder than anything they’ve seen before it! Why do Japanese place utterly impossible tasks which only sets people up for failure? Even though they’re already a Champion and should be praised! Rather they leave the tournament feeling like a loser? But that’s a bit too deep to explore in a WordPress blog.
But yeah, if you enjoy cooking competitions, Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend is a must watch, to start binging now! Just click HERE! Allez! Cuisine!