Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Iron Chef America (Part 2)


Recommended Posts

Are any of Cora's scores really low or high...to skew the average.  You dont have an SD caluclated by any chance  ?

Reading some old Steingarten a while back.  He is quite vocal on how he thinks Greek cuisine is not worthy of the name cuisine (a statement with which I agree). I wonder if he has judged Cora?

My suspicion is that knowledgeable judges would have the greater variation in scores.  When it is good stuff, they'd recognize it and grade accordingly. Likewise, crap would be treated as such.

Cora's standard deviation on total score is 4.2, which is lower than Morimoto's (5.4) and slightly higher than Flay and Batali (3.9). Her high/low scores were 55/39. (To compare, Batali 56/41, Flay 56/41, Morimoto 59/39).

Steingarten has judged 1/2 of Cora's battles (8 of 16.) She has gone 5-3 in those battles, which is a little worse than the .719 Iron Chef winning percentage in all battles Steingarten has judged.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As you undoubtedly know, we can't calculate variance for individual judges as we don't have those scores.

I can say that panels on which Steingarten has appeared do not have larger variances than usual. Among panels with at least one regular judge, the highest standard deviations are actually those with actress Cady Huffman or Mo Rocca.

I don't think any general conclusions can be drawn from this though. Nor do I think this says anything for or against your hypothesis.

Link to post
Share on other sites
cora has the lowest average scores among all the iron chefs, and has a lower average scores than the challengers.

She can cook and she's a heck of a lot nicer to look at than any of the other iron chefs... as tv personalities go (since I don't actually know her), she's more of a sweetheart than the intentional "sweethearts" the food network tries to force on us. I don't care about the average scores, it's just a tv show. :raz:

By the way, does anybody else remember the

from last year? I still laugh every time I think of it.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is not true.  She is better than both the average Iron Chef challenger as well as the average challenger she's specifically battled (albeit barely.)  It is true that she is comparatively weak on "taste" scores, where she is, in fact, outscored on average. 

but, ultimately, doesn't it ultimately come down to taste?

looking at those scores, it seems that in the battles she wins, she wins not because of taste, but because of her juvenile, gimmicky presentation like those mailboxes she used in the sugar battle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that it doesn't ultimately come down to taste, because the scoring system is well-defined, it is what it is, and under such a system, there are multiple roads to victory.

Anyone can propose changing the scoring system to better agree with his/her feeling about who should win, but there's no satisfying everybody. I've read arguments on other websites that it's not right that Bobby Flay wins by out-pointing his opponents on taste, even though he has the worst average plating and originality scores of the Iron Chefs (worse even than the average challenger) and has even repeated a dish in two different battles. In a sense, this is the mirror image to the problems with Cat Cora being aired here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think most of the objection to Cora isn't about her cooking/plating/taste. It is about her. She projects something that does not come across well, at least on TV. FN doesn't help by repeatedly showing that stupid pan-twirling stunt. And she runs...DON'T RUN IN THE KITCHEN. And that stupid toast at the end. Mario would do it with a gentle smile and a nod of the head. With her it is like a high-five. Maybe that's how she feels, but it just looks bad to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tonight on IC she beat a NYC guy (whose food looked better to me) and put her fist in the air like she is Tiger Woods sinking a putt. Very ungracious. Would Moromoto, Mario or Flay do this? I think not.

10 yd penalty for taunting.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tonight on IC she beat a NYC guy (whose food looked better to me) and put her fist in the air like she is Tiger Woods sinking a putt. Very ungracious. Would Moromoto, Mario or Flay do this?  I think not.

10 yd penalty for taunting.

Flay would stand on the cutting board on top of the counter.

:raz:

Edited by jsmeeker (log)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tonight on IC she beat a NYC guy (whose food looked better to me) and put her fist in the air like she is Tiger Woods sinking a putt. Very ungracious. Would Moromoto, Mario or Flay do this?  I think not.

10 yd penalty for taunting.

Flay would stand on the cutting board on top of the counter.

:raz:

I remember that. Wasn't that in Japan, after some horrible problem on the show? ...vs Morimoto?

He has calmed since. :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tonight on IC she beat a NYC guy (whose food looked better to me) and put her fist in the air like she is Tiger Woods sinking a putt. Very ungracious. Would Moromoto, Mario or Flay do this?  I think not.

10 yd penalty for taunting.

Flay would stand on the cutting board on top of the counter.

:raz:

I remember that. Wasn't that in Japan, after some horrible problem on the show? ...vs Morimoto?

He has calmed since. :-)

Yeah.. that was a special Iron Chef "America" that was on UPN or some such. Hosted by William Shatner. I recall Chef Flay caught a lot of heat for that act. I guess it disrepcted the cutting board or something like that.

And yes, he is much more calm now . :)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tonight on IC she beat a NYC guy (whose food looked better to me) and put her fist in the air like she is Tiger Woods sinking a putt. Very ungracious. Would Moromoto, Mario or Flay do this?  I think not.

10 yd penalty for taunting.

Flay would stand on the cutting board on top of the counter.

:raz:

I remember that. Wasn't that in Japan, after some horrible problem on the show? ...vs Morimoto?

He has calmed since. :-)

Yeah.. that was a special Iron Chef "America" that was on UPN or some such. Hosted by William Shatner. I recall Chef Flay caught a lot of heat for that act. I guess it disrepcted the cutting board or something like that.

And yes, he is much more calm now . :)

He did it twice. One battle was in Webster Hall in NYC (with, God help us, Gordon Elliott hosting!), and Bobby nearly got electrocuted - there were exposed cables on the floor, in pools of spilled water. I think he also had a stove (burner?) problem. He got flack for complaining about it, like he was a bad loser, then got more flack (first, from a visibly pissed Morimoto) for standing on his cutting board at the end of the battle and pumping his fists.

He also stood on his board in Japan (although he had no kitchen mishaps there), ticking off Morimoto yet again. But, even if they aren't close buds now, Flay and Morimoto are friendly, at least. There is no raging hatred or rivalry going on.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Robert Sietsema presents a scathing account in this week's Village Voice of an ICA taping he attended.

The choice of Iron Chef had clearly been made much earlier, because two of the Iron Chefs standing on the pedestals in roiling clouds of fog were out and out imposters.
Like a lightbulb coming on over our heads, we realized that the chefs had known the identity of the main ingredient all along ... How else to explain the utter nonchalance displayed by the sous chefs, who fetched ingredients and blended them; toasted, fried, and roasted them; then plated them like they were enjoying a relaxing holiday in the country.
Link to post
Share on other sites

So, the wife and I were watching the newest episode of Iron Chef America (ICA) "Battle Elk" last night. This is one of the best (of 2) shows that Food Network is offering these days IMO. If it wasn't for ICA and Good Eats, I may not turn to that channel at all, to be honest! How much "Bam", "Yumm-O" and "Hey Ya'll" can a dude handle!!!!! Ah, I DO miss the old days before those living bobble-head dolls were so rich and famous, but, I digress...

Any-who, so we're watching this and after they get us all excited about the competitors (The Rathbun Brothers - bad-asses, I might add), the Iron Chef that will be battling them (Bobby Flay) and, of course, the secret ingredient (Elk, as I mentioned before), they were onto the inevitable intro of the judges.

Up there on the judges table, next to two respectable and well-known judges (Ted Allen and Alexandrea Guarnaschelli) there was rapper "Bone Crusher"! HUH??? WTF was THAT all about? I was a bit shocked but thought, MAYBE, this dude was a hidden foodie hiding behind a rapper persona. Maybe, just MAYBE, he was like a culinary grad or a chef-gone-rapper or something. Boy, that couldn't have been farther from the truth! He was just some fat rapper dude that was, somehow, asked to judge this great show.

Food Network, what're you DOING? Is this the beginning of the end? First, you fill our screens with fat gray haired southern belles eating butter strait off the stick, then under mind your viewers with a dye-blond spike haired douchebag in a bowling shirt and now this!? Jeesh man! As a chef, I'm a bit offended. Isn't this channel supposed to be for food lovers, people who make this stuff out of love and passion, people who have invested their entire lives for that instant gratification of feeding people with their artful nosh?

When did Food Network decide that they needed to appease the can-openers and take-out eaters to increase their ratings? Yeah, it's all about money, I know. Ratings are important, yes, but when the channel starts looking in their couch cushions for spare change, I think it's time to stop and remember where you came from, remember who got you to be so big! It wasn't, necessarily, Mr. or Mrs. Home-Maker or Uncle Joe who burns his chicken on the grill, or cute li'l Johnny making bar cookies with his mommy, it was the professional CHEF! The people that look everywhere for inspiration, someone who shares their passion and their dreams to help make what they do better. Someone who allows them to hone that God given skill that most people aren't even born with!

I remember when Emeril wasn't all bloated and could see his own pee-pee! When Tyler's Ultimate was part travel show and part cooking demo. When Ming Tsai was on there doing some awesome stuff on a sweet portable wok (with the Alaskan mountains behind him or something)! When my man Anthony Bourdain was smoking 3 packs of reds an episode showing us how the Chinese did it. And, let's not forget, when Bobby Flay was grilling on the streets of NY telling us not to play with the fish! Man, those were the days!

So, you may find it odd that a fat rapper dude saying stuff like, "I don't know if I like this dish, but I don't hate it. It's good – kind of." or "I don't like raw meat but this was bangin' ", or the only time he was speechless was when Bobby Flay offered up a Texas-Style Elk Burger, showing his approval with a greasy Thumbs-Up, could send someone into a tirade like this. Maybe I'm too sensitive and could probably find better things to worry about, but jeesh, I just couldn't help it. Food Network has gone too far man, honestly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bone Crusher has actually been a judge before, years ago.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

Link to post
Share on other sites

And he still did better than the Sopranos star who flat out refused to eat some of the dishes prepared when they debuted the show a few years back.

Hell, even going back to the original IC, they had baseball players, rock stars, and fortune tellers ( :huh: ) on the judges' panel.

If anything, I think the show's improved by leaps and bounds since it premiered. I have to admit the whole Next Iron Chef and Michael Symon coming aboard had me worried, but he's integrated quite well.

Has anyone seen those anime-style ads for it? Hilarious.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, even in the original Japanese series the competitors were informed that they would be getting one of three possible ingredients in advance so they could prepare. And everyone on ICA knows their opponent in advance. The whole choosing part is what you call "showbiz". I would think someone who works for the Voice would know about that. Then again, media coverage of the media business is usually laughable. It amazes me how little the people on the content side of mainstream media know about the business side.

Link to post
Share on other sites
And he still did better than the Sopranos star who flat out refused to eat some of the dishes prepared when they debuted the show a few years back.

Hell, even going back to the original IC, they had baseball players, rock stars, and fortune tellers ( :huh: ) on the judges' panel.

If anything, I think the show's improved by leaps and bounds since it premiered.  I have to admit the whole Next Iron Chef and Michael Symon coming aboard had me worried, but he's integrated quite well.

Has anyone seen those anime-style ads for it?  Hilarious.

Yeah, the guy who played "Big Pussy" certainly lived up to the name that day.

:hmmm:

TomH...

BRILLIANT!!!

HOORAY BEER!

Link to post
Share on other sites
anyone notice that the sous chef the Rathbun Brothers brought along was Tre from last season's Top Chef???

A friend of mine tipped me off to that. Tre was the chef de cuisine at one of Kent Rathbun's restaurants in Dallas.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

Link to post
Share on other sites
Food Network, what're you DOING? Is this the beginning of the end?

When did Food Network decide that they needed to appease the can-openers and take-out eaters to increase their ratings? Yeah, it's all about money, I know. Ratings are important, yes, but when the channel starts looking in their couch cushions for spare change, I think it's time to stop and remember where you came from, remember who got you to be so big! It wasn't, necessarily, Mr. or Mrs. Home-Maker or Uncle Joe who burns his chicken on the grill, or cute li'l Johnny making bar cookies with his mommy, it was the professional CHEF! The people that look everywhere for inspiration, someone who shares their passion and their dreams to help make what they do better. Someone who allows them to hone that God given skill that most people aren't even born with!

Sadly, "the beginning of the end" for FN was quite awhile ago. Prior to Sara Moulton's last show, viewers had detected a disturbance in the force. Upon her departure, it was confirmed that the Evil Empire of Marketing had destroyed the whole FN planet. What remains is a hologram... only an illusion.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sadly, "the beginning of the end" for FN was quite awhile ago.  Prior to Sara Moulton's last show, viewers had detected a disturbance in the force.  Upon her departure, it was confirmed that the Evil Empire of Marketing had destroyed the whole FN planet.  What remains is a hologram... only an illusion.

I still enjoy ICA and Ace of Cakes. Really, since finding eGullet I find myself far more interested in hanging out in my own kitchen rather than watching FN anyway, so I don't think anything was lost :smile: .

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

Duh, slaps forehead, that was Tre! I kept looking at him thinking, "I know that dude. Why do I know that dude?"

Okay, not a popular take, and I'm new, but here goes. I have no issues with it. I think AB, and the other judges really did an amazing job, mitigating, "I like it. I don't know why, but it's good." Which has value. Bone Crusher was not sure what he liked about the food, but he did. He found it surprising and Ted Allen agreed with Bone Crusher. Which has the effect of making some guy who's being roped into watching this in Duluth say, "well, if Ted Allen thinks it's good, it might, or might not be, but Bone Crusher agrees with him, so maybe Ted Allen is onto something and I should try something new the next time I go out."

Then the guy is at a restaurant he never thought he would enter, trying a cuisine he never thought he'd try and it's one less person accepting mediocre food, and has their eyes open.

I think the entertainment factor is a HUGE part of Iron Chef, same in Japan as here. It's entertaining and it's educational and it's good food. It's a great mix and makes for good TV. Again, that's my opinion, which is worth what you paid for it.

Does that mean I forgive FN for their many recent sins? Nope, still mad about Mario, still can't stand Sandra Lee.

Edited to fix muck-up of Tre's name.

Edited by nliedel (log)

Blog.liedel.org

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...