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Iron Chef America (Part 2)


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can i just add that it drives me NUTS that the woman from food arts smells every bite of her food!!!! GAH!!

I don't know who you are speaking of, as don't watch as live in europe, but i must jump in at the smelling of every bite of food:

this is something that i do: the initial wave of scent gives additional pleasure and helps me take more pleasure from the dish. also if it is disgusting and i shouldn't put it in my mouth, that first whiff will tell me so too.

i LOVE to smell my food. i love to smell the ingredients too! its sensual, its delish! (and a huge part of our sense of flavour comes from our sense of smell).

marlena

sorry marlena... i didn't mean to offend, but to me this woman's habit seemed to be a neurotic tick... that and her outrageous fear of oil...

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'the bubbles tickle my nose!'

-ICJ

the franchise has no history of 'qualified' judges.

i, for one, cut the producers some slack. There is no real way to screen test judges, and they are charged with the difficult task of making ICA appealing to everyone, from casual channel-surfers, to 6 y.o. children, to uptight gourmands like us. That means trying to keep the amout of ingredient/technique lingo to a minimum (ICJ had that 'Dr Hitori" there to provide any definitions) as well as keeping the banter and commentary lively (no easy task).

For a long time i thought that ICJ was a serious show from start to finish-- i thought the inane comments from 'celebrity judges' were funny only after translation-- but a japanese friend of mine informed me that no, those judges were actually saying things like the quote above.

i think they have done a great job so far--and i hate EVERYTHING else on foodTV.

"The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom."

---John Stewart

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something that doesn't sit well with me is the fact that the challengers dont get to pick the iron chef - i know it can be rigged - but so can the entire challenge

and yes miss ricardo = please critique and not criticize the dishes

'the taste was not what i was expecting' - what the *&^^*&%^

you are at the forefront of a supposed culinary adventure. you are getting a chance to taste the food no tongue has tasted before

argh - I suggest a favor to bring Mo Rocca back

atleast he was thankful for the food

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Was uni the battle ingredient this week?? I wish we got the show here in Paris!

It was shrimp. The DH and I couldn't figure out what Mario was thinking with that last dish of shrimp, remoulade, uni, creme fraiche plus more - we think he threw the match. It was truly one of those dishes you just didn't even want to try. Regardless, the contender did a very good job and was deserving in our most humble opinion.

P.S. I agree with Marlena about smelling food - I always do - it's an important element of pure enjoyment and appreciation to me.

The last dish look like crap!! I think that should have been a stunt on fear factor more than iron chef america. Uni is strong enough and would over power the shrimp. Plus to add remoulade sauce and cream fraiche. I agree with all the judges on that dish. Minus several points on the final score.

I think the challenger was more creative on the idea of deconstruction. I tend to fuse different flavors and take hints from classic dishes and put a twist on them.

The Riccardo lady is a bitch! A know it all opinionated snot! She would probably pan dishes from chefs like Keller, Bouley, and Trotter.

"To invite a person to your house is to take charge of his (her) happiness for as long as he is under your roof."

Brillat Savarin

You don't have to like everything I make, but you still have to eat it.

A Co-Worker from Work

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Anyone else notice the bit of food stuck on the face of one of the judges when Batali's uni parfait thingie was being discussed?  :laugh:

Yes!! For someone who hated the dish, they certainly seem to dive right in and enjoy themselves! Eeeew! Gross!!

"To invite a person to your house is to take charge of his (her) happiness for as long as he is under your roof."

Brillat Savarin

You don't have to like everything I make, but you still have to eat it.

A Co-Worker from Work

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Does anyone know the rules of ICA? It looks obvious that they know the secret ingrediant in advance - they don't even chat with their sous chefs before everyone gets to work, and it appears they pre-ordered their ingrediants in advance....

Do they only need to plate ONE plate of each dish before the hour ends, unlike ICJ, where they need to plate four of each dish?

I guess the five dishes are the rule, unlike ICJ where they just do as many as they can...

I tried to surf "the rules", but didn't have any luck...

Julia

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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based on ica intro, the showing of the ingredient and starting of the food fight is not that immediate.

they are shown the ingredient and they go and discuss (or tell) their sous. and then the stipulated time begins.

between icj and ica, there is a difference of 1 dish - with j having 1 more than a.

and yes I have noticed the plate only one (set of ) dish as opposed to all 3 or 4.

maybe that's another caveat to the original (or dumbing down for ica)

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I read in the NYTimes that the contestants/chefs are well aware of the possible ingredients. Long before the face-off they are told it will be one of two ingredients, thereby allowing them to come up with game plans and- more importantly- lists of ingredients, and equipment to have handy!

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I forget where I learned this but it was back when ICA was being hyped. The ICs are told of 2 possible secret ingredients well before filming. They have the time to plan what they will cook. I don't think this makes what they do "easy," either.

OMG, the close up of that judge's face when she took a yuuuuge bite of Batali's parfait was the single funniest moment in IC history. She looked utterly revolted. And that's fair -- if the dish sucks, it sucks.

BTW, the week when Steingarten wasn't on and Martin Yan was, was the all-time low of judging, in my opinion. All 3 judges made unsubstantive happy-happy comments. Very boring.

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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I had to chime in on judge Ricciardi. I am a food professional and if she walked in my place I would be tempted to throw her on her a$$ out in the street. She combines a lack of food knowledge combined with an arrogance that drives me nuts. Are there no better judges they could find. She is a lady who THINKS she knows food because she wrote a book. God would I hate to be married to that woman.

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Does anyone know the rules of ICA?  It looks obvious that they know the secret ingrediant in advance - they don't even chat with their sous chefs before everyone gets to work, and it appears they pre-ordered their ingrediants in advance....

With a possibility of only two secret ingredients, I should expect any team to have practiced cooking at least ten dishes in a timely fashion. Unless they haven't taken their responsibility to heart, they don't need to speak. They've rehearsed and know pretty much what they're going to do, with the exception of some improvisation caused by last minute equipment failures. Yes, chefs have arrived with heavy and highly specialized tools because they know they're going to make five out of perhaps ten dishes, give or take one or two.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Does anyone know what tonight's secret ingredient is in the battle between Cat Cora and Sam Choy?

It's clams and can I say (SPOILER....)

I swear Sam Choy lost because of that fatso judge who complained about chewing. Hey lady, I know you're used to inhaling all your food...you have to chew your food.

Or maybe you're just a cow and you are chewing cud.

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I think Cora's dishes were better tonight. Her presentations were very nice and she had a variety of textures and were creative.

However, Sam Choy did some nice comfort food dishes. I think they might have lacked some creativity except for the clam flan, which was questionable. :huh:

I knew it was over for Choy when the fat lady sang! She was inhailing her food as though it was an all you can eat buffet. They were too tough! Except for Queer Eye Ted, they need to find better judges. And once again, Yan can cook and used decimals once again on points. Go figure!! :hmmm:

"To invite a person to your house is to take charge of his (her) happiness for as long as he is under your roof."

Brillat Savarin

You don't have to like everything I make, but you still have to eat it.

A Co-Worker from Work

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I was watching tonight, and realized that Cat Cora has a pretty illustrious sous chef, in the person of Elizabeth Falkner.  Isn't she the owner of Citizen Cake in San Francisco?

yes, she is the owner is citizen cake. and from the looks of it the MASTER at the whipped cream disperser ;)

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I have to say that Cat Cora is definitely growing on me as an IC. I'm really liking her dishes. I didn't know what to expect out of her when they announced she'd be the 4th IC. I only remembered her from her 'Melting Pot' days with good ol' Rocco. Her food looks really good.

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I knew it was over for Choy when the fat lady sang! She was inhailing her food as though it was an all you can eat buffet. They were too tough! Except for Queer Eye Ted, they need to find better judges. And once again, Yan can cook and used decimals once again on points. Go figure!! :hmmm:

I also take issue with the judges but only because my opinions are never in line with theirs. However, most of them are more than qualified to express their opinions on the given dishes.

There've been a couple questions raised about who exactly these people are.

Regarding the "fat lady", that's Karine Bakhoum, the head of KB network news. She runs a PR firm that used to represent Bobby Flay, David Burke and Steve Hansen's restaurants. Right now her clients include Kerry Simon (she didn't judge his battle, did she?!) and all China Grill restaurants. So while I also want to shake her for being so whiny, it's not as if she has ZERO knowledge of food.

Steingarten is in no position to judge any battles that include Batali, considering he's written in the past about his unconditional love for him and his food.

It's always good to have a Mo Rocca in the mix for the comic relief. Some of the judges just take themselves so f'ng seriously. Give me a break. It's Iron Freaking Chef; it's entertainment.

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I knew it was over for Choy when the fat lady sang! She was inhailing her food as though it was an all you can eat buffet. They were too tough! Except for Queer Eye Ted, they need to find better judges. And once again, Yan can cook and used decimals once again on points. Go figure!! :hmmm:

I also take issue with the judges but only because my opinions are never in line with theirs. However, most of them are more than qualified to express their opinions on the given dishes.

There've been a couple questions raised about who exactly these people are.

Regarding the "fat lady", that's Karine Bakhoum, the head of KB network news. She runs a PR firm that used to represent Bobby Flay, David Burke and Steve Hansen's restaurants. Right now her clients include Kerry Simon (she didn't judge his battle, did she?!) and all China Grill restaurants. So while I also want to shake her for being so whiny, it's not as if she has ZERO knowledge of food.

Steingarten is in no position to judge any battles that include Batali, considering he's written in the past about his unconditional love for him and his food.

It's always good to have a Mo Rocca in the mix for the comic relief. Some of the judges just take themselves so f'ng seriously. Give me a break. It's Iron Freaking Chef; it's entertainment.

Perhaps the ideal audience is composed of those who believe that doing public relations for a restaurant offers critical insight into food worth hearing and that judges shouldn't take themselves, and by extension their responsibility, seriously.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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