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Iron Chef Episode 1-Who should have won?

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I'm with ExtraMSG and Mags here.  While I thought Sakai's plating was marginally better, I was much more compelled by what Flay cooked.  I watched the episode already knowing the outcome and when I saw the trout ice cream I said to my wife "that's how he lost it, the ice cream."  It may have been original but it didn't look very appetizing.

=R=

it is kinda funny, cause he told me that the Trout Ice Cream is something he plans on adding at his place in Japan!

...and it'll probably play there. I'm just a rube out here in flyover country :biggrin:

=R=

I asked that question to Yuki from Fuji today at the shoot....She said that she would enjoy the Trout Ice Cream...So I think its a palate thing..east vs west.

mmmm, might also be a love-of-the-ingenious thing. I remember covering a fashion show in HK a few years ago, and several of the designers were showing what I thought of as Clothes That Do Tricks -- it's a skirt, but if you button this here and undo this zipper, it's a backpack! And if you hook that strap there and turn the pocket inside out, it's a pair of shorts! Etc.

I tried very hard to think of a context in which these clothes would be desirable, and the only thing I could come up with was a camping trip on which one felt the need to wear designer outfits. With the Trick clothes, you could pack light -- in fact, your backpack COULD BE AN OUTFIT -- but still be chic on every occasion.

However, I was a total neophyte (read: fraud) in the world of fashion journalism, and some of my better-informed colleagues clued me in: The Trick Clothes, they said, were primarily designed for the Japanese market, which has a passion for things clever and/or transformative. You remember those kids' toys, the robots that turn into buildings, the fighter-planes that turn into...ummm, buildings, I guess? I'm told they are huge in Japan. So the dish that's a fish and also a dessert might have real conceptual appeal.

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I scoffed when they didn't go ahead and show Flay chop the head off the fish... come on...! Where do Americans think their food comes from? God forbid we see that someone has to kill the animal.

I thought one of the evening's best lines came from that ugly decapitation. Flay started hacking, just as Alton was commenting on how happy the trout looked in the tank and then said "Unfortunately, happy is no longer an issue for that fish..."

I 'bout spit out my vino... :laugh:

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Both votes for our household go to Sakai.

I'm a fan of SW food, but Every Course was fish, corn and peppers. Heck, we do all that stuff at home. (Although I liked the yellow pepper-miso sauce.) While there were some interesting variations, they weren't really DIFFERENT.

I felt Sakai's dishes were far more innovative, each course was unique from the others, and were truer to the ingredient. Trout-true?

We felt the whole evening was bogus. Let's get some real judges up there! (And that one guy was just rude. He shovels his food in with raised elbows, yet talks like a gastronome? Learn some table art, dude!)


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Mary Baker

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I thought Sakai had that one won, certainly his presentation and originality topped Flay's creations. I mean, c'mon, a fish taco? How is that original?

I will grant the possibility that the trout ice cream grossed the tasters out..... :laugh:

Comments? Am I off base here?

I agree with this to a degree. The judges were actually open to the idea- with one of them saying they were very curious about it, and another saying he would gladly try it. They seemed open-minded enough- I don't think the pre-conceived notion of trout ice cream disturbed them, nor do I think there is anything inherently disgusting about it.

I do however I suspect it was not tasty. Maybe it's just not a delicious concept. Original yes, delicious no. This is why you can get 5 points for originality and not have it effect your 10 (more important) points for taste... He should get the 5 for originality, and I suspect 0, or maybe -5, for taste :unsure: (but I'd like to try it just to know for sure as I usually love all things fish!)

Overall, I think the American judges seriously skewed the answers. How could all three of the American Iron Chefs win?


“Seeing is deceiving. It's eating that's believing.”

James Thurber (1894-1961), American writer and cartoonist.

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Overall, I think the American judges seriously skewed the answers.  How could all three of the American Iron Chefs win?

Perhaps a sign of the Apocalypse?? :unsure:


Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Dear M,

I really thought that I was clearly and simply comparing the approach to music of Wagner and Scarlati, and my own personal response to these two particular musicians, to the approach of Flay and Sakai to food preparation. For is not cuisine as well as music a matter of creating harmony? Is not cooking a matter of composing melodies for the palate? Are not dissonant or contrasting notes carefully placed by both musicians and chefs? Wagner's specific proficiency as a cook was not the point, nor was it questioned. Why, I could have used painters or other artists to illustrate my thoughts about the differences in techniques and visions of both chefs...

I apologize a priori if my response is a bit off topic.


tu autem servasti bonum vinum usque adhuc

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And damn, where's anyone find Golden Trout like that? It is a melanistic sport, isn't it?

You can find that trout in many streams in northern West Virginia, especially in the area of Morgantown.

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Overall, I think the American judges seriously skewed the answers.  How could all three of the American Iron Chefs win?

Perhaps a sign of the Apocalypse?? :unsure:

How did the ICJs have 90% winning percentiles? There's always an edge for the home team. I didn't like that when I first watched ICJ, but I learned to like it. It meant that when a challenger beat the Iron Chef you knew he earned it. The Americans have an advantage from the beginning because they're cooking for other Americans.

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... I think the issue w/ the shark fin is not so much that it's un-PC as it's just a little too exotic for the Americanized palate. 

I don't know if this has been addressed elsewhere in the thread -- and I apologize if it has -- but shark fin is not "PC" because of the way the sharks are often treated when caught. They are hauled up to the side of the boat to have their dorsal fins cut away while still alive, then released to die an agonizing death. The fins are the only part harvested and, being a delicacy, the practice has had a real impact on certain shark populations.


"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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Overall, I think the American judges seriously skewed the answers.  How could all three of the American Iron Chefs win?

Perhaps a sign of the Apocalypse?? :unsure:

How did the ICJs have 90% winning percentiles? There's always an edge for the home team. I didn't like that when I first watched ICJ, but I learned to like it. It meant that when a challenger beat the Iron Chef you knew he earned it. The Americans have an advantage from the beginning because they're cooking for other Americans.

Interesting perspective... I guess I can respect that. It's just that one of the judges said he couldn't handle even eating raw fish (!)... Then again, I remember that the judges weren't food experts on the original show either (actors, TV personalities, etc), so I do see your point.


“Seeing is deceiving. It's eating that's believing.”

James Thurber (1894-1961), American writer and cartoonist.

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Please, I could care less about Bobby Flay's win against Sakai in the Trout Battle. I'm guessing that his kitchen messups didn't interfere with his cooking. You remember in the beginning of the battle when a trout got away and was on the floor? The next second, it landed on one of Flay's cutting boards. It also knocked over the entire cup of salt. (Wait...or was it Flay who knocked it over?)

Then you get Flay with a skillet-type pan filled with something (that I don't remember). He figures that it's a little too much to have and he attempts to dump some of the liquid out of it. Seeing the above incident, Flay almost dumps the whole dish down the drain! Great, he's at it again...

Meanwhile, Sakai's about to forget a dish with about twelve minutes to go in the battle. He had four perfectly designed dishes at that point. But does Iron Chef America let chefs have less than five dishes? No. They make the chefs have five dishes...no less. (I'm figuring if he didn't have that fifth dish, he would have won. But that's my opinion.)

I would have gone with the sweet trout ice cream over anything that Flay made any day of the week (and I could have another round of those dishes on Sunday as well). That's why I put my money on Sakai to win this battle. But with a score of 55-51, the winner was Bobby Flay.

For this battle, I'm glad they had two professional food people (Kerry Simon and Victoria Von Biel), but I wasn't thrilled to see an actor like Brian Unger. Come on, is this turning into the Japanese version of the show? But for the scoring, I couldn't get my mind off of the fact that the Presentation and Originality categories were so close.

That's why my rating out of five stars is **


Edited by bsan (log)

I think silver suits me so...

...but red is also for me!

Iron Chef Morimoto all the way!

From me, a fan of Iron Chef.

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