Iron Chef is a Japanese television program made by FujiTV. The original Japanese title is Ryori no tetsujin (Iron men of Cookery). The program has an eccentric flavor, even for a game show. Its host is the flamboyant Takeshi Kaga, known on the show as Chairman Kaga. The English name Iron Chef comes from the show itself: Kaga would use the English term when summoning his chefs at the beginning of the battle.
Chefs from all over the world come to Kitchen Stadium to do culinary battle with one of Chairman Kaga’s “Iron Chefs.” Both the challenger and the Iron Chef have one hour to prepare a meal in which each course must prominently include the featured ingredient for that day’s show. After the meals are prepared, a panel of judges samples both meals and determines who has made the better meal. Throughout the cook-off, running commentary is made by two “sports-casters” in a booth and one floor reporter – IMDB plot summary
It began airing in 1993 as a half-hour show, and after 23 episodes was expanded to a one-hour format. Aired as a prime-time TV show, the series lasted for six years and more than 300 episodes. The final regular season episode was broadcast in September 1999, with specials continuing to 2002
In Australia episodes continue to be broadcast by SBS TV on Saturday nights at 8:30PM with American voice-overs dubbing all characters except for Chairman Kaga.The voice-overs are well-informed yet curiously pedestrian and polite and include generally insipid commentary “This is really very good” from the judges, not all of whom are food professionals.
However there are always quite funny quotes from the commentators who gives a play-by-play commentary on the dishes with strong American sportscaster type accents, eg: “He’s going for the fermented bean curd!” or “the pumpkin battle is over”
“Camp meets cuisine in cult import Iron Chef. The cooking show has taken the dry old dump-and-stir format, peppered it with some unlikely ingredients and transformed it into one of the most outrageous concoctions on TV” USA Today
“Leave it to the Japanese to transform a soul-soothing cooking show into a nail-biting spectacle” Entertainment Weekly
“A game show that makes Survivor look like Hollywood Squares” Time
“A mix between Godzilla, wrestling, and Julia Child. Yes, it’s that strange. And that entertaining” Miami Herald
“The equivalent of Pokemon for adults (and) the newest cult hit on television. New York Times”