Ryori no tetsujin aka Iron Chef (SBS TV)

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

Iron Chef - the Book

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”

14 Replies to “Ryori no tetsujin aka Iron Chef (SBS TV)”

  1. Does anyone know where I can get Iron Chef DVD’s from? All I have found so far is the Iron Chef America (USA “spin off”) crap. Any suggestions?

    EDITOR: the only decent merchandise for the original Japanese Iron chef is the Official Iron Chef book

  2. Watching Iron Chef America on SBS 9/12/06 chef used something pronounced “frargwar” what is it and how is it spelled

    EDITOR: no idea, I watched part of the 1st episode a week ago and then turned it off because I wasn’t impressed by it.

  3. “Watching Iron Chef America on SBS 9/12/06 chef used something pronounced โ€œfrargwarโ€ what is it and how is it spelled”

    This might be fois gras? A type of goose or duck liver that has been overfed

    EDITOR: That must be the right answer, thanks Julia ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Note to all: the “proper” Iron Chef Japanese has returned to SBS as of 3rd February

    I can fast forward through the ads on my PVR so I’m barely tolerating them.

    Unfortunately for those of you watching Iron Chef or any other SBS TV show live it will be interrupted several times by SBS’s annoying in-program ads ๐Ÿ™

    Therefore I encourage you to flood the SBS complaints hotline with your disgust (plenty of people have already)

    Also it should be worthwhile emailing your federal member of parliament with the same complaints especially if they’re from the Liberal/National party because they appointed the SBS board and cut SBS’s funding.

    I fear SBS has shot themselves in the foot by annoying so many of their core viewers and therefore the more intrusive advertising won’t get them the expected extra $$$ anyway

  5. commenter #5

    As sbs have said it’s the same amount of annoying ads that sbs has always had it’s just not in between shows anymore so that they get more people wanting to use them. so it’s no more or less then before – it’s just that you actually have to sit through them now

    EDITOR: Yes, and by doing so I know they’ve lost a lot of loyal viewers because before as well as the ads being in one block they also only accepted certain kinds of ads. Now they accept all ads including the crass and loud ones we get on commercial TV

  6. i’m trying to get hold of some iron chef dolls , or mannequins , like a g i joe or ken doll.

    any suggestions ?

    the official store doesn’t have tem.



  7. Foie Gras can be either Goose or Duck liver. The Foie Gras is the actual liver, however not always made into a pate.

  8. Wow, they don’t even show this in Japan?

    EDITOR: that’s because the series stopped producing new episodes several years ago as I pointed out in my review

  9. I don’t know of any DVDs of the original Iron Chef, but we have started an Iron Chef video database. We have full episodes to download or watch along with other Iron Chef related videos. We used to be at Stage6, but we made our own site after they took down some episodes. We will eventually have most of the dubbed episodes that aired on Food Network in North America.


  10. Oh my gosh. I just love Iron Chef. Blows me away with what these talented chefs can do with sometimes very bizarre, & you would imagine sometimes very limited type ingredients. I have a son who is a chef and he has caught the occassional show, but of course being a chef works the same time this show airs. When he talks about perhaps trying this with abolone, or that with duck, and I think, I saw some great ideas on Iron Chef the other night, I might perhaps buy him a dvd or two for Xmas so when he has time he can actually take time and absorb. Only to find out, oh my gosh, none available. I’m a bit devistated, and may resort to taping said shows, although I’ve probably missed out on heaps, and I think it might be illegal.How disappointing.
    Hey editor, I do not know if you cook a lot, or eat out, but, I can not imagine how any one who watches this show, can not be impressed with what they turn out within an hour, better than what any of us would get at home any night of the week, even if the theme ingredient was liver. Amazed, impressed, and can’t believe nobody somewhere is trying to cash in on this show?

  11. i love iron chef,& i mean THE ORIGINAL one,not the american version,which obviously favored their own kind over the more experienced asian iron chefs (i saw one episode when an american won over hiroyuki sakai,though his dishes looked crappy & more western).like the others in this forum,i was wondering where in the world can i find dvds of this show?

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