5 items from 2010
Iron Chef, a martial arts cookery show with backflips, is utterly baffling. And great fun
Hello, what's this? Another cooking show? To be force-fed into TV schedules already bursting with them. Someone obviously thinks that food is the answer. To everything.
Iron Chef originated in Japan in the early 1990s. The format was more recently picked up in the Us, where it's become a big hit. Now we're getting our own: Iron Chef UK (Channel 4). "Let the battle begin!" That's what the esteemed Chairman says. He's this Asian dude in a shiny purple shirt, some kind of martial arts master who can backflip himself across a room. It's obviously an important skill to have, in a kitchen. Except he's not in a kitchen, he's in Kitchen Stadium, an arena of epicurean theatre. Actually, it doesn't look like a kitchen or a stadium; more like the control deck of a spaceship, »
- Sam Wollaston
Channel 4's biggest recent success has been the introduction of the Irony Slot on weekday afternoons. For the uninitiated, it's an experimental little cubbyhole designed to see what sort of nonsense viewers will put up with if it's covered in a knowing veneer. Come Dine With Me (idiots sit in a stranger's house while a sarcastic narrator chides them) and Coach Trip (idiots sit in a stranger's coach while a sarcastic narrator chides them) are both products of the Irony Slot, and just look how well they've done.
The inevitable end-point for the Irony Slot will obviously be a show where David Hasselhoff dresses in some rainbow-coloured Speedos, belts out Chesney Hawkes's The One And Only and strokes a tiger cub that's got a unicorn horn glued to its forehead. But until that »
- Stuart Heritage
Step aside, Masterchef – TV cookery doesn't get any tougher than this
Even from 10m away, listening to him over headphones, one can sense celebrity chef Nick Nairn's incredulity. It's Battle Prawn in Iron Chef UK, and one of the contestants has disappointed the commentator with her choice of dish: sesame prawn toast. "She's up against Tom Aikens," Nairn sighs, "and Lisa's doing Number 42." When I get to sample all the dishes prepared during the course of the competition it's hard to argue with Nairn. It's very good prawn toast, miles sweeter and crunchier than you get from your local takeaway, light and not suffused with fat, but it's still prawn toast. And you're not going to win a cook-off against the youngest British chef to win two Michelin stars with prawn toast.
Iron Chef was first broadcast in Japan in 1993, with top-notch chefs invited in each week by a »
- Michael Hann
TV presenter Olly Smith has claimed that Iron Chef UK is like "Gladiators meets The X Factor". The show, which will include Tom Aikens, Martin Blunos, Sanjay Dwivedi and Judy Joo as the Iron Chefs, has been a cult success in the Us and Japan. Based in Kitchen Stadium, it features competitors battling Iron Chefs in cook-off challenges, which are set up by a mysterious figure called the Chairman. "It's Gladiators and The X Factor meets your favourite cooking show," host Smith told Metro. "The pressure is genuine. You've got a live 75-minute (more) »
- By Alex Fletcher
Channel 4 has confirmed the details of the UK version of cult cookery show Iron Chef. The programme, which originated in Japan, airs on the Food Network in the Us. Jamie Oliver famously appeared as a competitor on the American series. The UK version will be hosted by Saturday Kitchen wine expert Olly Smith, with Ready Steady Cook star and Michelin chef Nick Nairns as his co-commentator. Tom Aikens, Martin Blunos, Sanjay Dwivedi and Judy Joo have been unveiled as the four Iron Chefs. Aikens became the youngest ever chef to earn two Michelin stars at 26, while Blunos is the founder of the famous Restaurant Lettonie. Delhi-born Dwivedi has toured with (more) »
- By Alex Fletcher
5 items from 2010
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