Mark Dacascos, acting as the nephew of Takeshi Kaga, the Chairman of the Gourmet Academy in the Japanese "Iron Chef", establishes a Gourmet Academy in America.
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2009   2004   Unknown  

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 Himself - Judge (4 episodes, 2004)
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Chairman Kaga has deemed America worthy of having its own Kitchen Stadium. He has sent his nephew to head the American stadium. In these four battles, three new American Iron Chefs take on two of the original Iron Chefs, including a tag-team battle with a special twist! Written by Greg Gilbert

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Reality-TV

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23 April 2004 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Commentator 'Alton Brown' had to be rushed from the set because of a heart arrhythmia experienced from fatigue. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dancing with the Stars: Round Three (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Definitely worth watching - needs just a little tweaking...
10 July 2004 | by (Edmonton, Canada) – See all my reviews

I really loved the original Iron Chef. It came as quite a shock and a disappointment for me to discover that it had stopped airing in 1999. The show really wrapped up very well and ended on an incredible high note. (Seems that someone there knew when to quit while they were ahead, unlike many American shows that go way past best their "best before" dates).

Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters is a very good attempt to capture the spirit, aura and just plain good watching that the original Iron Chef had. Watching these cooks put together mouth-watering dishes that look so sumptuous that one can *almost* smell them from the t.v., many of which are totally original AND do it all in an hour is truly amazing.

Special mention must be given to Alton Brown. He is very knowledgeable, lending all sorts of interesting information, facts and trivia to his very entertaining commentary. In short, he is PERFECT for this show.

However, there are a few differences from the original that I do miss. I do miss having a panel of commentators (i.e. original Iron Chef) which I think could be a good foil or sounding board for Alton Brown, but that's okay because he really is THAT good. I also miss the introductions given to the chefs, which briefly outline their culinary experience before each battle. It really adds to the atmosphere (like introducing boxers before a match) and attests to the experience of each chef.

I also found that the new chefs, in some cases, depended too much on their assistants. Some of their assistants are very accomplished chefs in their own right, and in some cases, it looked like the assistants cooked ENTIRE dishes on their own! That seems to me to be a little unfair since it's suppose to the Iron Chef who is suppose to be making the dishes and doing all the neat things. They also modified the rules, requiring the chefs to make exactly five dishes. I think this modification is unnecessary and takes away from the chefs flexibility. I mean, what if he/she wants to create just 3 REALLY good dishes instead of 5 mediocre ones? It should be the best the chefs can do with 1 hour, whether that is 1 dish or 10 dishes - at least, in my opinion.

Finally, perhaps it is just my opinion, but I found the judging to be a little unfair. Perhaps unfair is too strong a word - unknowingly biased?. I just felt that many of the judges were unfamiliar with more exotic or unfamiliar foods, and hence marked them more harshly. Basically, there were higher scores for more typical American style dishes. I realize it's hard to judge "taste" objectively. I'd probably find "Americanized" dishes tastier just because it's what I'm use to. Thus when judging "taste", its only inevitable that one would score familiar dishes better. The only way I could think of to fix this is to get better judges - judges with more eclectic tastes.

In summary, an excellent, excellent start. A jewel in 21st century television and fresh comeback of an old idea. Like any new show, it needs a little tweaking. However, I am anxiously awaiting new episodes.


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