People have different reasons for watching the Food Channel.Some like a particular TV personality. Others like to find out how to cook the dishes. Still others want to know about food in general . I belong to the last category.
There was a time when I used to watch Iron Chef America religiously but that’s in the past. There are so many things I dislike about it now that I hardly ever watch it any more. Some of the things I dislike are …
The Chairman’s theatrics and stilted expressions ( facial and otherwise ) ” Tell us , Iron Chef Symon…. What was your inspiration for this battle ?” He uses the same words over and over again .
Alton Brown’s frenetic over- the- top commentary.
The judges ,most of them boring , and some of them like Jeffrey Steingarten , downright nasty .
The complicated dishes , none of which can be replicated in the home kitchen .
The judging and the verdict, which are too rushed and mysterious. I would like to know how the individual judges voted.
And the list goes on and on….
The original Iron Chef ( the Japanese version ) was hokey but it was tongue-in-cheek . It didn’t take itself too seriously. By contrast , I find the the ” American” version humorless and pretentious.
I started out not liking Bobby Flay who I thought was too full of himself when he first became a TV chef. Time seems to have mellowed him and made him positively likeable. I like the format of the throwdowns and the fact that they concentrate on a single dish , very often one that can be prepared at home . The early part of each show when Flay analyzes the dish and discusses it’s provenance before coming up with his strategy is something I find interesting. The cooking part is also easy to follow and instructive; because it’s a single dish , it goes into considerable detail . Since Flay and his competitor are cooking the same dish , it is a fairer comparison. The judges are ordinary , down to earth people without any airs. Also , because Flay often travels to different parts of the country , it adds variety to the show.
No wonder I prefer it to Iron Chef America.