Friday, November 10, 2006

The One And Only Original

So popular was the 1990s Japanese Fuji TV phenomenon that a book was made about it, and is still being sold today as a reprint done by Food Network and Berkley Publishing here in the U.S. And could we ever really forget the original flamboyance of the sequin-jacketed Chairman Takeshi Kaga, or the masterful Kitchen Stadium skills of resident chefs Hiroyuki Sakai, Chen Kenichi, Masahuru Morimoto, Masahiko Kobe, et al?

The remake of this landmark cooking showcase titled, Iron Chef America, is now just a few years into the annals of TV history here in the U.S., with the comparable mastery of chefs Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Masahuru Morimoto (the lone holdover from the original version), and female super chef Cat Cora. The old Kitchen Stadium setting has been recreated with a more 21st century facelift, and Chairman Kaga has been replaced by actor and martial artist Mark Dacascos, who, if I remember correctly, once mentioned something about being Chairman Kaga's...nephew?

In any event, for me the most interesting matchup for the new Iron Chef America to date, would have to be the one coming up this Sunday: Flay/DeLaurentiis vs. Batali/Ray

In a special Iron Chef America presentation, Food Network All Stars Rachael Ray and Giada De Laurentiis come to Kitchen Stadium to battle it out. In a special twist, the Chairman decides to pair them with Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Mario Batali in an unexpected battle.

Needless to say, this one oughtta be quite interesting, as Giada, the granddaughter of legendary film producer Dino De Laurentiis and the E.V.O.O. girl and talk show host herself, Rachael Ray, duke it out (as well as show us exactly what they've got -- under pressure) with chefs Flay and Batali.

So check your local TV listings on Sunday, and tune in to watch what happens.

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