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> Description 
Iron Chef is a Japanese television program made by FujiTV. The original Japanese title is Ryori no tetsujin (, Iron men of cookery). It began airing in 1993 as a half-hour show, and was soon 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.

The program has an eccentric flavor, even for a game show. Its host is the flamboyant Takeshi Kaga (¹Rʷ), known on the show as Chairman Kaga () Its extravagant production values contrast with well-informed yet curiously pedestrian voice-over narration and polite but generally insipid commentary ("This is really very good") from the judges, not all of whom are food professionals.

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.

The story behind Iron Chef was that an eccentric gourmet authority (Chairman Kaga) had specially constructed a cooking arena called "Kitchen Stadium" in his castle where visiting chefs would compete against his Gourmet Academy, led by his three (later four) Iron Chefs.

On each show, a challenger, typically a famous chef from Japan or elsewhere, is pitted against one of the Iron Chefs (with each Iron Chef specializing in a different kind of cuisine - Japanese, Chinese, French, and later Italian). Originally, qualifying matches are held between challengers for the right to face an Iron Chef, but it was later omitted. It is interesting to note that although chefs appear to have the freedom to choose which Iron Chef he or she would face, the matchups are predetermined well beforehand.

In each episode, chefs have one hour to cook a multicourse meal with one theme ingredient that must be present in each dish. The chefs are given a short list of possible themes beforehand, allowing the producers of the show to get any necessary ingredients that may be needed. The chefs compete to "best express the unique qualities of the theme ingredient." Featured ingredients tend toward the exotic and expensive. Many theme ingredients reflect the Japanese nature of the show -- River Eel, tofu, udon -- though ingredients more familiar in the West C bell peppers, summer corn, peaches C are spotlighted as well. There are no specific requirements to the number of dishes that may be made - some challengers have finished only a single dish, and some challengers have finished as many as eight (although four dishes is the typical amount).

Each chef is also given two assistants, who are supposedly students of the Gourmet Academy. (In reality, they are students of the Hattori Nutrition College). In some cases, the challenger may not speak Japanese, in which case the chef is given students that can speak fluently in the challenger's native language.

Throughout the cook-off, running commentary is made by two "sports-casters" in a booth and one floor reporter.

At the end of one hour, a panel of three (later expanded to four, and later five) judges, of which typically one is a professional critic, tastes the dishes and judges them based on taste, presentation, and originality. Each chef may be awarded up to 20 points from each judge, with ten given for taste and five each for presentation and originality. The chef with the plurality of judges in support (not necessarily the chef with the greatest score) wins the competition. As ties were possible in the era of the four-judge panel, the chef with the greater amount of points won should the judges be deadlocked 2C2. Should the scores remain tied, the chefs would immediately begin a new 30-minute overtime battle with a different ingredient. There, chefs must make do with what remains of their pantry or items that were previously prepared for the main battle but later discarded. The overtime aired as a separate episode. On one occasion, the overtime battle itself resulted in a tie, prompting Chairman Kaga to declare both Iron Chef and challenger winners.

About $8,000,000 was spent on the ingredients for the show.

Show Description Credit:
> Airing History & Information 
Premiere August, 1993
Network Food Network
Format/Time Color / 60 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
> Cast 
Yukio Hattori....   Announcer
Kenji Fukui....   Announcer
Takeshi Kaga....   Chairman Kaga
Chen Kenichi....   Iron Chef Chinese
Hiroyuki Sakai....   Iron Chef French
Yutake Ishinabe....   Iron Chef French (Retired)
Masahiko Kobe....   Iron Chef Italian
Masaharu Morimoto....   Iron Chef Japanese
Rokusabaro Michiba....   Iron Chef Japanese (Retired)
Koumei Nakamura....   Iron Chef Japanese (Retired)
Miwako Fujitani....   Judge (1995-1996)
Keiko Saito....   Judge ((1996 -)
Hiromi Nagasaku....   Judge (1996-1999)
Juan Fava....   Judge (1996-1997)
Mayuko Takada....   Judge (1994-1995)
Shinichir ta....   Kitchen Reporter

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> News (News Archive) (Post a News Story)
Iron Chef ingredients arent so secret
(Posted September 2, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

Plenty of questions this week, on shows ranging from "Iron Chef" to "American Idol" to shows that may never hit the air.

Q: Regarding "Iro ... [More Information]

Source: MSNBC News

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