Kitchen Stadium shows no mercy for the weak-minded fool

Some random thoughts from tonight’s first episode…
  • Grant Denyer was good as the host. Didn’t pretend to be food knowledgable, just smiled & ran the show home.  He did a great job.
  • “The Chairman” (same Chairman as US version) was passable, but needs a name to solidify his identity in Kitchen Stadium – otherwise he’s just some wacky guy practicing his karate moves in a suit for no reason.
  • The three Iron Chefs (Perry, Grossi, Brahimi) strike me as suitably good picks, although we really only saw Perry tonight.
  • *LOVE* the critics. Yoda Leo, Angry Larissa, Enthusiastic Simon. It was missing an airhead model/actress, but that may yet come.
  • It stuck me how much of it is complete theatre. I can deal with that. You can excuse so much for the fact that it is attempting to be theatre, taking itself so seriously. That’s what Iron Chef is meant to do… although it almost isn’t taking itself seriously enough.
  • Matt Stone as first challenger (from Greenhouse Restaurant in Perth) was suitably animated. The process of selection his Iron Chef to challenge was a little underwhelming. Their secret ingredient for episode 1: Coconut.
  • The judges deserve a better position than a simple table overlooking the stadium. IT’S THEATRE, PEOPLE, not an audition for Guys & Dolls! Not sure the show needs an audience, but still… theatre.
  • Camera work suitably frenetic during the cooking challenge part, although this is balanced in the Japanese version by fairly sedate commentary, & to have the animated/race caller version in Iron Chef AU was a little distracting. Not having an “in the kitchen reporter” meant the commentator had to make everything urgent – drop someone in there with frequent kitchen updates for a good contrast.
  • The tasting… The Chairman still needs a name. Just “The Chairman” isn’t enough. The delivery of dishes as alternate drops from the Iron Chef & challenger is a good contrast.
  • Win for Iron Chef Australasia Neil Perry!

I think Iron Chef AU will hit it’s stride, given it’s chance. I like it. I don’t believe you are to take Iron Chef seriously. The show is to take itself seriously (and the AU version almost doesn’t do that enough), and we’re to enjoy/appreciate with humour the intensity that seriousness brings. There is some forced intensity that didn’t need to be there (I think). Still very engaging.

Given how we’ve started, this must mean Masterchef Badenoch & girlfriend to appear in final ep of series. That better make it a spectacular challenge.


Iron Chef Australia, 7 Network, Tuesdays 7:30pm.
Image/Video source: Channel 7