Throwing an Iron Chef Party

The latest export from Japan is not a rabbit-quick sports car or a wristwatch with built in GPS capabilities. No, the latest phenomenom to hail from “the Land of the Rising Sun” is, of all things, a cooking show. Iron Chef, a smash sensation in Japan, has become a cult favorite in America.

Chairman Kaga The premise is that same old Hollywood cliché – a wealthy culinary school proprietor brings together the four best chefs in the country and the world lines up to see if they can bring them down. Add to this a Liberace wardrobe, $8 million in gourmet ingredients, and an old fortune teller and you have the recipe (pun intended) for success. The secret to the triumph of the Iron Chef is quite simple; it is so corny that it is cool.

The original Iron Chef was so popular that it inspired a US spin-off, Iron Chef America. The Americanized vehicle features famous Food Network chefs Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Masahiro Morimoto, and Cat Cora. The wardrobe is toned down, the judges are reputable figures in the culinary world, and Chairman Kaga’s less flamboyant nephew as its host. ESPN quality play-by-play is supplied by the humorous and knowledgeable Alton Brown (host of Food Network’s popular Good Eats series).

Americans are not just watching the Iron Chef, they are celebrating it with Iron Chef Parties. Wannabe culinars across the US are gathering together to enjoy their favorite show in clusters. In light of this new fad I have decided to list the official WannabeTVChef rules to throwing an Iron Chef Party.

    Iron Chef

  • Parties may be held weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly, but always on a night when Iron Chef is being televised.
  • All guests are to bring a gourmet delicacy featuring the party’s “theme ingredient.”
  • The host of each party chooses the theme ingredient for the next party.
  • Guests will be divided into two groups: Iron Chef fans and Challenger fans with the loosing team being responsible for post-party clean up.

Some other suggestions for livening up your Iron Chef Party might be to have guests dress as their favorite Iron Chef personalities. Have guests write and recite their own Iron Chef haikus. Remember to stock up on Saki, rice wine, and green tea and do not forget the soy sauce.

Now that we have laid down the rules it is time for you to plan your Iron Chef Party. Iron Chef and Iron Chef America are televised on the Food Network and you can check their web site for a schedule of show times.

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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