Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's On Amazon: Iron Chef: The Official Book

In the already diverse world of food shows, Iron Chef's place is a distinctive one.  Back when Food Network was still a fledgling television channel without its current stable of celebrity chefs/cooks, it was this strange import from Japan that drew in audiences with its gladiator-like duels between culinary professionals.  Its popularity in the U.S. spawned the short-lived Iron Chef USA and the currently airing Iron Chef America, but to me no subsequent iteration has successful captured the unique entertainment value of the original Ryouri no Tetsujin.  It is one of the greatest disappointments in my life as a consumer that (as far as I know) this series has never been collected into DVD sets in either Japan or the United States.

Those who share my consternation (or just wonder where such a left-field TV show concept, even by Japanese TV standards, came from) might be interested in Iron Chef: The Official Book, which was released several years ago and is currently available as a bargain book on Amazon.

The book offers insight into the making of the Iron Chef series, with insights from the titular Iron Chefs, announcers, and production crew.  Among the enduring questions answered by the book: why, if every other voice was dubbed for U.S. audiences, was the Chairman (the inimitable Takeshi Kaga) subtitled?  If that mystery has been niggling at you for years, you'll find the answer here.

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