For the uninitiated, Iron Chef was a television program spawned out of Japan from 1993 to 1999. The format of the show showcased an eccentric gourmet named Chairman Kaga and his team of “Iron Chefs”. The Iron Chefs, handpicked by Chairman Kaga himself, were prominent and much respected chefs within their particular cuisines (French, Japanese, Chinese, and Italian). In each episode they were pitted against a challenger from Japan or abroad and for one hour each contender was expected to cook a multicourse meal using a theme ingredient chosen by Chairman Kaga. The battles tended to be very intense with the chefs scrambling to complete as many dishes within a one hour timeframe. Following the one hour contest, the prepared dishes were then served to a panel of tasters. These tasters comprised of Chairman Kaga with his invited guests (typically famous personalities and food critics). Upon completion of the food tasting, the tasters would then judge the food against certain criteria and then Chairman Kaga would announce the winner.
Of the 300 episodes of Iron Chef that aired in Japan, roughly 180 of those episodes were dubbed into English when the Food Network picked up the program to air in the USA. As a result of the dubbed episodes, Iron Chef has become a cult favorite among foodies in all parts of the world.
To get my regular fix of Iron Chef, I turn to the most authoritative source for Iron Chef videos on the Internet. I go to Iron Chef Collection. Iron Chef Collection is made up of a group of very generous like-minded individuals who banded together to offer free Iron Chef videos to the general public. This group of individuals actually started their video distribution in 2007 in the now defunct website called Stage6.com. Stage6.com was a website somewhat similar to YouTube where users could upload videos for sharing and common viewing. At one point last year, it was discovered that several people who registered with Stage6 shared the same passion for collecting Iron Chef episodes and so a special section was created on Stage6.com to feature Iron Chef episodes. More and more viewers started flowing into Stage6.com as a result and it was clear that this site on the Internet was set to become the defacto site for all Iron Chef fans. However, several months before Stage6.com went under, the hosts of Stage6.com suddenly deleted a big chunk of the uploaded Iron Chef episodes with no advanced warning. As such, the individuals who uploaded most of the episodes onto Stage6.com decided to boycott the website and started their own blog dedicated to their Iron Chef collections. I, for one, am grateful to them for their time and effort in continuing to make Iron Chef accessible to the masses.
You will have to register to have access to the video database in the blog but it is painless and easy so there should be no reason why you can’t enjoy what’s offered from the Iron Chef Collection. You can stream the episodes into your browser and watch them online or you can download them onto your hard disk for later viewing.