Cooking show Iron Chef has received a Netflix makeover, so let’s dive into the filming secrets which may or may not ruin the magic for you.
Iron Chef has received its third US adaption following the premiere of Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend on Netflix on June 15, 2022.
The first, titled Iron Chef USA, failed back in 2001 but Food Network revived it four years later under the name Iron Chef America. After a 13-year run, the second remake closed its kitchens but clearly fans have been begging for the return of the head-to-head cooking show.
Iron Chef America’s mighty chairman, Mark Dacascos, reprises his role, though the professionals have been replaced by a new batch of experienced cooks.
Iron Chef isn’t as unpredictable as they want you to think
The show’s premise revolves around challenger chefs competing against the Iron Chefs to prepare a dish featuring the secret ingredient revealed by The Chairman at the start of the episode. At the end of the season, the highest-scoring challenger faces all five Iron Chefs to become the first Iron Legend, winning the Golden Knife.
The secret ingredient is not so secret after all
Chef Peter Kelly, who defeated Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America, revealed that contestants are given hints about what the unusual ingredient would be since they get given a few options before filming. The chefs then provide producers with shopping lists for each possible secret ingredient, so depending on what gets purchased, the cooks find out the secret product.
The Iron Chefs every episode are silhouetted stand-ins
Part of the fun is the suspense on who the contestants choose to compete against, but the match-ups are done weeks in advance.
The dramatic podium rise of the chefs is also filmed during the first episode or before cooking. This leads us to the next secret: because the match-up has already been selected, only the chosen chef is on set, so the unrequired Iron Chefs are actually stand-ins. It would be extremely time-consuming for the celeb cooks to attend unnecessary filming when they’ve got kitchens to command!
The chairman is not the nephew of the original Japanese chairman
Don’t believe everything TV tells you because Quest For An Iron Legend’s chairman isn’t related to the Japanese OG chairman Takeshi Kaga. Actor and martial artist Mark Dacascos has carried the lie for 17 years after assuming the role in 2005.
Though he’s best known for his alter ego, he’s appeared in Hawaii Five-O as Wo Fat, and minor roles in CSI, Lucifer, and John Wick 3 among others.
The judges may be eating a dish not even prepared by the chefs
Although it’s a competition, it’s for entertainment, after all, so the crew still needs to capture the perfect shot. Presentation of dishes can be recorded up to three times to film all angles, so judging can reportedly take up to 45 minutes.
So yes, the hot food will turn cold and ice cream will melt after an extra hour. The solution? Sous chefs will remake the dish, meaning that the judges might not even consume the original creation – the sous chefs better not mess it up!