Jump to content

Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters


  • Please log in to reply

3860 replies to this topic

#3541

Fuzubanu

Fuzubanu

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 9:58 PM

I believe the challenger does not get to select their opponent, unless the challenger has a good reason to challenge a certain person. Iron Chef Japan used to have fun episodes where groups of chefs would go against Morimoto because he was steering Japanese food away from traditional presentations and put modern spins on it, which offended them. Those were always the best.

I feel like the producers do try to match the Iron Chefs against appropriate challengers. It wouldn't surprise me if they wanted Madison on the next season of Next Iron Chef, and it'd make him look good to score an easy win against Garces going into that. I definitely put Flay/Symon/Morimoto/Zakarian about Garces/Forgione.

If Madison DID become an Iron Chef I'd really want him to have the same team working with him. You couldn't ask for a better trio.
  • 0

#3542

AloeVera

AloeVera

    Channel Surfer

Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 11:26 PM

I hate to spoil a party, but imo Madison's food lacked heavily on presentation and was way too plain for what is expected from an Iron Chef.
Garces' plates looked great, while Madison served a weird chowder in a bowl and green waffles with fried chicken and some roasted scallions on top - and the rest was just as badly presented.

I agree he's a very nice guy and I'm sure his food tasted good, but I was totally surprised to see he win.

I guess the FN is indeed trying to push him ahead - he has charisma and an interesting background story - but if the idea is to keep him for the Next Iron Chef, then they'd better ask him to lift the bar and serve much more refined and nicely presented foods.
  • 0

#3543

Streya

Streya

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 5:48 PM

I agree about the presentation, AloeVera, I thought it looked a bit generic and not as "refined" as we're used to on ICA. The Chicken and Waffles especially looked weak, and the waffle didn't appear crunchy when it came out of the waffle iron. However, I'm on the Madison train, I FLOVE the man and almost couldn't bear to watch in case he lost. I also thought it was going to be a Garces win based on the comments and literally shouted a cheer when he won.

Seeing him and Lance together and the respect and love they have for each other... my heart grew 3 sizes that day. And for Madison to get Amanda as a sous chef? He must have some good creds since Chopped.

"A black man knows how to use kale"

As a black woman I didn't mind it... it was just a little smack talk. What was odd to me was that after that statement, you would have expected him to make a pot of greens, with a ham hock or some smoked turkey. Kale isn't as fibrous as collards that need a few hours to cook; he could have made some southern-style kale with perhaps some mustard greens in under an hour.

I don't know how IC are picked for challenges. In the early days they used to show a challenger picking the chef they wanted to battle (although whether that was the case behind the scenes I don't know). Then for a few years they showed their Chairman saying, "I have decided that you will battle Iron Chef..... FLAY!" or whomever. With all the other shows and restaurants and things the celebrity chefs ae doing, I wouldn't be surprised if they just get whomever is available when they are taping.
  • 0

#3544

CPP83

CPP83

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 6:16 PM

I am not a fan of the food Garces makes so that is why, to me, I didn't mind that Madison's plates were plainer in comparison because, as the scoring proved, they won out where it should count the most, on taste. And I thought that making a kale waffle was an incredibly unique and very original concept. Like Kevin mentioned on the show, what a great way to get your kids to eat their vegetables.

I also believe Madison plated according to his style of cooking, home style, soul food. He isn't a flashy chef so I would not expect his plates to look very fancy. But I did think they looked clean, simple, and inviting.
  • 0

#3545

davout1806

davout1806

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

Considering the last three Iron Chefs chosen, I would definitely be in favor of giving Madison a chance. I know personality isn't as important as on TNFNS, but I haven't even bothered to watch the last three on the show since they were so boring in their NIC competitions.
  • 0

#3546

pez10s

pez10s

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 11:39 PM

When Madison was first on Chopped, he said something like "All my dishes remind me of women." That registered with me as smarmy and I have tended to see him as deliberately modest while being self-involved in actuality.


I still find him both smarmy and self-involved. His "cooking is like making love to a woman" schtick is beyond squick-inducing. Also, I hate the arrogance of chefs that proclaim that they "cook with love." Like, how is that supposed to be different from other chefs? Do they cook with loathing and disdain? I find that kind of self-satisfaction to be completely gross and off-putting. And the fact that, in 2012, he's still spouting cliches like "one love"...blah. If they're grooming that smug jerk for some major role on FN, I'll be hugely disappointed. I do not get the hype about that guy at all.
  • 0

#3547

AloeVera

AloeVera

    Channel Surfer

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 10:33 AM

However, I'm on the Madison train, I FLOVE the man and almost couldn't bear to watch in case he lost. I also thought it was going to be a Garces win based on the comments and literally shouted a cheer when he won.

I totally understand the sentiment. He's a nice guy with a heartbreaking story and everyone is happy when the underdog wins.
But this is IC - not just any other show, and the high standards should be kept regardless of the background story. Unfortunately, the judges were really too generous with the points they gave him for presentation and creativity, and to me it felt like they were rooting for him to win no matter what. I didn't like that at all.

I really don't see him as a candidate for an on-going IC position. At least not at this point.
I'd hate to watch IC only because of the sob stories or personality of the chefs. When I watch IC I want to see the best chefs giving the best fight with the best and newest cooking methods. Otherwise it will end up as one more reality show, and I do think there are enough of those around...

Edited by AloeVera, Apr 19, 2012 @ 10:35 AM.

  • 0

#3548

CPP83

CPP83

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 1:21 PM

The show basically let Mario go and replaced him with Michael, Garces and Forgie, all of whom are far from the "best" chefs that could be, or should be, iron chefs. Michael does the best out of three, but all three put together still haven't shown the same creativity or skill that Mario did, alone. And now Morimoto is also on the way out, from the looks of it to me anyway, and that leaves Bobby Flay as the only IC left who did not win the reality show "The Next Iron Chef".

How can the show escape being a regular reality show when four of its five, regular, chefs only got on it by besting other chefs on another reality show produced by the same channel. They were not approached and asked to become an IC, they had to go fishing in rivers with floss and a safety pin or elevate concession stand food while keeping true to its roots, or whatever dumb challenge they would be given. And I also believe, mainly due to how TNIC is run, and judged, that it could easily be argued that those who won their seasons of TNIC were not the best chefs there either.
  • 0

#3549

pez10s

pez10s

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 3:59 PM

I really don't see him as a candidate for an on-going IC position. At least not at this point.
I'd hate to watch IC only because of the sob stories or personality of the chefs.


The last thing ICA needs is another Iron Chef. They've barely had time to get Zakarian into the mix - and as much as some of Zakarian's quirks on Chopped irritate me, I think he's twice the chef that Madison is - and I've only seen about 3 Forgione battles. Like them or not, they "earned" their way onto the Pantheon by the rules and standards set by the Food Network. To then turn around and award Madison a spot simply because he beat one IC in battle and he has a compelling sob story (which, interestingly enough, is usually the knock against Chopped competitors) is absurd. Also, let's not forget that the chef he beat was Garces, and not by a particularly wide margin. He's not the first - nor will he be the last - to beat Garces, so it's hardly a distinction that makes him worthy of joining the ranks of Zakarian, Symon, Flay and Morimoto.

If they want to include Madison in the next season of TNIC, so be it. I'll refrain from watching until he suffers the same fate as Ming Tsai, Marcus Samuelsson and any other arrogant chef who thinks he deserves to win.

Edited by pez10s, Apr 19, 2012 @ 4:02 PM.

  • 0

#3550

AloeVera

AloeVera

    Channel Surfer

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 4:28 PM

They were not approached and asked to become an IC,


While I agree the level of IC has deteriorated a bit since they started recruiting the chefs via TNIC reality-show, I also remember that all of the competitors have impressing resumes and they are all accomplished and experienced chefs. To the best of my knowledge Madison is still very far from that level.

If they want to include Madison in the next season of TNIC, so be it.


I totally agree - maybe if we'll see some proof that he has more to offer then he has shown so far, it would make some sense to think about him as an IC hopeful. So far, nothing in his cooking or food indicates he has this potential.
  • 0

#3551

CPP83

CPP83

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 5:07 PM

To me, if someone can best an Iron Chef, even if it is Garces, that makes them a pretty great chef in my book, period, because they're not just battling another chef, they also have three, separate, judges to impress. I don't see how or when Madison's sob story had anything to do with his win since he won solely on taste, unless somehow he swayed the judges with all the "love" he puts into his food.

Regardless, I am going to agree to disagree about his status as a chef, and person, since I've never tasted his food or know him personally. What I do know is he has won plenty of cooking competitions against some pretty good chefs, some of whom could easily be comparable against those who have been on TNIC, such as Garces or Forgie since they both don't actually have the greatest of resumes themselves. They are good chefs, but then again you can find them everywhere.

For me, Garces is an unworthy and untalented Iron Chef, and going off of his battles both on TNIC and ICA I would gladly swap him out for Madison if I could, who has shown more talent in his wins overall. And any chef who wins on taste is always going to rank higher, in my opinion, than one who uses meat glue and can decorate a plate, which isn't exactly a difficult cooking technique to begin with and Sandra Lee makes her living on pretty plates.

Most chefs are generally, as a rule, arrogant when it comes to their abilities as chefs and their desires to win. They believe in themselves and when you have a world renown Michelin star to back up your credentials too, to me, you should be given the highest honor on principal. Marcus and Ming both have been lauded as two of the best chefs in America, that alone makes them worthy of being Iron Chefs, and I would have more respect for the show if they'd won their respective seasons to be honest. In fact, they should have been "asked" and never made to even compete.

I don't care who a chef is on any personal level, I care about how good he seems to be in the kitchen, and how many people he's beaten in battle, that should be the first requirement for an Iron Chef. It was for the original show and I wish ICA had stuck to the same ideals. Maybe then it would seem less like Survivor for chefs.

Edited by CPP83, Apr 19, 2012 @ 5:09 PM.

  • 0

#3552

pez10s

pez10s

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 6:21 PM

Marcus and Ming both have been lauded as two of the best chefs in America, that alone makes them worthy of being Iron Chefs,


And yet, they lost out to Zakarian and Forgione, respectively - who were also rated by at least 3 separate judges over the course of several challenges.

I don't think that the fact that he (Madison) won the approval of 3 judges is, in and of itself, proof of anything. I think the judging was a little soft:

Streya said: it looked a bit generic and not as "refined" as we're used to on ICA. The Chicken and Waffles especially looked weak, and the waffle didn't appear crunchy when it came out of the waffle iron.


AloeVera said: Madison's food lacked heavily on presentation and was way too plain for what is expected from an Iron Chef.
and
Unfortunately, the judges were really too generous with the points they gave him for presentation and creativity, and to me it felt like they were rooting for him to win no matter what. I didn't like that at all.


I agree with this, especially the fact that it appeared he could've served them day old dog food on top of a wilted piece of kale and the judges would've raved about him.

I have yet to see anything at all about this guy that makes me think he's any more talented a chef or any more humble / gracious / wonderful a person than any number of men and women who have competed either on Chopped or on TNIC. Quite the contrary - I've been much more impressed with almost all of the non-winning chefs from TNIC than I am with Madison's skills, and his "cooking with love because I make love to my food because food is like a woman because women are objects that I know how to manipulate" shtick gives me the willies.

Edited by pez10s, Apr 19, 2012 @ 6:57 PM.

  • 0

#3553

mlp

mlp

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 11:56 PM

I still find him both smarmy and self-involved. His "cooking is like making love to a woman" schtick is beyond squick-inducing. Also, I hate the arrogance of chefs that proclaim that they "cook with love."


I agree with your posts, pez10, pretty much word for word. At one time, I worked in the field of alcohol rehab and Madison reminds me of a personality type often seen in treatment, the charming, smooth-talking con man. I see his appeal but I don't really trust that he is who he appears to be. I could, of course, be dead wrong.
  • 0

#3554

kittykat

kittykat

    Fanatic

Posted May 23, 2012 @ 4:26 PM

Bump da bump. New episode this week. As part of the whole Grilling Week plug, there will a Grilling themed super battle. Morimoto vs. Forgione

This seems fairly evenly matched. I know that seems sacrilegious considering Forgione is so new but grilling isn't Morimoto's forte and when he steps out of his comfort zone (ie the Tailgate battle against Symon) he tends to stumble more but we'll see.
  • 0

#3555

Fukui San

Fukui San

    Fanatic

Posted May 23, 2012 @ 4:56 PM

Hmph. I hate that they resort to so many Iron Chef vs. Iron Chef episodes when they could invite back so many great challengers for these special theme episodes.

The Japanese have their own special methods of grilling. Very controlled and particular, called Yakitori. Who knows whether it'll resonate with the judges? I know I wouldn't recommend serving Bakhoun simply grilled gizzards and chicken hearts.

A Yakatori place has been in the construction place a few blocks from my house since last fall, and I've been dying of anticipation for it to open up already.
  • 0

#3556

xaxat

xaxat

    Fanatic

Posted May 26, 2012 @ 4:34 PM

Mario Batali explains why he left Iron Chef.

(spoiler) He didn't like the increase in celebrity judges.
  • 0

#3557

ninjawirehead

ninjawirehead

    Couch Potato

Posted May 27, 2012 @ 11:35 PM

Whoa xaxat! Batali wasn't shy about his reasons huh? Am I a bad person for agreeing with him?
  • 0

#3558

AloeVera

AloeVera

    Channel Surfer

Posted May 27, 2012 @ 11:47 PM

Whoa xaxat! Batali wasn't shy about his reasons huh? Am I a bad person for agreeing with him?

Not at all.

And after watching tonight's episode, it occurred to me that these days, with all the "Next Iron Chef" competition nonsense - an amazing IC like Morimoto wouldn't even stand a chance...
  • 1

#3559

lillybee

lillybee

    Fanatic

Posted May 28, 2012 @ 12:15 AM

Ninja, I so agree with you especially when they use people like Jill Zarin as a judge.
  • 2

#3560

Qui

Qui

    Couch Potato

Posted May 28, 2012 @ 12:23 AM

Whoa xaxat! Batali wasn't shy about his reasons huh? Am I a bad person for agreeing with him?


Not one bit.

The "celebrity" judges have gotten ridiculous and the Real Housewives lady who appeared to dislike every food ever, made for an utterly wretched show.

Cady Huffman is the perfect kind of celebrity judge. She's always up to eating anything, and she offers good criticism.

But aside from her, if I had to constantly put up with people like the Housewife lady, I would be beyond insulted.

Edited by Qui, May 28, 2012 @ 1:02 AM.

  • 1

#3561

ninjawirehead

ninjawirehead

    Couch Potato

Posted May 28, 2012 @ 12:33 AM

I saw the ep with the "Real Housewife" (and yes, I used quotes because I think those terms are not an apt description of Jill Zarin). And yes, if I was in any of those chefs' shoes and someone like that was judge? I would not be insulted, I would be BEYOND insulted. I am sure there are more than enough competent judges in the food industry who should be judges on Iron Chef America.
  • 0

#3562

aquarian1

aquarian1

    Stalker

Posted May 28, 2012 @ 7:37 AM

I watched last night's battle. I had never heard of that kind of pig before, but I sure would love to taste it. In fact, I would have loved to taste every dish that both chefs made. Yum! And Morimoto won (whoo-hoo), but only by a couple of points.
  • 0

#3563

wallybear

wallybear

    Fanatic

Posted May 28, 2012 @ 5:21 PM

I watched last night's battle. I had never heard of that kind of pig before, but I sure would love to taste it.

Oh me too; I was salivating at every dish. I really thought Forgione was going to win, but at least it was really close.

Mario Batali explains why he left Iron Chef.

No wonder Bourdain worships him. He speaks the truth. I miss him on the show.
  • 0

#3564

Streya

Streya

    Couch Potato

Posted May 31, 2012 @ 6:32 PM

I liked Chef Madision on his Chopped episodes, but no way in hell is he ready for nor should he be an Iron Chef.

Regarding Mario, I'm torn.... I totally agree there are too many celebrity judges and people who don't know what the hell they're talking about on the judging panel. Totally agree. And I know you have to have a certain ego as a chef, and he's clearly got a big one. But really? Only a particular sub-set of people that YOU think are qualified are worthy taste your food? Some celebs have surprised me with their food knowledge and have been astute judges (Cady Huffman is old school but I love her; Lou Diamond Phillips totally surprised me; and rapper Bonecrusher (who, shockingly, had amazing rapport with Jeffrey Steingarten) rocked, IMO), while some are clearly there for the free food or to make jokes (or both, Mo Rocca). It's a crap shoot, I guess.

The latest rash of celeb judges have sucked. Not everyone is cut out to be a judge, and I absolutely wish TPTB were more discerning in their selections.
  • 0

#3565

Fukui San

Fukui San

    Fanatic

Posted May 31, 2012 @ 8:31 PM

The thing I disagree about in Batali's rant is that it's somehow new or worse now than before. Iron Chef America has never had good judging, from the beginning. The Battle of the Masters featured Morimoto serving sushi to the actor who played Big Pussy on the Sopranos who said "Raw fish isn't my thing". My minimum requirement for a judge is that he or she must be open minded when it comes to the food. That's why I'd often rather have rank amateurs rather than a proven stick in the mud like Jeffery Steingarten.

I don't often have nice things to say about Karine Bakhoun and her judging on this show, but she at least seems game to try whatever.
  • 0

#3566

Kali12

Kali12

    Fanatic

Posted Jun 1, 2012 @ 12:07 PM

I was always surprised how little insight a professional food critic like Steingarten actually brought to the judging. He brought plenty of 'tude, but said little of any interest about the food. As he explained to Ted Allen, "All you need to say to convey that it's good is 'It's absolutely delicious'".

There are two tiers of judging, and I doubt they ever had judges like Jill Zarin (the worst one ever, imo) tasting Mario's food, although I could be wrong. Certainly, he'd never get a whole panel like that (like Symon and Garces and Cora do--with reason, I think).

I wonder if Batali left, really, because he's got a lot going on (including many restaurants and "The Chew"), and ICA has been diluted by less prestigious kinds of competitions.

Maybe I'm overly cynical (and I -do- like him), but I think he probably just wasn't getting the benefit of the association and was bored by ICA now. Ripping on the low quality of judging just "gussies his leaving up a bit" intellectually, in a way that would appeal to his anti=FN ("it's dumbing down!") buddies like Bourdain.
  • 0

#3567

Cgr

Cgr

    Fanatic

Posted Jun 1, 2012 @ 12:23 PM

Thanks for the link to Batalli. I like him, especially since the PBS series he did on Spain.
Interestingly we watch him competing with a pre-Top Chef Blaise. I enjoyed that.
I too don't much care for the third or fourth rate celebrity judges. Many who I have never heard of.
  • 0

#3568

Neeney

Neeney

    Fanatic

Posted Jun 2, 2012 @ 4:06 PM

I have a question.

Since I've only seen the last season of TNIC, I know they selected the last few Iron Chefs that way. However, before then, how were the Iron Chefs chosen? What were the criteria for becoming an Iron Chef? Does anybody know?

I enjoy Morimoto best of them all. Not sure why, but it's just fun to watch him cook.
  • 0

#3569

chessiegal

chessiegal

    Fanatic

Posted Jun 2, 2012 @ 5:18 PM

I believe the original Iron Chefs, Batali, Cora, Flay, and Morimoto were people who agreed to be on the show. Flay and Morimoto have connections to Iron Chef Japan (when Flay won there, he insulted an entire culture by jumping up on a table). I think the other are just folks that agreed to do it. I read that Wolfgang Puck was approached and declined, and I think Emeril also declined.

Edited by chessiegal, Jun 2, 2012 @ 5:18 PM.

  • 0

#3570

SophiaD

SophiaD

    Couch Potato

Posted Jun 3, 2012 @ 12:08 AM

I'm watching the Military Grill Battle right now. I think Morimoto has a huge advantage here.

Glad they put the huge Navy guy with Cat Cora. Those things are big!
  • 0