Iron Chef USA
January 25, 2002

RANT #96: Arts & Entertainment
Summary: This show pisses me off a whole lot, and I've only ever seen it once.
Full Text:

Iron Chef USA, hosted by William Shatner bothers me.  At first I was aghast at the fact that they put this (proudly Canadian) boob in charge but after a couple of seconds it dawned on me that he fit in perfectly with the melodrama and campiness of the series.  Let's not forget that he got his big break on a series rich in melodrama and camp.

Ok, so Billy Shatner's ok for the role, we've established that through the rigorous mental exercise of remembering a show we've all seen a billion times.  But what's this?  Something's gone horribly wrong!  To appeal to an american (read: stupid) audience they've combined Iron Chef Japan adn Iron Chef Chinese into one called Iron Chef Asian.  Now they've got an empty spot, let's fill it with Iron Chef USA.  What's that? he won't fit? Odd that.

See, the problem with having Iron Chef Asian is that there are *2 billion* people there! And they populate nearly *fifty* different countries, each with it's own history, culture, agriculture and most importantly cuisine! Certainly there are similarities among the asian countries but many are just as similar as Italy and France, both of which get their own representation on the show.  There is no way Iron Chef Asian can be versed in the cuisine of the entire continent, it's just not possible.  They may aswell combine France and Italy into Iron Chef Euro or better yet combine the rest of the world so that it's simply Iron Chef USA vs. Iron Chef Rest-of-the-world!

Iron Chef USA, Todd English, pisses me off.  He has a mediterranean background and he studied classical french cooking at the Culinary Institute of America so obviously he's a good choice to showcase the diverse cooking of France and the Mediterranean, not the USA.  I'm also told he makes an excellent baked SPAM with melted Cheese-Whiz sauce.  This guy was also voted one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people last year so obviously he's a good cook.  You have to be ugly to be a cook, I should know.

To be fair the US does have some interesting and distinctive cooking, the most interesting I can think of being Creole and Cajun of New Orleans fame.  The main thing the US lacks in the culinary department is history, the rest of the world has been cooking a whole lot longer than it's paltry 300 years experience, especially when you consider that much of the country didn't start taking food seriously until 25 years ago.

In conclusion Iron Chef USA has it all wrong, they're just perpetuating the idea that many americans have that "Africa" and "Asia" are countries.  Wake up people, they're NOT!  Also I'd like to say that I'm not anti-american, loads of americans are great people and many are even more intelligent that I.  Some are dumb and ignorant but the same goes for Canadians and the rest of the world.

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