The BEST Episodes of Iron Chef
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Network: Food Network
Iron Chef is an innovative cooking competition from Japan. Originally produced by Fuji TV, Iron Chef combined the excitement of a one on one sports competition with gourmet cooking. The title Iron Chefcomes from the original Japanese title, Ironmen of Cooking. This innovative game show was always popular in its native Japan, but it found international success when the Food Network bought the series and began airing English dubbed episodes. It became a cult classic as viewers were treated to exotic ingredients and innovative cooking techniques. No expense was spared. Chefs seemed to have almost limitless supplies of the most exotic and expensive gourmet ingredients. The competition is hosted by Chairman Kaga, an over-the-top master of ceremonies. He introduced a "secret ingredient" that the challenger and the chosen Iron Chef had to incorporate into every dish. Originally, the program was 30 minutes long, but it was soon expanded to an hour format. Each chef presented his/her dishes to a panel of 3-4 judges who rated the dishes to crown a winner. All of the competitions occurred in a specially designed "kitchen stadium". The New York Times once described Iron Chef as "kamikaze cooking". Iron Chefs and their competitors became celebrities in their own right. Storylines developed between groups determined to defeat the Iron Chefs. The show was so successful in English speaking countries that several spin-offs, specials, and updated versions were produced.
#1 - Michiba vs Tatsuo Umemiya (Horse Mackerel)
Season 2 - Episode 45
An actor known for his cooking skills wants a chance to see what it is like to battle in Kitchen Stadium. Judges: Shinichiro Kurimoto (Lower House Member), Hisoko Monda (Actress), Masaaki Hirano (Rosanjin Scholar)
#2 - Chen vs Yukihiro Noda (Sardine)
Season 3 - Episode 25
#3 - Michiba vs Kenji Kaji (Umeboshi)
Season 3 - Episode 32
The challenger is the head chef in Kyoto. He has mastered the style of Ikama-school of culinary arts. To separate his restaurant from the other more traditional restaurants in the area, he began creating new dishes with local ingredients. He is among the top young chefs in Kyoto. Judges: Shinichiro Kurimoto (Politician), Mayuko Takata (Actress), Asako Kishi (Critic)
#4 - Michiba and Sakai vs The Cuomo Brothers (Tomato)
Season 3 - Episode 33
Tag Team Battle! Two Iron Chefs vs 2 Italian Brothers in the battle of the tomato. After growing up in Italy, these brothers started their own restaurant in Tokyo. It is so popular that you must make reservations up to 6 months in advance. Judges: Yasushi Akimoto (Songwriter), Hideki Saijo (Singer), Asako Kishi (Culinary Critic)
#5 - Chen vs Yoshiko Takemasa (Short-necked Clam)
Season 3 - Episode 34
#6 - Chen vs Tsuguo Fujiwara (Sea Cucumber)
Season 3 - Episode 38
#7 - Sakai vs Hidetoshi Ushimaru (Curry Powder)
Season 4 - Episode 4
#8 - Chen vs Gao Jinyi (Dried Abalone)
Season 4 - Episode 3
#9 - Nakamura vs Kiyoshi Suzuki (Foie Gras)
Season 4 - Episode 10
In Nakamura's inaugural battle as Iron Chef Japanese II, he faces the head chef of Auberge de Suzuki in Seijo.
#10 - Sakai vs Yuji Wakiya (Sea Urchin)
Season 2 - Episode 23
Sea Urchin provides a young chef the chance to revolutionalize Chinese cooking. Judges: Tamio Kageyama (Novelist), Mayuko Takata (Actress), Masaaki Hirano (Rosanjin Scholar)
#11 - Chen vs Katsuyo Kobayashi (Potato)
Season 2 - Episode 32
Chen faces the second female chef in kitchen stadium. She is a television icon to many Japanese housewives. Both chefs enjoy fame. One's an Iron Chef, the other hosts a popular cooking show. Spuds will fly in battle potato.
#12 - Chen vs Lee Myong Suk (Liver)
Season 3 - Episode 18
#13 - Michiba vs Kobayakawa Yousei (Foie Gras)
Season 1 - Episode 2
The theme of the preliminary battle is Omurice. The main battle features Yousei Kobayakawa vs Rokusaburo Michiba. How will a traditional Japanese chef like Michiba handle a very non-Japanese ingredient? Like a master. Even though it is his debut battle, look for the Michiba staples: the written menu and his Inochi no Dashi (aka Broth of Vigor).
#14 - Chen vs Indoragori Paulo (Blow fish)
Season 1 - Episode 3
The preliminary battle is a matchup of Spaghetti. Half of the challengers seem to be non-chefs this time. And the eventual winner is an Italian chef. This episode features the debut of Iron Chef Chinese Chen Kenichi. The theme will be Fugu. Given the specialized skill needed to properly prepare Fugu, Kitchen Stadium provides trained Fugu experts to cut the fish apart for the chefs. (It should be noted that the Chairman Kaga character will eventually be "killed" by improperly prepared fugu.)
#15 - Sakai vs Masatoshi Kimura (Duck)
Season 2 - Episode 19
Hot-flame Chinese cuisine is the challenger's specialty. Judges: Yasushi Akimoto (Music Producer), Mayuko Takata (Actress), Masaaki Hirano (Rosanjin Scholar)
#16 - Chen vs Masahiko Miyamoto (Milk)
Season 2 - Episode 24
The challenger has been the top chef at one of Japan's 3 star French eateries. Judges: Kazuyoshi Okuyama (Director), Mayuko Takata (Actress), Masaaki Hirano (Rosanjin Scholar)
#17 - Michiba and Chen vs Joël Bruant and Masafumi Furutaka (Sea Bass)
Season 2 - Episode 28
Paul Bocuse sends two trusted apprentices to take not one, but two, iron chefs. This is the first time two Iron Chefs have been in Kitchen Stadium at the same time. Judges: Shinichiro Kurimoto (Politician), Kazuko Katoh (Actress), Mayuko Takata (Actress), Masaaki Hirano
#18 - Chen vs Hideki Ohsako (Mushroom)
Season 2 - Episode 34
Aguri Suzuki (Race car driver) and Ukyo Katayama (Race car Driver) recommend the hybrid French-Italian challenger. Osako is a heavyweight contender out to challenge Iron Chef Chinese in this mushroom battle.
#19 - Sakai vs Seiya Kawasaki (Quail)
Season 2 - Episode 46
Quail is the perfect secret ingredient...for the challenger. Can Sakai compete against this master of wild game cooking?
#20 - Michiba vs Wang Zhijian (Egg)
Season 3 - Episode 10
The challenger makes magical noodle dishes. He is one of only 100 chefs to have received recognition as a High Class Technician. He is the youngest to have qualified for that license. He once headed the kitchen at the Chinese State Guesthouse. He is now the head chef for a hotel in Japan. Judges: Machi Tawara (Poet), Mayuko Takata (Actress), Shinichiro Kurimoto (Fmr Lower House Member)
#21 - Sakai vs Shigeo Yuasa (Cod)
Season 3 - Episode 12
Shigeo Yuasa uses shocking cooking techniques. His use of test tubes and litmus paper make him seem like a scientist, not a chef. Can Sakai prevail in this new age battle?
#22 - Michiba vs Zeng Mingxing (Blue Crab)
Season 3 - Episode 24
The challenger is the top apprentice of the Mother of Chinese cooking in Japan. Judges: Shinichiro Kurimoto (Fmr Lower House Member), Chizuru Azuma (Actress), Asako Kishi (Culinary Critic)