Iron Chef

The WORST episodes of Iron Chef

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

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.

Last Updated: 4/9/2022Network: Food Network
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Ishinabe vs Muto Masato (Daikon Radish)
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#1 - Ishinabe vs Muto Masato (Daikon Radish)

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/28/1993

Ishinabe takes on challenger Muto Masato in a Daikon battle.

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Michiba vs Shu Tomitoku (Pork)
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#2 - Michiba vs Shu Tomitoku (Pork)

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 1/9/1994

The first episode of the second season of Ryouri no Tetsujin. It's the first battle of the new year. Shu Tomitoku is back to take on Michiba once again in the first rematch battle in Kitchen Stadium. The challenger tells Chairman Kaga he doesn't need to see all three Iron Chefs. Michiba alone is enough.

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Chen vs Wan Weiping (Squid)
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#3 - Chen vs Wan Weiping (Squid)

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/16/1994

The challenger is a master of Chinese cuisine from Hong Kong. He has cooked for many celebrities including Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.

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Michiba vs Hoshino Jun (Egg)
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#4 - Michiba vs Hoshino Jun (Egg)

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 1/23/1994

This battle is the first to feature an amateur cook as challenger rather than a professional chef.

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Michiba vs Tanabe Toshio (Sea Bream)
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#5 - Michiba vs Tanabe Toshio (Sea Bream)

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 1/30/1994

The challenger was a gymnast, then a professional boxer, then a highly trained French chef. He will be taking on Michiba.

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Chen vs Taniguchi Kouichi (Shrimp)
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#6 - Chen vs Taniguchi Kouichi (Shrimp)

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 2/6/1994

We see an all-too familiar face for the first time in the intro to this battle. And as usual, Chairman Kaga is not happy with what he hears. Toshiro Kandagawa wants to take down the Iron Chefs, and he thinks he has the men to do it. The first challenger, Kouichi Taniguchi, began working for Kandagawa at the age of 18. You will enjoy his impressive knife work. He is ready to be the lead-off man in the batting order and get the Kanto vs. Kansai challenge started.

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Michiba vs Masaki Kazuyoshi (Anago Eel )
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#7 - Michiba vs Masaki Kazuyoshi (Anago Eel )

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 2/13/1994

Second up is another hand-picked challenger from Kandagawa, Kazuyoshi Masaki. Michiba says he will not lose to such a young challenger. The second round of this Kanto vs. Kansai challenge is ready to begin with a theme that is handled differently by the regions.

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Chen vs Kandagawa Toshiro (Flounder)
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#8 - Chen vs Kandagawa Toshiro (Flounder)

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired 2/20/1994

Finally, it is time for the heavy hitter in the lineup to step up to the plate. This battle features the first competitive appearance from Toshiro Kandagawa. Despite the baseball theme, Kandagawa brings in 11 chefs with him, which The Chairman points out is enough to field a team in the J-League.

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Sakai vs Guy Shokr (Oyster)
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#9 - Sakai vs Guy Shokr (Oyster)

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 2/27/1994

This is the debut episode of Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai. He is taking on French Chef Guy Shokr in an all-French battle.

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Chen vs Kondo Shinji (Wheat)
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#10 - Chen vs Kondo Shinji (Wheat)

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired 3/6/1994

It's an all Chinese cuisine battle between two second generation Chinese chefs: Iron Chef Chen Kenichi vs. Shinji Kondo. At first glance, the theme might seem a little difficult, but as Chairman Kaga mentioned, flour can be used in things like Gyoza and Ramen. How will these two chefs use the "magic white powder" (mahou shiroi kona)?

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Sakai vs Kitami Hiroyuki (Tomato)
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#11 - Sakai vs Kitami Hiroyuki (Tomato)

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired 3/13/1994

The challenger is a chef at a popular restaurant among the celebrities in Tokyo, Basta Pasta. It has been a while since they had an Italian cuisine challenger and The Chairman expects a "high-tension" battle.

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Chen vs Kagata Kyoko (Scallop)
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#12 - Chen vs Kagata Kyoko (Scallop)

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired 3/20/1994

We all know the history of Iron Chef Chen Kenichi and female challengers. This is the episode that started it all. She was the first female challenger to do battle in Kitchen Stadium.

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Michiba vs Otakura Hideaki (Cheese)
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#13 - Michiba vs Otakura Hideaki (Cheese)

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired 3/27/1994

Chairman Kaga speaks of two distinct "themes" used in Italian cooking depending on geography: Tomato in the South, Cheese/Butter in the North. The challenger follows the style of the North. Michiba will have to deal with another theme ingredient that is not used very often in Japanese cuisine, but he is comfortable working with anything.

Michiba vs Goto Koichiro (Rice)
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#14 - Michiba vs Goto Koichiro (Rice)

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired 4/8/1994

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Sakai vs Sekihata Katsuyuki (Bread)
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#15 - Sakai vs Sekihata Katsuyuki (Bread)

Season 2 - Episode 41 - Aired 10/21/1994

Chen vs Koji Kobayashi (Pumpkin)
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#16 - Chen vs Koji Kobayashi (Pumpkin)

Season 2 - Episode 42 - Aired 10/28/1994

The challenger, a great Italian talent, was thought to have disappeared in disgust over the poor quality of Italian restaurants in Japan, earning the moniker "Mad Kobayashi". He makes his return in a surprise kitchen stadium appearance.

Ishinabe vs Sawaguchi Tomoyuki (Flounder)
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#17 - Ishinabe vs Sawaguchi Tomoyuki (Flounder)

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired 4/14/1995

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Chen vs Elio Orsara (Kajiki Tuna)
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#18 - Chen vs Elio Orsara (Kajiki Tuna)

Season 3 - Episode 20 - Aired 5/19/1995

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Ishinabe vs Yanagidate Isao (Avocado)
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#19 - Ishinabe vs Yanagidate Isao (Avocado)

Season 3 - Episode 26 - Aired 6/30/1995

France Special Part I: Nakamura vs. Bernard Leprince (Salmon)
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#20 - France Special Part I: Nakamura vs. Bernard Leprince (Salmon)

Season 4 - Episode 15 - Aired 4/5/1996

Chairman Takeshi Kaga travels to battle the great chefs of France - witness as Iron Chef French #2 (Hiroyuki Sakai) and Iron Chef Japanese #2 (Koumei Nakamura) battle to defend the honor of Iron Chef and the Gourmet Academy. For the first battle, Iron Chef Japanese Nakamura battles one of the great French on location at a French castle. For a twist, the chefs are not told of the theme ingredient immediately but must first travel to the castle's courtyard to retrieve it.

France Special Part II: Sakai vs. Pierre Gagnaire (Homard Lobster)
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#21 - France Special Part II: Sakai vs. Pierre Gagnaire (Homard Lobster)

Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired 4/12/1996

Chairman Takeshi Kaga travels to battle the great chefs of France - witness as Iron Chef French #2 (Hiroyuki Sakai) and Iron Chef Japanese #2 (Koumei Nakamura) battle to defend the honor of Iron Chef and the Gourmet Academy. For the second battle, Iron Chef French Sakai and famed French chef Pierre Gagnaire are given a unique challenge. They have 24 hours to obtain authentic French ingredients, then return to the French castle site to hold the actual battle.

Michiba vs Syu Tomitoku (Crab)
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#22 - Michiba vs Syu Tomitoku (Crab)

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 12/5/1993

The challenger's brother was defeated by Michiba less than one month earlier. Now, Shu Tomitoku comes to challenge the Iron Chef. The Chairman says, "Michiba beat your younger brother. And now, who do you want to fight?" With his younger brother Shu Tomiteru urging him on, Shu Tomitoku chooses Rokusaburo Michiba.

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Chen vs Watanabe Yoji (Snapping Turtle)
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#23 - Chen vs Watanabe Yoji (Snapping Turtle)

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired 2/2/1996

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Nakamura vs. Toyoaki Suganuma (Egg)
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#24 - Nakamura vs. Toyoaki Suganuma (Egg)

Season 4 - Episode 17 - Aired 4/19/1996

Chen vs. He Yewen (Lettuce)
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#25 - Chen vs. He Yewen (Lettuce)

Season 4 - Episode 18 - Aired 4/26/1996

The new chef of Akasaka Rikyu demonstrates his distinctive Hong Kong cooking skills.