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Iron Chef Australia – Unfortunately The Chances Of Getting Renewed A Zero

So Grant Denyer wasn’t allowed to help challenger Sascha Meier shake a fry pan when he had badly cut his finger, but he can bump out the first aid nurse out to try and put a bandaid on him. Personally I would have found Grant plating up squid dishes much more amusing. I am surprised he knew what it was considering it was not round or crumbed.

Last week Iron Chef dived in the ratings to below one million, and the silence has been deafening on whether Channel Seven will be renewing it. It is a pity as it could/should have been a winner.

Five things I would do to fix it:

  • Get rid of Grant Denyer, expand the Chairman’s and Richard Cornish’s role to cover whatever the host is meant to do;
  • Get better challenges, again tonight Sascha Meier was completely out of his league;
  • Get rid of the audience they are superfluous;
  • Allow there to be more banter between the judges or show it;
  • Mix up a person to sit with chat with Richard Cornish each week either a food expert or just someone interesting.

The positives about the show is that they do show a lot of the cooking, and the cast is fairly strong. Also the Iron Chefs are fantastic cooks.

Tonight Neil Perry showed just how good he can cook. His ingredient combinations were mouthwatering. Whereas his competitor from Ba Ba Lu in Victoria seemed to stick to his tried and true recipes.

Neil Perry served up:

  • Raw Squid, iberco ham, and parsnip salad and black bean custard – “Very few Australian chefs would have the chutzpah to serve this dish” said Leo Schofield. “Incredibly clever” said Simon Thomsen. Larissa said it looks like a children’s fairy tale, I am not sure which ones she has been reading.
  • Salad of confit squid with asian chicken “Liked textures” said Larissa, Simon implied it had too much chilli.
  • Squid Ink Noodles – “Very sexy dish” said Simon.
  • Braised squid stuffed with octopus – ” Wonderful flavour” said Leo

Sasha cooked:

  • Octopus and squid  paella with black squid ink “beautiful paella”  said Leo. Loved the crust but lacking the fully developed flavour.
  • Peruvian style ceviche – “So pretty” said Larissa. “Lightness that is a wonderful contrast to the other dishes.
  • Pork and squid meatballs –  “reminded me of nappy time” said Simon. “Larissa thought the squid flavour faded to the back ground
  • Char Grilled Octopus – “sex on a plate” said Larissa and she did look like she was getting a buzz.

Neil easily won scoring 49 out of 60 and Meier 40 out of 60 his dishes were not that  original nor looked as beautiful on the plate.

Next Iron Chef French gets his second go in the kitchen stadium. It is the final episode, and I doubt we will see anymore.


1 dmc { 11.17.10 at 7:45 am }

Saw the first two episodes of this and by all reports not getting much better. A bit too ho-hum for me. The original was weird in a cool Japanese way. This one is not.

2 Wurstsemmel { 11.17.10 at 9:06 am }

Bit of a yawn fest really.

3 seepi { 11.17.10 at 9:28 am }

Yep. the original was cool because of the cooking, and the over the top drama and hamming it up.

Introducing Grant Denyer was never going to work. I have struggled to think of who could have done a better job – Matt Preston perhaps?

Poor Grant couldn’t back away fast enough when asked to approach the cooking!

4 Culinary Boner { 11.17.10 at 10:30 am }

What I find particularly annoying about this show is that the producers don’t really seem to give a shit about making sure the food content and the entertainment content (generous description, admittedly) mesh together.

They may have assembled three of Australia’s best chefs in the the ‘Iron Chefs’, They put together a quality panel of judges. And they got the carpenters in to build a pretty cool set.

But then they ruin it all by having the whole thing hosted by a dick on legs, who seems to revel in the fact that he’s a culinary bogan of the highest order. With a presentation repertoire that begins and ends with mugging to camera like a refugee from The Footy Show. Grant reminds me of the story of a young Shane Warne attending a function hosted by The Queen and complaining there was nuthin’ to eat, coz they don’t have chips with ‘martoe sauce.

The editing is also rubbish and shows the producers and 7 don’t really care. Why the hell announce a “Squid Challenge!!” and then have all the shots showing octopus of a size that wouldn’t be out of place in a Jules Verne novel? While I accept that Grant would be incapable of announcing a “Cephalopod Challange!!”, even if this is what is really was, they could have just stuck with squid. Or they could have included cuttlefish as well and mentioned the additional ingredients up front. That other commentary dude with the head the size of a bull’s had to chip in later on to mention the obvious presence of octopi. The whole set up was sloppy. There has been discussion on previous threads about Grant’s spitting-not-swallowing of the yummy lamb’s brains dish Grossi prepared lasy week. Clearly, as he seems to be some sort of golden boy at 7, this policy does not extent to 7’s production team.

Agree that Perry’s cooking tonight was superb. Hopefully Coles donated the tomatoes that he discarded because they looked exactly like the cricket ball variety available at my supermarket. Again. though, if the producers gave a shit they would’ve sent the work experience boy off to a decent providore to get the supporting veges. MasterChef’s production craps all over this show in this regard. Raver, reckon you are right that this will not be renewed.

5 Culinary Boner { 11.17.10 at 10:40 am }

Oh. Larissa must also have a different concept of sex than the rest of us, with her comment on the challenger’s bbq oci. And has Margaret Pomeranz been giving her make-up tips?

6 Paul { 11.17.10 at 10:54 am }

To be honest, whilst the original did have a cult following it never went gang busters in the ratings either. Just don’t think the concept can make the cross-over from niche to popular.

Ch’s 7 & 9 should leave the reality shows to Ch Ten and concentrate on what they do best.

7 Reality Raver { 11.17.10 at 1:32 pm }

Paul – I think Channel 7 have been doing ok with reality this year. Four Weddings was a sleeper hit. The X Factor is doing ok not as great as they would have liked.
Also My Kitchen Rules was no Masterchef but solid in the ratings.

Channel 9 however have been another story entirely.

8 Reality Raver { 11.17.10 at 1:35 pm }

Culinary Boner – thanks for comments and agree, they were not far off of having a really great show, as casting has been faultless apart from Denyer but he is the pivotal part of the show.

Seepi – they just really didn’t need a host a voice over person would have been fine then the Chairman’s nephew to do the rest.

DMC – you have not missed much

Wurst – I do like that they do show a lot of the food being cooked. I get to watch Neil Perry cook without having to listen to him talk.

9 Sourkraut { 11.17.10 at 9:40 pm }

Are you absolutely sure you dont work for ten?

i hate to say this again but I told you all so right at the start. It was never going to work, with the same sort of result as the american version which was also painful.
Its a culture thing. The Japanese do some extremely entertaining reality shows, including some of their weird audience participation competitions, the original iron chef has that slightly weird factor that makes it friendly entertaining. however if the Japanese ever tried to do a comedy it would probably flop in Oz due to the different sense of humour. the Brits still do the best comedy in the world and the yanks do the worst. (except for the 3 stooges). however the old swords and sandals epic of shintaro (the samurai) was an unexpected hit in Oz about 45 years ago because it was slightly weird and different and fun, just like iron chef.

10 Iron Chef Australia – It Came, We Saw, But It Did Not Conquer | reality ravings { 11.23.10 at 10:18 pm }

[…] be a surprise if Channel 7 renew the show as the ratings barely reached the million mark. Here is my blog post from last week which outlines what I would do to fix the show. However I suspect that post is now […]