DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
IWONDER if Prince auditioned for Iron Chef . . . for the Takeshi Kaga role, obviously. And then when he came in wearing one of his normal everyday outfits the producers decided that was precisely the bedazzled circus performer look they wanted for the Chairman of Kitchen Stadium.
I love Iron Chef above and beyond all other cooking shows. Because it is actually a cooking show. I mean, sure, nobody makes any of these things in the privacy of their kitchen. They don’t, do they? Squid innards with sea bass fillet and sea bass liver paste? Just checking. But there’s also the incredible theatricality. The dubbing of the voices like it’s an episode of Monkey. The judges. The eccentric ingredients. (Eel?) And of course Kaga. His outfits, his hair, his capsicums . . .
So yeah, sea bass tonight, and two amazing chefs, and styles, neo-Japanese versus traditional. I was amazed, anyway. You might not be, but then again you might be in the thrall of My Kitchen Rules and have developed a whole other set of standards.
There’s one giant sea bass the chefs get to fight over, only not really — you know how polite they are (if you came in at the end and the sound’s down, you wouldn’t have a
Great capsicums: Takeshi Kaga. clue who the winner was, they’re both just standing there bowing)— and a heap of smaller bass.
Giant sea bass, they say here, are very rare — only about one in 500.
This one is huge and the guy who gets it discovers, as he’s hacking into it, that it’s sashimi grade and he’d be an idiot not to go down that road.
So he pours gin and white wine into a bowl of ice and puts the fish into it — that’s his sashimi recipe. That’s one you would be trying at home, don’t you reckon? The gin part anyway.
Meanwhile the other chef, talk suggests, is so schooled in the ways of fish he’s able to discern their personality traits.
Yes, it’s that kind of episode. Iron Chef SBS One, 8.30pm