And it's pretty good! Has it really been thirteen years since the last airing of Ryori no Tetsujin? I'll definitely miss Takeshi Kaga (not sure who won't) as the chairman but Hiroshi Tamaki does a decent job if much less eccentric. The deciding factor for choosing the actor may have been his voice (which btw isn't the narrator in the preview of the first episode below).
[Youtube links to official preview of show number two and three.]
Is it as great as the original show? Probably not but I think fans will
still be happy with the resurrection of a classic where the format has been very little
The Iron Chefs are all new and will probably take time for them to grow on me. Gone is the Allez Cuisine!, and it is now "Good Gastronomy!" (which I couldn't figure out what was being said at first). The moody video bios as introductions to the challenger chefs are still there, dramatic and great, but otherwise pretty much all business once they reach the kitchen (with the ice cream machine still well alive and kicking, ha). The lack of any superficiality thereafter is very refreshing which I feel Iron Chef America suffered a lot from and kept me from being a fan of the show (though in fairness it did gradually get better, especially after Michael Symon came on board). It also seems to have a less frantic vibe which I'm glad for as I find by now the slew of inspired American shows and their amped frenzy more than a bit annoying.
Theme ingredients for the first four challenges below (the first two bouts were from a two-hour special). Spoilers to the winners (in Japanese) with images of the dishes can be found on the challenge links.
Challenge One: Salmon (chosen to revisit the same ingredient from the very first show)
Challenge Two: Agu Okinawan Pig(!!)
Challenge Three: Akaza-ebi (a Japanese Lobster)
Challenge Four: Five Japanese Mushrooms (enoki, shimeji, shiitake, maitake, nameko)