The History of Iron Chef

Get the back-story on Food Network's hit show.

Iron Chef History

  • Iron Chef America is based on a hugely popular Japanese show once aired on Fuji TV.

  • Japan's Iron Chef began airing in October, 1993 as a half-hour program.

  • Salmon was the very first secret ingredient ever used on Iron Chef.

  • Iron Chef America became a favorite in the United States in 1999 when it was picked up by Food Network and dubbed in English.

  • Iron Chef quickly became a cult favorite in America. The show was lampooned on Saturday Night Live.

  • Takeshi Kaga was Japan's chairman. Iron Chef America's Chairman, Mark Dacascos, is Kaga's nephew.

  • Before Japan's Iron Chef, chefs in the country did not have a high position in society. The show helped to elevate recognition and respect for chefs in Japan.

  • America's first Iron Chefs were Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Wolfgang Puck.

  • The original Kitchen Stadium in Japan is where six tons of rice, five tons of eggs, a ton each of chicken, beef, pork and assorted seafoods were combined with over two tons of tomatoes and a ton of mushrooms. All of that was topped off with ten pounds of caviar.

  • In total, Japan's Kitchen Stadium used approximately $8 million dollars worth of groceries over the show's run.

  • Keiichi Tanaka directed all 297 episodes of Japan's Iron Chef.

  • Over the history of Japan's Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, injuries have included Masaharu Morimoto being bitten by a monkfish and Hiroyuki Sakai being bitten by a squid. Bobby Flay was the most badly injured when in one episode, he seriously cut his finger and was nearly electrocuted.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Baking Ingredient Guide

Everything you need to know about flour, sugar, chocolate and other pantry staples.

5-Ingredient Pasta from Kitchen Sink

When time is tight, look to these go-to pasta recipes to save the day.

What's New