July 4, 2022

Not many meals competitors exhibits can liken themselves to a martial arts film, but when any of them can, it’s Iron Chef. Having existed in a single kind or one other for the final thirty years, beginning in Japan after which spreading all over the world, the collection pits legendary, well-regarded “Iron Cooks” towards scrappy challengers for a sixty-minute endurance check (that includes a heretofore unknown secret ingredient) to create a full-course meal that may blow away the judges and earn them the rank of Iron Chef.

What units Iron Chef aside, although, is the character of The Chairman, a mercurial, authoritative determine who broadcasts the challenges and their secret substances with an intense martial arts flourish. He’s impresario and referee alike, neither announcer nor challenger however somebody who units the tone for the high-stakes culinary battle that’s to return.

Within the Japanese authentic, he’s performed by Takeshi Kaga, famously biting right into a bell pepper whereas sporting a spangly cape. However in Iron Chef America, which ran for a whopping 13 seasons on Meals Community, we’ve got Chairman Kaga’s “nephew” (or so the lore goes), performed by motion star Mark Dacascos.

Dacascos, a Hawaiian-born actor and martial arts skilled, has been a fixture in movie and tv for the reason that early ’90s, beginning out in movies like Solely the Robust, Steve Wang’s Drive, and the difference of the online game Double Dragon (and precise video video games like Wing Commander IV, the place he performed a hotshot area fighter pilot alongside Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill).

Newer audiences could know him finest as Wo Fats on the remake of Hawaii 5-O, or as John Wick superfan (and fittingly, sushi chef) “Zero” in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum. However arguably, it’s in Kitchen Stadium, along with his completely tailor-made go well with and exaggerated kung-fu cries, that Dacascos has his longest-lasting and most indelible position.

With the Chairman returning with Alton Brown and the remaining for a revived model of Iron Chef on Netflix, Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, Dacascos sat down with Consequence for a quick chat about his eight-year absence from Kitchen Stadium, the Chairman’s physicality and mythology, and what secret ingredient he’s at all times needed to announce.


It’s been fairly a couple of years because you’ve been in Kitchen Stadium; how does it really feel to be again?

It’s emotional! I imply, it’s been, gosh, nearly twenty years in the past once we began [Iron Chef America]. Not solely do I get to work with Alton once more, and we stored a number of the solid and the spirit of the unique present, we now have a much bigger Kitchen Stadium, we’ve got extra cameras. As a result of we don’t have business breaks, we will go deeper into the meals and the backstories of our cooks, each Iron and challenger.

But additionally, what I believe is unbelievable is that Alton has a really gifted co-host in [Top Chef season 10 winner] Kristen Kish; these two commute, they talk about, and so they definitely educate me. So it’s like a masterclass for the 60 minutes of the battle, and the entire present goes even broader and deeper now.

You get a bit of bit extra to do as nicely, contemplating there are not any business breaks. You get extra time to shine, particularly in these fascinating interstitials firstly of every episode.

Thanks, I actually take pleasure in these. And I haven’t seen the episodes put collectively but, so you realize greater than I do about these beats. However I had a blast filming them. That vitality, too, comes from what I see and really feel, and the challengers and cooks who’re so completely satisfied to be there. It’s an amazing title, they need to win, and so they know the DNA of Iron Chef. It’s essential, it means one thing, and you’ll really feel that vitality each earlier than and throughout the battle.

Mark Dacascos Iron Chef Interview

Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend

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