Having assembled a crew of four of the finest chefs in Japan, [Takeshi Kaga] brings in a guest chef each episode, invariably a star in his or her own area of cuisine, to cook against one of his Iron Chefs. Kaga's dream, it turns out, was to push the best chefs in the world to their limits by pitting them in gladiator-style cooking duels. Hey, who hasn't had that dream?
Each show is narrated by a duo of commentators who follow the activity on the kitchen floor, attentive to the smallest detail, even doing instant replays whenever a chef makes a particularly interesting move. A panel of four judges -- a revolving cast of politicians, actors, musicians and food critics -- tries out the cooks' spontaneous creations at the end of the show and judges them on taste, originality and presentation. Kaga must have chosen well: Only rarely do the challengers best Kaga's lads.
In Sunday's special, Kaga and his chefs have been invited to New York by restaurant survey publishers Tim and Nina Zagat. In the first hour, Kaga's Iron Chefs are summoned from around the globe to meet in the Big Apple, where they are whisked by limousine to the Zagats' weekend residence.
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