People say I have an irrational obsession with the Food Network. But I'm not alone: almost everyone I know is addicted. Do students go away to college, only to be drawn back to the kitchen or its dorm room proxy?
Living with parents who didn't appreciate the merit of background noise when studying, I lack TV in my Boston University dorm. Fortunately, a kind soul with YouTube alias mchan2048, uploaded dozens of Iron Chef episodes, enabling me to present to you:
Life Lessons I've learned from Iron Chef America
1) Presentation matters -- Whether we like to admit it or not, human beings judge. In Iron Chef, each judge can award five points for presentation. Three judges, given five points each, makes 15 points (25%!) of a chef's 60 point total. Thus presentation matters, because people remember first impressions.
2) Nix the Trout ice cream -- Some flavors, like people, mesh badly. While Ben and Jerry never reached this foodie extreme, Battle Trout, pitting Iron Chef Bobby Flay against challenger Hiroyuki Sakai, featured an infamous trout ice cream dessert, which undid its maker, Sakai. On a larger scale, I may hope two friends get along as well together as I do with each individually, but better to separate them, rather than risk the two snarling at each other.
3) Five dishes, 60 minutes, eight seasons -- Wikipedia.org files 120 episodes spread over eight Iron Chef seasons. That's roughly 1200 dishes, an incredible amount of food bespeaking a passionate love of cooking. And that, dear readers, is Iron Chef's takeaway lesson - to find that one thing that both challenges and makes us happy - and do it until we are physically exhausted. Or until the buzzer summons us to face the judges - whichever comes first.