Hands Down: Jeffrey Steingarten is Our Favorite Iron Chef Judge
Monday, August 14, 2006 | posted by Mike
You might think that the food and the chefs are the stars of Iron Chef America. Heavens, no! Any regular viewer can tell you that, for all the culinary wizardry taking place in Kitchen Stadium, the real show begins when everyone’s favorite cranky judge, Jeffrey Steingarten, bestows upon us his opinions on the night’s meal.
In fact, the only thing better than hearing Jeffrey’s thoughts on the dish before him is when he decides to turn his criticism on one of his fellow judges. Invariably, they manage to put some morning show host or Broadway actress on the judging panel and then, LOOK OUT! Apparently, in Jeffrey’s mind, non-James-Beard-finalists need not apply.
The snarkiness reached new heights last night as Jeffrey got into to a bit of a tiff with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy food expert Ted Allen over his lack of enthusiasm (or maybe his lack of vocabulary, depending on who you believe) towards one dish. He also took a moment to rip the aforementioned morning show host next to him. Jeffrey is nothing if not fair in doling out his abuse.
Needless to say, the fellows in post-production knew that they hit the jackpot and managed to cross-cut the video throughout the judging process as Jeffrey and Ted took verbal shots at one another and repeatedly made faces at one another’s comments. I highly recommend you just tune in for the judging segment of this battle (puff pastry…for a competition between two Greek chefs…way to think outside the box, Chairman!).
We’ll have some more things to say about Iron Chef America soon, but Jeffrey is one aspect of the show that I think they really nailed. It seems like every reality/competition show has a judge that drives people batty (Simon Cowell, Janice Dickinson), and Jeffrey is the perfect food snob that you can love to hate.
So, stay tuned for future episodes of our new feature: The Jeffrey Steingarten Condescension Watch.
Labels: Iron Chef America