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10 Iron Chef Observations

Behind-the-scenes notes from a judge

By Troy Johnson

10 Iron Chef Observations

Iron Chef

So, I was a judge on Iron Chef America. It airs this Sunday on Food Network (10PM), and it is nothing short of The Apex of Me. For the first ten years of my life, I thought the drive-through window was an oven. And yet there I was, next to the Pioneer Woman and the guy who started Grub Street, gazing deep into Bobby Flay’s eyes until I saw Jesus and grilled meats. Truth be told, I’m not sure if they’ll invite me back. I’m the kind of person who naturally puts his feet up on the chair in front of him at the opera. Regardless, it was a magnificent honor. Some observations from inside Kitchen Stadium.

1. Bobby Flay has this special look where his arms are at his side but it feels like he’s strangling your stupid throat.

2. The Chairman is 95 years old, and he could kick my a**. Doesn’t age. His shelf life is Twinkie.  

3. The Chairman actually does those flips, jumps and tumbling routine you see at the beginning of the show. My closet is now a shrine dedicated to him. If that sounds creepy it’s because it is.

4. Kitchen Stadium looks and feels like Space Mountain.

5. Alton Brown is real. I thought maybe he’d click when he talked like Disneyland Lincoln.

6. I bet in an X-ray, Ree Drummond’s heart is shaped like a puppy.

7. I believed everything Josh Ozersky said because he’s very smart. And because he was wearing a very important-looking watch.

8. We were asked to refer to Bobby as “Iron Chef Flay.” Not Bobby, Robert or Bobbers.

9. I was a little nervous. At one point I’m presented with a bowl of water with flowers and herbs to wash my hands. I nearly drank it.

10. If I tell the secret ingredient ahead of time, I believe Food Network can sue me for $1Million or something. And then Anne Burrell comes to my house and snuffs me out in my sleep.

Troy’s debut on Iron Chef America airs this Sunday, March 3 at 10PM on Food Network.

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