Tamaki Hiroshi to host the new ‘Iron Chef’

In September, Fuji TV announced that they would bring back the popular cooking battle variety program “Ryori no Tetsujin” from the 1990s that became a big hit not only in Japan, but around the world.

They revealed that the new show would adopt its English name ‘Iron Chef‘ as the main title, but they didn’t mention anything about the successor of its host, the charismatic actor Kaga Takeshi (62). Today they finally lifted the secret and announced actor Tamaki Hiroshi (32) as the new host.

They held a press conference immediately after the first recording at the new studio. Tamaki explained that he had doubts when he received the offer and said, “Kaga has a really strong image and I wondered whether I’m really the right choice for this position.” Kaga truly is one of a kind and the impression he had made on this show still remains strongly, but Tamaki didn’t shy away from this inheritance. He continued, “(In the end) I immediately accepted the offer, because I wanted to challenge something new now that I’m over thirty.”

Tamaki looked back at the first recording and stated, “I was so tense that I didn’t feel anything.” He was still wearing that black suit with the golden embroidery during the press conference. “I probably shouldn’t wear this outside the studio,” he joked. “It’s based on my own ideas and features a Japanese touch.” He was asked whether he also has a signature phrase like Kaga back in the day and replied, “I do have one, but that’s still a secret.”

The reporters also tried to get him to comment on the recent rumors about his love life, but he remained cool and silent. They asked, “Now that you are an ‘Iron Chef’, wouldn’t you also need an ‘Iron Housewife’?” He laughed, “An iron housewife? Hahaha! Well, it would be great if she was a good cook indeed.” Further questions about a possible upcoming wedding and so on were only answered with a smile.

Leading the show alongside Tamaki will be the two Fuji TV announcers Sano Mizuki (40) and Mita Yurika (25) as well as comedian Miyagawa Daisuke (40).

‘Iron Chef’ is going to premiere with its first extended episode on October 26th.

Japan: A Nation of Iron Chefs

Sushi, Tempura, Ramen, Yakisoba … You probably know these dishes. But what about Ishikari-nabe, Hiyajiru, Funazushi, Fukagawa-meshi? Unless you decide to live in Japan for the rest of your life (and even then it may not happen), you’re never going to experience, or even hear of every dish the Japanese have invented. After all, this is the land that (according to my Japanese father) encourages the consumption of 30 different types of food a day, so they have built up quite a culinary repertoire.

The best way to experience Japanese cuisine is to go to Japan. Forget Paris and New York. Tokyo has more Michelin-starred restaurants then the two gastronomic powerhouses combined. And if ‘haute cuisine’ isn’t your thing, there are curry houses, soba and udon stalls and tempura joints ready to feed your appetite for 800 yen (around ten bucks) or less. The myth that Japan is an expensive place to visit doesn’t hold much water when it comes to eating.

Read the rest of the story: Japan: a nation of iron chefs.