Sunday, September 07, 2003

Souf Oaklin Gourmet To Compete On Iron Chef

With the rising American popularity of the quirky Japanese-language cooking competition show Iron Chef, cable TV’s Food Network has set out to help Fuji International TV expand their American fan base. Iron Chef, which has now been in Japanese production for over three years, still tapes two to four new cooking specials per year. Past battles of New York (and Food Network) chef Bobby Flay vs. Iron Chef Japanese Morimoto have given a “domestic” spin to this overseas show.

One such upcoming battle, set to be taped at Pittsburgh Rare in Station Square, will feature Pittsburgh’s own Souf Oaklin Gourmet. He is slated to battle Iron Chef Chinese Chin Kenichi, with the battle being judged by Japanese photographer Ryuta Mine, KDKA food writer Rania Harris, ex-Steeler Franco Harris, and Japanese food critic Kishi Asako.

“Dude,” explained the Souf Oaklin Gourmet, “I’ll kick ass if the theme ingredient is Ramen or frozen pizza, but I know there is a chance that I might get the Iron Chef Chinese or Italian. Now, my strategy is to get baked and watch as much IC as possible, right, so I can learn Chin’s weak spots. I saw him get his ass handed to him by [Iron Chef French] Sakai.”

This isn’t the first time Food Network has taped in the Pittsburgh area, but this is the most anticipated televised culinary event to date.

When approached about his upcoming battle, Iron Chef Chin said, “I have read his fabulous, bold recipes. No one prepare better tater tots or holiday cookies than Souf Oaklin Gourmet. In my country, many know this gourmet, and all love him. To battle him would be a great honor.”

“Hey dude,” quipped the Gourmet, “you give me some canned cheese, a cigarette, a few bottles of Iron, and some peanut butter, and I can make you a dish you will never forget. Kaga, you better have your boy’s back, dude!”

The show is tentatively scheduled to air in the early spring on the Food Network

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