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Dining like an ‘Iron Chef’ judge at 610 Magnolia

I’ve always been a big fan of “Iron Chef,” both the Japanese original and the American imitation it spawned.

Some find its campy concept over the top, with the wacky über-rich Chairman in his Kitchen Stadium yelling “Allez Cuisine!” in bad French, but just about every foodie I know can see past the yuks to the serious competitive restaurant-chef cookery.

After an hour of an intense, timed cooking competition, in which the competitors make the best use of the week’s secret ingredient, comes the best part of the show: when the chefs bring their finished dishes forward to a panel of judges, a group that on the original show invariably included a food critic plus such skilled experts as a movie starlet, perhaps a Japanese athlete, sometimes a member of the Japanese parliament.

How I wished I could have been up there at the table sampling all those amazing, creative dishes.
So when Chef Edward Lee of Louisville’s 610 Magnolia turned up on “Iron Chef America” last month, taking on Iron Chef Jose Garces in an offal battle featuring “tongue and cheek,” and Lee won, I realized I could get a similar effect right here at home by presenting myself for a dinner of Lee’s inspired cooking. Continue reading

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