Iron Chef Yu-Gi-Oh
Anzu sat flipping through channels idly, pausing on her favourite cooking network. She frowned slightly to herself, leaning forward a little in her chair.
"…Iron Chef?" She asked nobody in particular, placing the remote on the arm and leaning back a little, listening to the over-excited voice of the announcer.
"Iron Chef was a Japanese television program that began airing in 1993. The host, Takeshi Kaga, created a duel unparalled in any other kitchen. Each episode presented a culinary battle between two chefs in Kitchen Stadium. A contestant, usually a famous chef from Japan or elsewhere, was pitted against one of the show's four Iron Chefs. Each of the Iron Chefs was an expert in a different cuisine, either Japanese, Chinese, French, or Italian. The chefs had just one hour to complete their dishes; at the end of the hour, a panel of Japanese celebrities tasted and rated the dishes and crowned a victor."
Music flared and torches flickered melodramatically on the television screen. An eyebrow perked and curiosity peaked, Anzu left the remote where it lay.
"Though the television series was dropped a while ago, it has been revived again by multi-millionaire CEO of Kaiba Corp., Kaiba Seto! He has gathered together the finest chefs, and with his money in hand has supplied them with the greatest cooking technology and ingredients to be found on any corner of the globe!"
Panelling across the screen, fine examples of the announcer's statement were flashed to the audience. Steaming, expensive lobster, piles of thousand-yen truffles, and every spice feasible to man lay before the eyes of the viewers in a proud proclamation of "ha ha, I have more money than you!". The pantry was probably the size of the original Kitchen Stadium; it was every chef's dream.
"Here in Kitchen Arena, the three new Iron Chefs Elite will take on challenges set forth by brave men and women selected by Kaiba himself as worthy of his stoves. Presenting the Iron Chefs!"
Standing proudly in a blue silk ensemble, a young man with wild hair was circled several times by the camera in an endearingly cheesy manner.
"Iron Chef Japanese, Motou Yugi!"
The view rolled over to the right and took in the spectacle of a bright yellow collection of silk, in which stood another dashing young man about the same appearance Iron Chef Japanese, though definitely taller and more serious about what he was doing.
"Iron Chef Chinese, Yugi Yami!"
Another theatrical side-scroll brought the spectator to the third pedestal, upon which a determined fellow with long white hair pulled back into a ponytail stood in a bold garb of red.
"Iron Chef French, Bakura Ryou!"
Anzu rolled her eyes a little, but settled back to watch; maybe it would be interesting. A tall blonde chef stood at the top of the steps to the "Arena".
"Here's our challenger for today! This is Jounouchi Katsuya, owner of a small establishment in the little town of Domino. He trained under Masaharu Morimoto, one of the former Iron Chefs, and has been implimenting a love of food into his cooking his entire life. We'll see how he does against the big-city folk. And now let's go to our announcer, Bakura Yami!
Bakura leaned back a little in his chair where he sat at the table with a fine view of the whole arena. Originally there had been other announcers working with him, but let's just say it didn't turn out so well.
"All right, you see what we've got here. A nobody from a nowhere town, up against the best chefs in the world. Everybody likes the underdog. Get this started so we can watch him get his ass kicked- take it away, Kaiba!"
Seto rolled his eyes at the announcer, wondering why the hell Bakura seemed to be so popular with the public. Their ratings had soared when they let him go solo, for some reason. A cruel smirk just barely avoided his lips as he remembered; everyone enjoys watching other people in pain.
"Welcome to Kitchen Arena, challenger Jounouchi." They performed an obligatory bow, but Seto make good and sure that he remained higher than the other man.
"Great to be here," The blonde stated, with a somewhat haphazard nod.
"I trust you know how it works. Which Iron Chef have you decided to challenge?" Kaiba gestured towards the pedestals. Jounouchi pondered.
"Iron Chef French!"
"So the challenger has determined to take on Bakura Ryou. We'll see how smart that was in a minute." Our loving announcer sneered.
Ryou stepped down from where he'd been standing, going to join Jounouchi. After the Iron Chef took his place, Seto gave a dirty smirk.
"When deciding what to use for a secret ingredient, I thought about where our challenger comes from. A small, worthless town. So, to make things difficult and miserable for him," Seto paused and thought to himself how much he sounded like Bakura, "I have found something big and very, very expensive. I give you this battle's secret ingredient!" Behold! A dramatic pause, how unexpected. "LIVE CROCODILES!"
The giant, steamy lid was lifted and revealed was a miniature tank filled with adolescent crocodiles, lashing about moodily. The cameramen were professionals, to be sure; they managed to catch the expression of utter horror on Jounouchi's face, and then a millisecond later the bewilderment of Iron Chef Ryou.
"Holy shit!" Bakura yelled into his microphone before he could think, though he made no apologies for swearing. With an evil cackle, Seto Kaiba threw up his arms.
"Aller cuisine!" The timer started, and the chefs were off to a reluctant start. Jounouchi reached into the tank and nabbed one by the tail, flipping it out onto the floor and proceeding to try and wrestle the three-and-a-half foot long reptile onto a chopping block.
"The challenger is off to a quick start, but the Iron Chef seems to be hesitating," Bakura shot off rapidly, "But in all honesty, no matter how fast challenger Jounouchi goes, I doubt he'll get anywhere. Oh, and here goes Iron Chef Ryou, taking a more conservative approach. Is that a mallet?"
Ryou had managed to convince two of the sous chefs to help him haul out a crocodile and bash it over the skull like a cow.
"I hear crocodile is very difficult to cook because of its tough hide, though I can't say I make crocodile for breakfast too often these days." Bakura commented idly, a morbid curiosity in his gaze. "I wonder how each chef plans to deal with that hurdle. Oh and it looks like Iron Chef Ryou is skinning that little brute. There's enough of that to make a nice purse, I'll wager." The cameras then switched to Jounouchi, who had somehow managed to break two crocodile's necks while the announcer was running his mouth off.
"That's no chef, that's an animal- how the hell did he manage that? These crocodiles must be half sedated or something. I fought one of those once, and it just isn't that easy. Of course, Nile crocodiles are much stronger than whatever the hell these are- probably American."
Ryou mumbled something under his breath about America having alligators, not crocodiles, and then went on with working the meat away from the bone. Over on Jounouchi's side, something a bit different was going on.
"Now what the hell is that fuckta- I can't say that? Aw, damn. Now what the hell is "the challenger" up to? It looks like he's cutting out the… yes, he is! Well I never… Mokuba, can we get a live report from the floor?"
"You sure can, Bakura-san. Here you see challenger Jounouchi has placed incisions at the base of the neck and the base of the tail and is cutting an almost circular shape." The younger sibling to Seto said quickly into his microphone, sporting a small camera on his shoulder and zooming in on Jounouchi's preparations. "He says he's going to make a crocodile-carcass bowl."
"Isn't that creative?" Bakura said sarcastically, wrinkling his nose. "Tell me, Mokuba, what's he going to do with the crap he lops out?"
"Well, Bakura-san, the challenger says the meat he'll use for the stew that he's going to be putting in the bowl."
"Thank you Mokuba." A slight drawl to his tone implied that he wasn't all that thankful for the information. The cameras switched again to a pan on Ryou's side, where some strips of flesh were sizzling along with a variety of vegetables. "Oh, and it looks like the Iron Chef is doing a stir-fry… not very French if you ask me, but hell, I'm not the expert. What's he got in there? Crocodile, obviously, and it looks like some onion and carrots. Okay, maybe it's not a stir-fry. I don't know."
Ryou glared up at the announcer's booth and the microphones picked up his saying, "I'm drawing out the flavour, idiot!" He was sufficiently ignored, and the focus ping-ponged again to Jounouchi's side.
"Over with the challenger he seems to be dicing his second croc into little hunks. But wait- he hasn't skinned it! That moron, he forgot an only slightly important part! Oh no wait, he did it on purpose. Okay, now he's putting the chopped meat into the blender…" The camera got in nice and close as the blades liquidized the crocodile into a paste. "If that isn't the ugliest shade of pink I've ever seen, I don't know what is. Do I even want to know what that's going into?"
Jounouchi dumped the off-green crocodile paste into a bowl, and then threw some rice into a pressure cooker along with a bowl of vegetables chopped up by one of the sous chefs. Ryou's crocodile slices, meanwhile, were being removed from the frying pan and laid out on a flat metal slate.
"And it looks like the Iron Chef is whipping up some kind of glaze in that bowl; Mokuba, can you tell me what's in there?"
"Ah yes, Bakura-san, the Iron Chef says it's lemon glaze made out of powdered sugar, lemon juice, and pepper."
"Pepper in a lemon glaze? That sounds stupid. Okay so the glaze is on, and what's he going to- oh, so it's going into the oven."
"Forty-five minutes left." A strange female voice from nowhere announced.
"Okaaay, so back to the challenger, it looks like he's got that crocodile all hollowed out and he's lining it with some kind of pastry. And now he's sticking that in the high-heat oven. That'll dry the croc right out and make the pastry near solid. Looks more like a pie to me, but if he says it's a soup bowl, we'll let him think that." Jounouchi went to his chopping board and began to cut the meat away from the bone, using what was left of his second crocodile. Some seaweed was produced and he began to methodically wrap two bits of meat in a strip of the under-water vegetable until he had about eight of them.
"Enough screen time for him," Bakura said, "Let's see what our Iron Chef is up to. He's started setting out plates already and sprinkling some shit or other on them-"
"Bakura-san?" Mokuba's voice chirped helpfully.
"Bakura-san, what you see the Iron Chef putting on those plates is a mixture of chopped broccoli, celery, and grated carrots, all of which have been steamed."
"Oh, okay. So over here it looks like he's got more meat on the frying pan in a sauce of some sort-"
"No, I don't care what the hell is in the sauce. Let ME do the talking. So anyways, as I was saying, he's got meat frying in a red sauce, it looks spicy. The hell? I swear that's not French at all. Whatever. He's got another sauce in the making on the side, it's a white sauce and it looks creamy. Looks like the shit people put on salad these days… dressing, that's what it's called. No, I'm getting confirmation that it's not a salad dressing."
"Mushroomsauce!" Mokuba yelled quickly before Bakura could tell him not to.
"Yeah, okay, it's a mushroom sauce. I think that'll go with those plates with the vegetables. So, over to the challenger, let's see how miserably he's failing."
"The challenger has got that rice out and he's mixing it in with the crocodile paste. It looks like something I threw up once after a really good night of drinking. He's putting it in four little bowls; normal bowls, thank the stars. Lunatic. I'm guessing that's one for each judge. I'm glad I'm not on the judge panel, I tell you. It looks like the rice pudding from hell. Hey look, he's putting sugar and ground oatmeal in there- it IS rice pudding! I got one right! Booya! Okay, sprinkling of cinnamon on the top. Oooh, vanilla sticks. Very decorative, and very stupid looking, if I do say so myself. And the pudding bowls are going into the freezer to be chilled."
"Thirty minutes left."