Chapter Three - Today’s Secret Ingredient Is? ... A Warning!
“Welcome Back everyone,” Alton Brown said. “Battle Minotaur Horns and Hocks, is heating up here in Kitchen Stadium. We have various mixes happening and the smells coming from the main floor are positively mouth watering. Right now we’ll head over to the Judges Table with our very own Canadian, Kevin Brauch, to find out who will have the honour of tasting the culinary efforts of our competing Chefs. Kevin?”
“Thank you Alton,” Kevin says to the man by the monitors. He turns to the camera and audience saying, “Com ben wa, everyone. I’m here with five guest judges today instead of our usual three, but I’ll begin with the familiar faces you may know and they are, Jeffrey Steingarten, Karine Bakhoum and Aaron Sanchez. Our two new judges are Ethan Rayne and Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.”
Kevin turned to the first judge and asked, “So Jeff, do you think you’ll be able to judge the presentation of such an unconventional ingredient?”
“I believe so,” the man said in his slight British accent. “As you know, I enjoy food and today’s competition is a once in a lifetime unique opportunity to taste something that obviously is not found on Earth.”
“That is so true,” the floor announcer said. He turned to the single female sitting in the middle of the two normal judges. “Karine what do you think about what you’re seeing here?”
“I’m seeing a lot of interesting ingredients on the floor and I’m looking forward to what the Chefs will present to us,” she said leaning forward.
“So you’re not nervous about the secret ingredient?”
“Not really,” she said watching the challenger empty one of the pressure cooker contents into a bowl with a sieve on top. “I too am looking forward to tasting something unique.”
“Unique is right,” Kevin said, with a look to the camera and then he faced the next judge. “How about you Aaron, do you think that the Iron Chef is at a disadvantage or advantage in this arena?”
“Hmm,” Aaron noised before saying. “I think that he might be disadvantaged, if the challenger already knew about how to process the horns, which he told the Iron Chef when the secret ingredient was revealed.”
“That is true,” Kevin said. “Now onto our new guest judges, since we don’t know anything about you could you tell everyone watching a little bit about who you are and what you do? Mr. Rayne?”
“Well, my name is Ethan Rayne,” the tall skinny man said in a British accent. “I’m actually a wizard that specializes in Chaos magic. I do worship several gods, but my favourite is definitely Janus. I’m the one who made it possible of Chef Xander to become possessed by his ‘costume
“I see,” Kevin said. He turned to Wesley and asked, “What about you Mr. Wyndam-Pryce, are you a wizard too?”
“Not quite,” the younger man said with a similar accent. “I’m familiar with many spells and their components, but I’m mainly a researcher into the arcane and occult. I’m currently working at a law firm in Los Angeles.”
“We need to get back to the floor to see how far along our chefs have managed to get,” Kevin said. “Alton?”
“A few things have been put into the oven at this point,” the host said. “I saw several pans with different loafs and flatbreads go in from Chef Xander, while our Iron Chef has been working on what looks like a few sauces and vinaigrettes.”
Female voice states, “Thirty-seven minutes remaining.”
“Time does fly when you’re cooking and that is so true for the chefs here on Kitchen Stadium,” Alton said. “Let’s see what the chefs have cooking now.”
The cameras closed in on several colourful pots and pans. There were vegetables getting peeled, chopped, or diced, basically being reconfigured into pleasing shapes or for the ease of cooking with them. Sauces were bubbling or blending. The food processors were whizzing and buzzing, while the new cooking tools like the ‘Blast Freezer
’ or ceramic cook tops were cooling and heating the place up at the same time. You could feel it as though something or someone wanted the audience to fully experience the sensation of actually being on the floor where the chefs were working.
Commentaries were interspersed with wit and charm, as the host speculated on what the chefs and sous-chefs were working on. Alton’s knowledge going a long way to supply the viewers, the audience and judges with explanations of cooking processes that sounded really tasty no matter what the secret ingredient was.
Female voice rings out in the stadium, “Twenty minutes remaining.”
“Things are starting to come together here at Kitchen Stadium,” Alton said looking into the camera. “When we come back from our commercial break we should be able to see the final rush of cooking and then the plating of our secret ingredient.”
A man clearly dressed in bad historical drag, is being hauled up to a guillotine in the middle of a town square filled with shouting peasants.Deep voiced announcer says
: And now presenting a clip from our all-new mini-series about the French Revolution... “Off with His Head
”. This is the story of the Marquis de Knable, a heartless enemy of the people, who tries to escape his execution and the guillotine by wearing a disguise. It’s an epic dramatic tale of love, danger, and cross-dressing.
: Early morning workout group doing jumping jacks, jogging in place and doing high kicks.Deep voice announcer says:
Don’t forget to tune in, in the early hours of the morning. Exercise is good for your heart, mind and body. Don’t forget those neck muscles, as our famous workout queen will take you step-by-step through stretches that will really turn your head.Scene
: Everyone has stopped moving except for their necks, which twisted round and round like an owl’s. The instructor says loudly, “All right everyone. Time to cool down, shake it out now and... vomit.”Deep voiced announcer says:
Yes, it’s just the workout that you need to start your day with projectile vomiting, so stay tuned in the morning and catch our show, “The Excorcisist
(End of commercial break
The camera focussed on Alton Brown, who gulped loudly and then faced the viewers. “Interesting,” he said. “This station is something else folks, that’s for sure. Now let’s go back to the Judges table with our amiable Canadian, Kevin?”
“Yes,” Kevin said with a slight bow. He faced the judges in general and asked them a few questions that whoever wanted to answer, could. “Hello everyone, tell me how do you feel now that the dishes are further along? Do you see anything that our chefs are preparing, that you’re looking forward to eating?”
“Actually,” Wesley said. “I’m interested in what looks like Chef Xander’s Minotaur horn pudding. I could be wrong about that, but that’s what it looks like to me.”
“Chef Xander can you comment on that,” Alton asked.
“It’s a desert pudding,” Xander confirmed. He looked to the Iron Chef’s side and noticed another piece of equipment that wasn’t working like it was supposed to. He had a food processor crap out on him and so he wasn’t surprised when his competitor had a problem. He quickly finished with his blender and motioned Chef Forgione’s sous-chef to use his blender base.
Wesley’s eyes widened when he heard that and he grinned in anticipation. He saw some of the ingredients going in and was looking forward to something that reminded him of home.
“What about the rest of you, do you see something interesting,” Kevin asked the judges in general.
Aaron leaned forward and said, “I’m looking forward to something pasta like that I see Iron Chef Forgione working on. It seems that he made the pasta with the juices from the horns. Plus I saw quite a few peppers going into that and I like anything with a bit of heat.”
“Interesting,” Kevin said with a grin and chuckle at the obvious plug-in for the show called ‘Heat Seekers
’. Before he could ask another question, all of the judges were startled to see a couple of sharp knives piercing what looked like a pair of dice that the guest Judge, Ethan Rayne, had been about to pick up.
“Ethan,” Xander said with a loud snarl. Everyone watched the close-up to the hard look he was giving the Chaos Judge, with a green-tinted glint in his one good eye. “Contain yourself or next time I won’t miss.”
Ethan Rayne may have been unflappable most times, but that look gave him pause. Well that and the fact that the knives had penetrated the dice are currently just between his fingers and much too close the web of skin between them. He shrugged and said, “Understood.”
“Wow,” Kevin said looking closely at the position of the Judge’s hand, the dice and the knives.
The camera man knowing his job is to get a beautiful shot of the whole deal, zoomed in on the tableau before him. It’s a great shot because everyone could see how deep the knives are imbedded into the table and how close it came for the wizard and his long grasping fingers. The producers watching this were hoping that they could see the process from Chef Xander to the Judges table in slow motion, but they had to wait for the recording session to end.
“You said it,” Alton said, picking up the slack in the commentary department. “It looks like there is more to our challenger than those rugged pirate looks.”
Female voice, echoes in the studio, “Ten minutes remaining.”
“There you have it folks,” Alton Brown says. “We’re nearing the crunch time. Plating has begun and the Chefs are getting the finishing touches ready. Because we have only three courses in the works, it may seems like they have extra time, but that is not always the case when cooking. How about we take a quick commercial break before we conclude this exciting premiere episode of Amateur: Iron Chef