When I was at a college residence in Southeastern Ontario during the early ‘aughts, everyone’s room looked exactly the same: Same stack of already-obsolete CDs, same Princess Mononoke poster on the wall, same mountain of clothing on the bed and wasteland of drafting paper and half-eaten Rabba’s pizza slices on the floors. And on TV, one of three things could be counted on: Undergrads, Buffy the vampire Slayer, or Iron Chef.
For the most part, TV was just part of the constant, reassuring din of college life, often mixed with caffeine-induced stress babble and the occasional Rage Against The Machine Song. You would look up every so often from your work, check in with what was happening on-screen and check back out. But sometimes (usually due to severe sleep-deprivation) you looked up and got hooked for the whole episode, homework and future employability forgotten.
This happened to me a lot with Iron Chef (which would explain my poor grades) and began an interest/obsession with the show that would last more than a decade into my later life. If it wasn’t for this strange little show from Japan I may not have had enough of an interest in food to join my then girlfriend-later wife Crystal for that fateful night of Chinatown gluttony. And if that epiphany had never happened, maybe I never would have become a professional chef. (more…)