Iron Chef Judaica!

Here’s my open letter to the Food Network. If you agree, feel free to send your own letter via the Food Network’s contact page.

I would like to see a “Passover Challenge” on Iron Chef. The secret ingredient would be matzo (meal, crackers, full sheets, etc) and the challengers would have to cook within the limits of kosher-for-passover rules (nothing with leavening, wheat, spelt, barley, rye, oats). And of course, no pork or shellfish.

I realize there are varying levels of kosher observance and that the network would have to make some choices, as well as find a way to communicate both the rules and the choices to the audience in a way that is engaging and entertaining. But as Cookie Monster said recently on a “Dinner Impossible” episode, “Easy not make good television”.

Given the popularity of “specialty” Iron Chef episodes (my wife and I just watched the Thanksgiving battle last night) and holiday specials that are now hitting the network; as well as the relative dearth of Jewish-themed episodes (I believe all that’s aired is one Passover “Dinner Impossible” and a “Barefoot Contessa” where she made Shabbat dinner) it would be great to see the Food Network speak to the Jewish home cook demographic, especially around a holiday where food is so central and yet creativity is key to making meals which are appealing given all the religious restrictions.

Leon Adato
author of The Edible Torah