Battle Poruchini is one of the most exciting matches I've seen, airing in Japan on 11/27/98.  When I first saw this in Japanese, I was awed by the great spectacles of fire, ice, and cookery.  I didn't understand many of the great spectacles but it didn't matter, the visuals were too impressive.

The challenger is Pasta Champion, Marco Morinari.  This is no ordinary chef, this is the winner of the International Pasta Contest held in 1995.  This prestigious event is held once every 10 years.

This match is filled with excitement.  Morinari was quite the limelight.  He was calm, cool, funny, and very energetic...all in the same match.  Antics galore! Morinari threw stuff at the audience and camera.  He lit fires, hit things with big sticks, and even stuffed a bottle down the cameraman's pants.  He was so much of a show, even Morimoto was distracted.  There are numerous exciting moments, but the screen shots can only cover so much.  Many of the moments must be seen in video.

Note that this match will air in about 3 weeks on Food Network, on 6/16/00.  This is a match you do not want to miss!

Many thanks to ICR.  His report gave much sense to the battle.

Download Battle Transcript

Italian Mushrooms, Poruchini.  When the opening allez cuisine was called, Morinari slowly walked up to podium with an air.  He was soaking in the glory and showed to the world how cool he was.  When Morinari got up to the podium, we could see Morimoto feverishly grabbing mushrooms.  Morinari was opposite, he was slow calm, and even tasted a few of them.
This is a feature we don't see in the FTV version of Iron Chef.  Chef stats for the Iron Chef are presented each week.  Here we see Morimoto with 4 wins and a loss.  Aside from the stats, Morimoto is making some kind of noodle.
The commentators think Morimoto is making soba, but Ota is quick to correct the panel.  Morimoto is making ramen.

Another feature to point out.  Note the info bar at the bottom of the screen.  The FTV version is essentially the same, sans the Japanese.  This is the first instance of original Japanese info bar on this site.

Now the fun begins.  Morinari sprays alcohol on a marble table and then lights it aflame to much of the crowds delight.  He does this to heat the table.
Uh oh, what's going on?  Morinari puts on a mask, goggles, and gloves in that order.  Radioactive pasta?
Flour on the table and a smoking assistant.. this is getting better by the second.  We soon find out he's making espresso noodles.  See the jar in this left hand?

I should also note that Morinari also threw an empty plastic container at the cameraman right after he dumped the flour out of it.

The jar of espresso is emptied onto the flour and here comes the dry ice liquid mixture.  At this time, the femal guest judge is crying sugoi (awesome) and the crowd is getting quite loud.  The commentators are also having a hayday seeing this most unusual technique.
The mixture is poured, but before Morinari kneeds the dough, he takes time to stuff the espresso bottle down the cameraman's pants.  Morimoto comes by to see what all the commotion is.
At this point, the Morinari checks for the correct temperature of the dough.  He shields the reading with his hand.  The cameraman then decided to get a shot from behind Morinari.  The cameraman was then rejected once again by Morinari's shielding hands a second time.
Morinari beats the dought with a long rolling pin.  This technique only brings more cheer from the crowd.
Now we see Morimoto with a blowtorch.  Somehow it's not quite as impressive as Morinari's noodle technique.
The female guest jude's dress is very reminscient of the Sachiel, the 15th Angel, in Neon Genesis Evangelion (Shin Seki Evangelion).

Also note the guest judge Francisco Esposito.  This sunglass wearing, yellow suited, Italian scultor was highly impressed by Morimoto's ramen.

Judgement is given and Morinari rewards his rowdy contingent by throwing flour into the stands several times.
A very proud Italian chef.  Might I note he spoke fluent Japanese.

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