Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Iron Chef Retrospectives

I like cooking analogies to software. Lachlan Heasman recently posted a comparison between Iron Chef and scrum iterations. One missing component was the retrospective. It occurred to me that the chefs must do some sort of retrospective and that it would be interesting to see on TV. So I penned the following to Food Network this morning:

I'm a software engineer and a die-hard Food Network fan. I often use cooking analogies when coaching other software professionals on how to improve their approach to software development. Mise en place is one of my favorites.

I recently encountered a comparison of the Iron Chef competition to software development. One of the components of our approach in software is to use "retrospectives" to look back upon the iteration of software development we have completed to improve how we do things. We revisit what went well, what didn't go well and adapt our approach to learn from our mistakes

It occurred to me that the Iron Chef competitors must do "retrospectives" as well. I can imagine Cat Cora sitting around a table with her chefs over shots of Ouzo dissecting the completed competition and finding reasons to celebrate and opportunities for improvement.

I think it would be fantastic to have a postscript TV show to film the two teams in their analysis of the competition. You could intersperse clips from the actual competition when chefs refer to certain activities. It would also be interesting to hear what the chefs *really* think about the comments from the judges and how they might change what they did based on those comments.


L said...

That would be very interesting to know especially from the Iron Chef side as that team will continue from week to week. (I haven't seen much of the US version so I don't know who the chefs are, is Cat Cora an Iron Chef?)

In the Japanese Iron Chef the challenger/Iron Chef could do a "futurespective" of sorts as they were given a list of potential ingredients for the show. It gave them the chance to start playing around with recipe ideas.

Keep us posted on the response.

Adrian said...

Yes, Cat Cora is an Iron Chef; she does a shot of Ouzo with her sous chef (and other chefs) at the end of her competitions... usually with 5 seconds or so remaining on the clock.

I haven't watched much of the Japanese version. I like the futurespective concept - will look for that. Thanks.

L said...

Unfortunately you don't get to see the futurespective, I read about it in the Iron Chef book.