Now comes Iron Chef: Kabul.
This culinary showdown took place this weekend at the US Embassy in Kabul, where the 'Mericans sought to redeem themselves after a bitter loss last year to the British team.
Losing a cooking battle to the British?
It's no wonder that last year's first annual Iron Chef Afghanistan showdown ended with a pumpkin throwing battle...
This year it was (basically) US v. UN!
The 'Mericans issued a challenge to the local couple behind Foodie in a War Zone, a new blog that offers a unique take on life in Kabul.
("When bad things happen, bake," the bloggers wrote in a post last month after colleagues at a UN guest house came under attack...)
The two teams were given a choice of meats and told to make two courses with the secret special ingredients du jour: Pumpkin and pomegranate.
There were five judges, including two journos from esteemed news outlets (though not McClatchy).
On presentation of the main dishes, it looked as if Team 'Merica had the edge.
But, on taste, according to the judges, Team Foodie came out on top.
(One unnamed judge reportedly described the Team 'Merica chicken as being like a "dead hand.")
There was no pumpkin throwing melee when it was all over. No one accused anyone of vote rigging, though one of the referees did tell me privately that, this being Afghanistan, there was no ban on bribes...
(For the record: I have no reason to suspect that any bribes exchanged hands!)
But the whole drama no doubt has the US Embassy regrouping, reassessing its culinary skills and reconsidering US relations with the UN...
Team Foodie describes the showdown in full detail at the blog.