Before turning back east, I stopped off in Seattle for 25 years during a period when the Emerald City seemed closer to Tokyo than New York. I remember learning from two Asahi Shimbun newspaper reporters of a TV show sweeping up in Japan called “Iron Chef.” It would probably be another year before it was picked up on the Food Network on cable TV in Seattle so I could see “Iron Chef” for myself. It turned out to be the best group-watching since “Dallas.” Who can forget Chairman Kaga shouting out, “Allez cuisine!” (“Go cook!”) to get it all going in “Kitchen Stadium”? And, which “Iron Chef” would be up that night? For a short time, it was all great fun. And, just as Larry Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing on “Dallas” was one of those “all hat, no cattle” type of guys, so, too, was Takeshi Kaga, who played Chairman Kaga of “Iron Chef” fame. Before “Iron Chef,” he was already a well-known stage and movie actor in Japan, but he was not at all associated with cooking. As the host, he had a corral of “Iron Chefs” who were the genuine talents, along with those brought into compete with them during any of the 92 episodes. Nevertheless, with all the lights and smoke, it was a really big show. It was ground-breaking in raising awareness about chefs in a way those more static cooking shows never did. I’ve not seen “Top Chef,” which has been running for a decade or so on Bravo. It also features a competitive format but moves to a different location each season. It has apparently outdistanced the original “Iron Chef.” Meanwhile, the Food Channel has revived the Japanese program with “Iron Chef America.” With food being both a segment topic for some networks and the complete package for others such as The Cooking Channel and the Food Network, the “celebrity chef” has become a fully developed phenomenon in popular politics and culture. I could not care less about what they have to say. Beyond saying, “Thank you very much,” I think celebrities should be seen, but not heard. Act, or sing, or cook. Show me what you are known for and be gracious about it, but spare me your opinions about most anything. Adding celebrity status to someone wearing a chef’s white hat also does not do much for me. Maybe if there were a long line of chefs, or even one or two, who have been known as food-safety leaders, I would think about it differently. But I cannot name one. I know many chefs earn the title through extensive academic training and on-the-job experience. Also, I know others get the title from their brother-in-law, who owns the restaurant chain. In preparing to write this, I’ve watched a number of interviews of celebrity chefs, and they share a common danger sign. I’ve not seen one that included a tough, or even unexpected, question. I’ve seen people asking the questions whose main concern is their access to the “celebrities.” So spare me your press releases about what some celebrity chef thinks about this or that. Some chefs do entertain, and some chefs do know how to cook. Just do whatever you do in the kitchen, and we’ll have no problems. Unless, of course, the health department shuts you down for unsanitary practices. Then we will be interested in what you have to say.