TV Binge: Chef’s Table (Season 2, 2016)

If you  missed Season 1 TV Binge of Chef’s Table, you can find it HERE.

I’m not much of a documentary girl, very much less a documentary series girl but Chef’s Table is about chefs and creativity and food. To be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about the world renowned chefs despite being a food lover. There’s something so charming in learning about how someone pursues what they love. In this case, its being a chef but there’s a lot to learn when looking at someone’s story that can apply even if you aren’t particularly pursuing a chef dream but rather a creative goal. I love listening to someone’s stories and their experience and that is what made me love watching the first season of Chef’s Table. It took a little while to get onto Season 2 but I’m excited! However, keep in mind that I did watch this a little while back and never had the time to write up the review so maybe some details might be fuzzy but it was a memorable series.

Chef’s Table (Season 2, 2016)

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Chef’s Table goes inside the lives and kitchens of six of the world’s most renowned international chefs. Each episode focuses on a single chef and their unique look at their lives, talents and passion from their piece of culinary heaven. – IMDB

Chef’s Table is a documentary that truly takes a nice look at chefs. I like the stories and the lessons that they offer as well as the eye-opening creativity. This time, there’s Grant Alinea who decides to create a meal on a table. Alex Atala that takes Brazilian cuisine and Amazonian ingredients and incorporates it into his dishes. There’s Dominique Crenn who serves a menu which is a beautiful poem. Enrique Olvera who takes on the challenge of making known Mexican street food into fine cuisine to show that his culture can have more. Then, there’s self-taught chef, Ana Ros in Slovenia who cooks out of her house and has her husband as the sommelier to make a great team. Last, there’s Anand Gaggan who lives in Indonesia but has an Indian restaurant who took quite the journey to get to where he is now.

I can’t highlight everything and I think their stories are best felt when you watch the series which I highly recommend but these are a few of my favorite episodes. There’s only six so its a little hard to narrow down but I felt the most inspired by these ones.

Episode 1: Grant Achatz, Alinea – “Turning a meal into an emotional experience”

Chef's Table

Usually, the showstopper of the Chef’s Table season is the story of the first chef they highlight. In this case its Grant Achatz who owns Alinea in Chicago. Every chef has their unique approach and his story is one where he turned what he grew up with into something more creative that would break the norms. His history tells us that even the most successful people grow through different people they meet (which is a similarity between a lot of the chefs in this series). They also have doubted their career but found enlightenment through another way. The dining experience at his restaurant is not only for the guests but for the ones cooking it in the kitchen also.

 

Episode 3: Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn

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Possibly one of my favorite episodes in the entire Chef’s Table seasons is this one with Dominic Crenn, the owner and chef of Atelie Crenn in San Francisco. She cooks with the focus on the importance of memory and telling a story. Her menu is a poem and she serves it with the intention of making the dining experience a feeling. There isn’t much more to say but the episode itself and her story is one that I just fell in love with, especially her food as well.

 

 

Episode 6: Gaggan Anand, Gaggan

Chef's Table

Everyone has a hard story of how they became successful in in Anand Gaggan’s case, it was being the best restaurant in Asia. He talks about Indian food being a religion. He takes the ingredients and makes it into something more to emphasize its importance. Other than great dishes, I think his story is one of the most heartfelt as he talks about his support system and his brother. The failures and decisions he had to make to get to where he is now.

Overall, the second season of Chef’s Table seems to have a common theme of not only passion and creativity but also that these chef’s look not only for recognition but to be proud of their culture, their upbringing and to share their story in their food and create an unforgettable dining experience that isn’t just in their taste buds but a complete experience. These are inspirational stories.

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