Most of the food shows on TV are scripted contests/reality shows that keep the masses entertained with mild drama while also watching people jump through hoops for a mediocre prize or a recipe show where the host is cooking the same thing you see on other shows with their own little twist on it. They mostly target the idea of making you hungry so you will buy into their products. There are really no shows out there for the true culinarian with substance that allows you learn and feed more into your passion for food. The Netflix Docu-series “Chef’s Table” is a tribute to amazing chefs from all over the world, from all walks of life and unique personalities and they all have one common passion: The love for food. There are 3 seasons and I am currently watching the third season. For me, I am truly inspired by learning about their lives and how their struggles, family ties, and culture are engrained in the food they cook. Literally their plated dishes tell the stories of who they are, where they came from and the deep rooted love for natural and exotic ingredients.
In the first season, the chef who I was the most impressed with is Chef Massimo Bottura. I was most impressed by his delicacy involving tortellini. He made a statement about how people just inhale those without really tasting them, it’s almost an insult to the chef who spent time making the delicate dumpling and filling and preparing them so lovely. He prepared them in away so that the broth is both gelatin and liquid making the tortellini look as if it’s moving on the plate. So his dish Tortellini walking into broth is something I’m dying to try and to appreciate. I believe he referenced this dish as “the tortellini walked onto the broth the way Christ walked on water”. Deep.
In the third season, while I have not gotten far into the season. I am already impressed with Jeong Kwan. She is actually a monk, living in Korea and her food often called “Temple Food” has recently crossed the ocean and is now known amongst many culinarians in the US. What I appreciated the most about her cooking is the spiritual aspect of her meals and how the ingredients she chooses is closely related to her spiritual journey. Eating no meat or even fish, all of her dishes are of the freshest, most simple ingredients and she doesn’t even use hard spices like garlic or onion, yet everything is delicious says the American commentators in the scene. What stuck out to me the most is her lotus tea. Looks to only be made with two ingredients, the lotus flower and water but it looks so pure! I would love to have a taste!
I definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes documentaries, serious food related content, and anyone simply curious enough to just learn something new while being entertained. Get your popcorn and blanket and binge watch this series! You can find all 3 seasons currently on Netflix.