My relationship with entertainment about food is limited. I don’t watch daytime television where a cook shows stay at home parents how to poorly make a meal. I don’t gravitate towards the reality show versions of cooking competitions where Gordon Ramsey tells someone they are an idiot sandwich. Instead, I’ve seen a couple of episodes of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, thankfully mostly from the first season. This kind of entertainment uses food as a trojan horse to sneak a documentary about people in front of you. It hammers home how lives are affected by government or educates about the culture of a people, all expressed through their food. So when I saw an article talking about how Gweneth Paltrow didn’t know she was in Spider-Man: Homecoming, that got me interested in a new cooking show.
The Chef Show is very much in the same vein as Parts Unknown. It has hosts that go around and talk to people about their lives while using food to bring all of them together. Food shares the spotlight as stories about running a restaurant, starting a food truck, or just reminiscing about the past fills out each episode. When everyone isn’t regaling the glory days, it's all hard work as cooking skills are put to the test. It ends up being a great mix as recipes are shared amidst the fast-paced work environment or during a more laid back cooking session with guests.
It's really the personalities that give the show the flair needed to stand out in an ocean of food content. The Chef Show follows Roy Choi, famous for his Kogi food truck in Los Angels, and director John Favreau, director of Iron Man. The pair's relationship is framed as a seasoned professional with a very capable student which is enforced by continually by bringing up how they met. Favreau was making a movie about a chef and wanted it to be authentic, so he enlisted the help of Choi to be a consultant. The result was a friendship that surpassed the film’s production, evident by this very show.
connections in their respective industries. Gathering at a director’s house to make brick oven pizza or seeing Tom Holland eat his first oyster is just one kind of episode in the season. Others offer looks into how restaurant owners started in a backyard or exploring the thriving fast food truck scene in L.A. It ends up feeling as cozy as sitting around a table getting to hear people regale about the past over a nice meal. As it all blends together, its equal parts fun and food as you couldn’t hope for a more watchable show that mostly takes place in kitchens.