Chef's Table - S5

2018-10-01 12:44
Christina Martinez


In this Emmy-nominated series, meet culinary stars around the world who are redefining gourmet food with innovative dishes and tantalising desserts.


Netflix’s Chef’s Table is - and has long been – a show that sets trends that the rest of food TV world follows. Its styling, storytelling and unique framing also make it the type of rare TV morsel that you can’t stop devouring episode after episode. 

But with such wide acclaim – including awards and more - obviously comes backlash and the culinary show has often been called to task for not being diverse enough in both its subject matter in front of the camera and the crew behind the scenes. 

So – now in its fifth volume – the popular programme has put a strong emphasis on voices that are often left on the margins of society. The show’s new focus is exemplified in the powerful first episode which features Cristina Martinez who - other than being a popular restaurateur - is an immigrant rights advocate. 

Cristina’s astoundingly good episode, directed by Abigail Fuller, tells her sometimes tragic story in such a beautiful way - with her signature Barbacoan dishes sprinkled throughout like seasoning - that I have to say it is my favourite episode of the series, ever. It truly moved me and made me want to book a flight to Philadelphia as soon as possible to not only taste her food but to meet her. 

That truly excellent episode sets the tone for the incredible volume that moves the focus of the show from predominately on food and dishes popular in The Western World like France and Italy (and the rest of Europe) to Latin America, Turkey and Thailand amongst others. 

The shift in focus to more women and people of colour is coupled with a change in the way the show is put together. While the ingredients and processes are still obviously very much there, the chef’s stories and why they matter were really highlighted. Almost like the producers, story editors and directors were saying to the hungry audience: “We have, over the past four volumes, explained why sourcing local is important, then we explained why innovation counts and now we will show you how food changes lives by being bigger than itself.” 

What I did, that really underpinned that message for me, is watch all four volumes in the weeks leading up to watching the fifth, which is something that I would highly recommend for any fan of filmmaking and food. 

Even if you don’t want to watch all the other volumes, Chef’s Table volume 5 is must-see TV. Stream it now on Netflix. 



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