What I watched: Chef’s Table: “Alex Atala” (original air date: May 27, 2016)
How I watched: Netflix
Synopsis: Each episode of this series looks at a different internationally renowned chef, examining in particular their approach to cooking and their restaurant and where that approach comes from.
Why I watched: I have a love/hate relationship with this series. I love learning about international cuisine and it is interesting how “the local” manifests itself in such different ways for such different chefs. However I also find that the chefs and the people who write about them even more so, are too pretentious to be taken seriously. That said, I am interested in each new chef they featured, and the series is shot so beautifully.
Notes: Alex Atala has to be the most naturally attractive chef they’ve featured so far. And now that I’ve gotten the objectification out of the way…it was a neat enough story and he seems to be one of the less pretentious chefs. I liked his frankness about the fact that fancy food is only fancy food because some people call it fancy (he was of course more articulate to this point than I am).
I found his Amazonian rambles fascinating, because the Amazon frightens me (man-eating fish, spiders and mosquitoes, oh my!) and I would definitely be up for eating ants if they tasted like ginger and lemongrass. Bring on the future of bug protein!
Recommend: Yes, overall I think it is a multi-faceted show that could be interesting whether you care about chefs or not.