A tired seen-before format, Netflix documentary series The Chef Show backs up each episode with a celebrity, but serves little education about food.
With the release of The Chef Show, Netflix has such a catalogue of cooking shows that they may as well create their stand-alone platform dedicated to making us hungry at 8 am. I recently watched the delightful Street Food, which immersed viewers into varying cultures and ground-up businesses in the world of food, and it was wholly educational and satisfying to watch. Shows about food feel worth the time when you are learning something uniquely new about the favorite human habit because we think about the normality of food every single day.
That’s why the latest Netflix food series The Chef Show is deflated, and despite making you feel hungry, the entire format is tasteless. The series belongs on daytime TV, nestled in terrestrial TV to appease those with little to do. The selling point is watching Jon Favreau and chef Roy Choi enjoying their cooking while bringing in other accomplished chefs and celebrities to join in on their recipes. We’ve seen it all before.
The marketing for Netflix’s The Chef Show delves into the thumbnails, each one giving us a tinge of excitement, revealing the famous guest; Gwyneth Paltrow and Bill Burr appear in the opening episode, with the Marvel actress momentarily arguing about which MCU films she starred in before the format reveals the meal they are making is called ‘pepper pot’. The Marvel presence continues straight into the second episode with Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland brought in to conquer the obscene amount of food in Atlanta.
It could be that I haven’t got time to watch glamourized cooking shows anymore, or it could be that the Netflix series represents a tired seen-before format that revels in the celebrity status rather than focuses on different disciplines in food. And don’t get me wrong, Netflix series The Chef Show does delight us with incredible dishes, but there’s nothing behind the purpose of looking into that arena of food.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.