Easily the best and funniest episode of the first three, “Selena + Antonia Lofaso” shows off great chemistry between Selena, the surprisingly personable Antonia, and an octopus that causes difficulties.
This recap of Selena + Chef episode 2, “Selena + Antonia Lofaso”, contains spoilers.
You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
Selena + Chef episode 2, “Selena + Antonia Lofaso”, is the funniest and thus best of the three episodes provided to press, for two reasons. The first is that the recipe, a seafood tostada, contains a big octopus that Selena and her friends Liz and Raquelle are rightly horrified by. The second is that Antonia Lofaso, who has three restaurants in L.A., which is becoming something of a trend, is easily the most laidback you can imagine a successful chef being. She and her friend Julia are a pretty delightful presence, gel well with Selena and her pals, and help to create a vibe that the show is clearly aiming for.
Things are much the same, technically speaking. The camera setup and premise and overall shape of the episode are as they were in the premiere, just with better company. Even some of the concepts are repeated: mise en place, roughly “everything in its place”, is explained to Selena again despite it having been brought up and explained to her in the last episode. At first, I thought they might have been filmed out of sequence, but Selena actually brings Ludo up, and Antonia has a funny story about him.
I suppose everyone knows everyone in L.A.’s cuisine scene, which ties back into something I said in my season review about the show feeling a bit pally and insular. But no matter. The real guest star of “Selena + Antonia Lofaso” is the octopus, which Selena at one point has to lovingly stroke, which one imagines will go down a treat with a certain subset of creepy fans watching this for the wrong reasons. Either way, the sea monster is treated as such. It was also during this episode that I noticed Selena’s stood on a little platform in order to be tall enough for the camera. Oh, and she gets another compliment on her fancy knife set.
Selena + Chef episode 2 also has some of the most relatable details: Selena’s pot starts overflowing while she’s looking for ingredients, she and Antonia have a shrimp-peeling race which ends in a tie thanks to skills Selena picked up in Hooters, and when she flips her chopping board over there’s a label on the back. It’s a more complicated recipe, so this is to be expected, but it’s also a much more laidback atmosphere, thanks in large part to the personable Antonia. None of this is to say that Selena has totally gotten to grips with the kitchen though; on the contrary, she doesn’t seem to know the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit and almost lops her hand off while slicing radishes.
Antonia’s chosen charity is for those with addiction issues, since she has family members who suffer, and apparently so does Selena. This is a nice window into Selena’s real non-celebrity life, and she frankly mentions her bipolar too. It feels like an appropriately sincere way to cap off a fun episode and definitely helps to round out Selena as a personality. And the fact she puts up with her friend Liz abbreviating angle to “ang” proves that she’s possessed of much more patience than I am.
Oh, and the seafood tostada ends up a success. Bonus!
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.