“Selene + Candice Kumai” delves into wellness culture, Japanese cuisine, and boys — though only two of those feature.
This recap of Selena + Chef episode 3, “Selena + Candice Kumai”, contains spoilers.
You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
Selena + Chef episode 3 opens with a cameo from Daisy the dog, which automatically earns it at least half a star. Luckily it’s not a bad episode beyond that, even if it does — I suppose ironically — focus on hip L.A. wellness culture to a slightly unhealthy extent, at least for my refined tastes. Who better to guest star, then, than the so-called “golden girl of wellness”, Candice Kumai, who has also written six bestselling cookbooks. She’s got proper experience cooking on the line in French kitchens and also studied under monks in Japan, so this isn’t just an influencer gimmick, but you’ve always got to check these people out.
Candice is talking Selena through making her grandmother’s spicy miso ramen, which is full of healthy wellness stuff. And she’s impressed with Selena’s colorful knives, just to stay on-trend. Raquel is back, looming, and the conversation quickly turns to boys — it turns out Candice has met someone during lockdown, which comes back up a couple of times in the same kind of aghast tone that people tend to reserve for describing how parents lifted a car up to pull their kid out from underneath or whatever.
Since we’re here, a fact about shiitake mushrooms — they keep you glowing and gorgeous. With that established, we go through some of Candice’s history while Selena struggles to identify cilantro and de-stone an avocado. Once the dish is ready they all take photos of it and discuss the right angles and technique, which is so in-keeping with this show’s hip influencer vibe that I wasn’t even mad about it. The actual theme of wellness culture — and, for that matter, Japanese culture — felt a bit tokenistic at the best of times, so at least “Selena + Candice Kumai” really leaned into something, even if it wasn’t something of very much substance.
After an all too brief chat about female empowerment and assurance that Selena’s cooking journey is going to be cathartic, we move onto dessert — matcha chocolate chip cookies, which Selena burns because she still doesn’t know how to work the oven. Maybe next time. Don’t worry, though, we at least get another Daisy cameo.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.