Chef’s Table: BBQ is not your ordinary cooking show — it shows how much it means to the people.
Netflix’ Chef’s Table: BBQ season 1 will be released on the platform on September 2, 2020.
We can’t beat a BBQ. It’s like no other way of bringing people together. And that’s the reason why BBQs are so popular — that sense of community and togetherness while enjoying food is difficult to replicate at a dinner table. Everyone chips in and there’s no rigidness of where you sit or how you eat. Certainly, in British culture, during the warmer weekends, there are flames smelt on every corner — it’s an obsession, but not one where eyebrows are raised but one where we can only envy not having a BBQ ourselves. With Chef’s Table: BBQ, there’s this underlying fear that the Netflix series was going to make the affair some pretentious form of art, however, fears are extinguished in the first minute of the first chapter.
Episode 1 is a fine opener — we follow Tootsie Tomanetz; custodian by day, pitmaster by night. Chef’s Table: BBQ season 1 follows Tootsie at the prime age of 85 years old — an age that drops jaws when you can see how effortlessly she stokes the woodfires and flips meat with ease. She’s a veteran at the game, a legend in Texas, with her skills defined by her godlike instincts born from years of experience. The Netflix series makes the story more important than the succulent meat; there’s a fine story to be told and Tootsie delivers, giving the audience plenty of tears to shed — sadness and happiness.
What the first episode does is confirm the community that is birthed by a BBQ. The second episode then joins Sydney Chef Lennox Hastie. His episode is not so much about community but more about obsession over BBQ cooking. A chef that was destined for Michelin star restaurants but found himself bowled over by a void, an emptiness that propelled him to persevere and find meaning in his chef skills. While the second chapter does not bring that togetherness and that feeling of longlasting relationships, it does manage to articulate the importance of BBQing in specific ways.
And if you continue through this four-chapter series, Chef’s Table: BBQ brings forth award-winning chef Rodney Scott, who owns a booming restaurant in Charleston, and then it ends with Rosalia Chay Chuc; a chapter steeped in Mayan traditions.
There’s plenty to grab at for the audience in this layered Netflix documentary series. It’s certainly a surprising entry in the collection of food shows the streaming platform offers — there’s so much depth. Chef’s Table: BBQ is not your ordinary cooking show — it shows how much it means to the people.