Saturday, August 12, 2017

Now on Netflix: Chef's Table: France (2016)

Chef's Table: France (2016) - Directed by David Gelb, Andrew Fried, Clay Jeter.

By Kenny Howell

Netflix takes its excellent cooking show to France in this four part series.

Chef's Table: France looks at four Michelin starred restaurants in the the beautiful country, starting with Chef Alain Passard of L'Arpege, who has received three stars. It then goes to its strongest of the episodes in Alexandre Cuillon's La Marine. It finishes with Adeline Grattard of yam'Tcha and Michel Troisgros of the family-owned Troisgros.

Cuillon's episode is the best because of Cuillon's story itself. He was a bit out an outcast (his last name is the French word for moron), and he found himself as a chef. He left school early because he couldn't handle the teasing and the no direction, and chased what he thought he should do. He learned a bit from his parents' time running a restaurant, and set out to make his own cuisine that was a part of his island community on the sea. Now people go out of their way to the tiny island just to eat his food.

Troisgros tells the story of a family restaurant that has shaped French cuisine for years. Michel Troisgros is now the man in charge, but his father and uncle are who put the restaurant on the map years ago when they modernized French cuisine with dishes like Salmon and Sorrel. They became celebrities, showing up on TV shows. But things change, and cuisines evolve. Much like his father and uncle did years ago, Michel changed the way the restaurant approached their food, and made a name for himself while still keeping the family restaurant in tact.

The other two episodes are not quite as strong, but they are a look at unique, gorgeous food. That is what Chef's Table has made its calling card, and the France version is just as good.

Chef's Table: France is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***1/2

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