Back for a second season, Chef’s Table returns for 6 more episodes of exquiste fine-dining. Much like the first, Chef’s Table combines slick cinematography and a beautifully composed classical score with real-life tales of struggle and success to great effect. With a variety of chefs depicted and a whole range of lavish and surprising dishes shown, Chef’s Table settles into a groove early on and takes you on a culinary rollercoaster of emotion.
The first and last episode are arguably the best episodes here. Both showcase daring chefs looking to break conventional thoughts and challenge the norm. Hearing the struggles of Grant Achatz with his fight against cancer along with Gaggan Anand’s 26-year climb to the peak of Asian cuisine are both humbling and incredibly moving. Nestled between these two tales are 4 other stories that, while eclipsed by the first and last episode, do a good job showcasing different chefs and their journeys. Whether it be Dominique’s claim to fame in being the first woman to earn 2 Michelin stars in the US or Enrique’s dabbling with Mexican food, the second season is bursting with different culinary experiences.
In true Chef’s Table fashion, the cinematography and little stylistic ticks are really what make this show so appealing and help it stand out from the glut of other food review shows out there. The classical score adds an extra element of class to the series and some of the slow-mo shots and overhead views of plating signature dishes are great inclusions as well. Most of this draws on the inspiration from the first season and there’s a distinct style oozing through the series that helps it stand alongside, and actually surpass, the excellence of the first season.
While a few of the stories don’t quite reach the heights of the magnificent first episode, Chef’s Table, much like the dishes depicted, continues to challenge conventional thoughts and surprise with every beautiful dish. Like art, fine dining is an acquired taste but the way Chef’s Table presents this in an easily digestible, enjoyable format is something that really helps the show stand out. For that reason alone, this is one cooking show that deserves acclaim with an impressive second season.