Of compelling chef stories and scoring reservations at top restaurants
By Samantha Francis; Photos: Courtesy of Netflix
David’s knack for telling compelling stories is taken to great effect in Chef’s Table.
After making viewers drool over immaculate molds of sashimi in the critically acclaimed docu-series, Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, David Gelb is now reinventing the cooking show with his Netflix series, Chef’s Table.
Each episode delves deep into the heart of world-renowned restaurants like Bangkok’s Gaggan, New York’s Blue Hill Restaurant and Chicago’s Alinea, artfully weaving the chefs’ journeys with robust visuals.
David’s knack for telling compelling stories is taken to great effect in Chef’s Table, allowing one to be drawn into the perspectives of the chefs themselves.
A creation of Chef Ana Ros in season 2 of Chef’s Table. Photo: Suzan Grabrian/Netflix
No longer are they faceless workers labouring in the quest for culinary perfection — each personality comes to life with childhood quirks, cooking philosophies and the roots of their identity.
We chatted with the talented film director to find out what are some of his most memorable moments from the series and got him to share tips on snagging a seat at one of these top-notch restaurants.
In addition, he shares what he’s looking for in the search for Chef’s Table official Instagrammer. Listen up, foodies!
Hi David! What have you been up to lately?
Hi, I’ve been busy shooting Season 3 and 4 of Chef’s Table. One of the episodes will be shot at South Korea, where we’ll be featuring something unusual, that is temple food.
Which Chef’s Table episode has been your favourite so far? And why?
Can you tell us a bit more about how you go about picking each chef for the documentary series?
What’s one thing you’ve learnt from documenting these world-renowned chefs?
I’ve taken away a lot, from kitchen hacks to recipes.
One of which is an easy eggplant recipe, where you sear the eggplant on hot coal, hollow out its soft middle and serve it with parmesan cheese and olive oil. It’s a simple dish but its smokey flavour will blow your mind.
For somebody who has directed acclaimed food documentaries, are you a passionate cook yourself? Tell us more about what you love to cook.
From the kitchen of Gaggan in Thailand. Photo: Phil Bray/Netflix
If you could create a documentary series on anything/anyone in the world, what would it be? And why?
Any plans for The Chef’s Table to feature a Singaporean chef?
Tell us, what are you looking for in an official Chef’s Table Instagrammer?
Any tips on snagging a reservation at one of these top chef restaurants?
Your best bet would be to check out the list of restaurants featured in the upcoming Season 3 and 4 of The Chef’s Table and make your reservations before the shows are out. Because by then, the amount of attention on these restaurants would be staggering!
Of if you prefer, go ahead and join the restaurants’ waitlists. More often than not, people cancel and you might just get a seat.
Chef’s Table Season One is now streaming globally on Netflix.