Chef’s Table volume six has arrived on Netflix. To celebrate the genre and era-defining show, we thought we’d take a look back. It’s been four years since the show first streamed. Today there are 28 episodes available (32 if you count Chef’s Table: France). If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, that’s a lot of food porn, chef’s stories, and peak food TV to catch up on.
One of the joys of the show is that you can jump around without any trouble, depending on your — ahem — cravings and tastes. Each episode is a succinctly told story about a chef, pastry chef, cook, or food producer. Sure, many of the chefs featured create very high-end cuisine, but that has shifted some over the run of the series. These days, the show is more accessible than ever.
The big question becomes, “Where do you start with Chef’s Table?” To help answer that, we’ve gone back through and pulled out our ten favorite episodes. These are the essentials, the deep cuts, and the stories that help define what food is and why it’s so damn meaningful.
10. Massimo Bottura (Volume 1)
This is where it all started. So where better to start your journey with Chef’s Table?
Chef Massimo Bottura’s legendary Osteria Francescana had already been around for 20 years by the time this episode dropped. The episode caught Chef Bottura in the moment just before his lauded osteria was crowned number one on the freaking earth by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants (he had come in second the previous year). The episode has distinct echoes from creator David Gelb’s Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Bottura’s artistry, charisma, and, of course, food are all on full display and it hooks you right in.