“What do we do next, chef?” That question is Jon Favreau’s catchphrase throughout The Chef Show: Volume II. Favreau — an acclaimed actor, writer, director, and producer — lets his friend and culinary guide, chef Roy Choi, lead the way as the last six episodes of season one play out.
The results are inevitably fun, light, and hunger-inducing. They also inspire a fair bit of friendship envy, as the most common takeaway is, “But I want to hang with these guys!”
The back half of The Chef Show opens with Hollywood star and cooking aficionado Seth Rogen. Rogen cracks wise while he, Favreau, and Choi prep items for Choi’s “pork sauce” for a stewed chicken dish and then they whip up a pile of fried chicken. It’s simple, fun, straightforward food TV. It won’t challenge you (though adopting Choi’s brining technique is a good call) and it’s not really supposed to. It will make you hungry and leave you laughing. Watching these three in the kitchen is the visual equivalent to a pot of mac and cheese.
It was an interesting move by Netflix to release season one of The Chef Show in two parts. Volume 1 had eight episodes and 100-percent left us wanting more. Volume 2 strikes a very similar chord, tonally, but is even more lugubrious in its pacing. It also feels smaller. The dynamic cooking duo doesn’t leave California throughout these six episodes, giving the whole run a more intimate feel that’s very West Coast.
Pop culture still plays a vital, albeit backseat, role in the second half of the season. As opposed to Avengers assembling in Atlanta (as happened in episode two of the series), here we get Favreau and Choi hanging out at the legendary Skywalker Ranch. Dave Filoni — who writes and directs Star Wars animated series — jumps in the kitchen as Choi and Favreau cook.
Choi bustles around the kitchen as Favreau and Filoni basically talk shop about working on Star Wars projects, working at Skywalker Ranch, and being huge Star Wars nerds. If you’re into that stuff, well, you’ll be into it. As with the Avengers episode, they don’t dwell on the pop culture. It’s more like two insiders revealing that they’re just fans who got amazingly lucky and are now part of something they love.
The fact that this goes down while Roy Choi is having them slice and dice is a bonus. The stakes are much lower than Hall C at ComicCon and the conversation flows naturally.