Chef's Table: Pastry
Updated: May 29, 2018
Streaming on Netflix
Metadata: 2015 - 2018 | TV-MA | 4 "volumes" of 48m each
Genre: Food & travel, Documentary
Why did I watch it: I love food—cooking it, eating it, watching it be made, looking at it, and talking about it.
You might also like: The Great British Baking Show on Netflix is utterly delightful, and if you haven't watched it yet, you're in for a real treat.
Look, this show will not be good for your waste line. It will make you feel doughy and gooey—but in all the right ways. It will feed your thighs, but it will also feed your soul. All that to say: make some chocolate chip cookies, or bake some brownies, or grab a pint of ice cream, and settle in for Chef's Table: Pastry, the short-though-splendid fourth season of this phenomenal show that is pure documentary and confectionary delight. Remember to heed my advice, because if you think you can get through these four luscious episodes without indulging in dessert, you are wrong. And quite frankly, your viewing experience should not be interrupted by a quick trip to the grocery store for a tub of frosting. Just get it ahead of time.
Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you why I love this show. First, it is visually stunning. Food has never been so beautiful or so colorful, which is partly due to the incredible cinematography, but mostly because the food in Chef's Table is art. The show zooms in (literally and figuratively) on the very best chefs in the world, people who have earned their status because of their creativity and passion and ability to push the bounds of what is possible. By all accounts, eating the food they make is an incredible, even transcendent, experience . . . but even just looking at it and listening to these chefs talk about their art tickles the senses.
Second, it's a genuine pleasure to listen to smart, talented people talk about their passion. Each episode includes intimate interviews with the featured chef, and bar none they are fascinating people with compelling stories. When American Christina Tosi talks about her journey to Momofuku's Milk Bar, and describes her beautiful layer cakes and now-famous invention of cereal milk soft-serve, you will never think of the leftover milk in your bowl of cornflakes the same way again. When Sicilian Corrado Assenza talks about gelato, your mouth will water and you will likely vow never to purchase the store-brand "dairy dessert" that passes for ice cream nowadays ever again. In short, your quality of life will go way up after watching this show.
Bon appetite! Grace