Trailer watch: Chef’s Table goes French in new season

by - 14:17

Netflix has released the trailer for the next installment of Chef’s Table, and the third season of David Gelb’s docu-series about culinary artists takes a distinctly Francophile turn.

The four-episode Chef’s Table: France is currently on Netflix worldwide. The four featured chefs are Alain Passard of L’Arpege, Adeline Grattard of Yam’Tcha, Alexandre Couillon of La Marine, and Michel Troisgros of Maison Troisgros.

Series creator David Gelb noted that while the first two seasons of Chef’s Table included some subjects originally from France, the show had not actually travelled to the country before. “French cuisine is so important artistically and historically,” Gelb said. “We have four chefs at different places in their careers and lives, and we got a beautiful cross-section of French cuisine.”

With Passard, for example, Chef’s Table: France explores how the famous Parisian chef decided to remove meat from the menu of his three-star restaurant and serve all vegetable dishes, which was a shocking move in the food world. “It’s all about the character’s journey,” said Gelb, who previously directed acclaimed documentary film Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (the inspiration for Chef’s Table).

Gelb said he shopped Chef’s Table to a variety of TV networks, which passed: He was told that the format wouldn’t work because it didn’t have a host and it wasn’t a cooking-competition show. “Netflix saw the merit of it. They really appreciated what we did with Jiro,” Gelb said. “Nobody else wanted this show. I don’t know if this show would exist without Netflix having the courage to produce this.”

Chef’s Table: France was shot in France from September to November 2015, with the crew shooting with each chef for 10-14 days. “I’m a documentary filmmaker,” Gelb said. “It took some work for us to adapt to a TV schedule.”

Gelb and his team are currently in post-production on S4 of Chef’s Table, which will premiere in 2017. That will feature six chefs, including Ivan Orkin of Ivan Ramen (US/Japan), Jeong Kwan of Chunjinam Hermitage, Baekyangsa Temple (South Korea), and Nancy Silverton of Mozza (US).

Chef’s Table: France is produced by Boardwalk Pictures for Netflix. The second season of Chef’s Table, whose subjects included San Francisco-based Dominique Crenn, received three 2016 Primetime Emmy nominations, including for documentary or nonfiction series. – Reuters/Todd Spangler

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