We all know about the explosion of food related programs over the past ten years. With Iron Chef, Beat Bobby Flay, Top Chef, Cut Throat Kitchen and, more recently, America's Worst Chef's, it seems like almost every angle has been played out on the reality cooking show front. In terms of documentaries, there are the Anthony Bourdain varieties, Bizarre Foods and all those aimed at persuasion i.e. Forks over Knives, Food Inc., King Corn, etc. But I want to talk about those that focus on the passion and dedication required to be a head chef. The level of dedication sometimes borders on insanity entailing all-nighters trying to figure out how to make a dish come together properly. That passion is reflected in two wonderful Netflix documentaries; "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" and the "Chef's Table" series.
With "Chef's Table", every chef has a different life story of struggles and has evolved passion, talent and a style or niche to the point of making them amongst the top chef's in the world. A few episodes that were particularly compelling to me were Dan Barber and how he has fundamentally changed what Farm to Table means and Grant Achatz overcoming an inability to taste due to cancer and his creative genius in breaking down barriers between food and art.
But there is a point to this particular blog folks. I appreciate how some people can view fine dining as ridiculously expensive and pretentious. Indeed, your Spy has been to some fine dining establishments out there that ARE overpriced and pretentious. However, the highest elevation of food the you see on Chef's Table and at The Kitchen is all about a pursuit of passion and quest for perfection. The perfect composition of perfect ingredients, expertly prepared, beautifully presented, enjoyed at just the right ephemeral moment and with service that places you in the ideal frame of mind to enjoy it all. That is what we strive for and the passion we want to share with you. Spy out.