chef's table

Chef’s Table is a show on Netflix that tells the stories of some world famous and successful chefs. The stories of passionate people that believe in something and never give up on their dream despite many setbacks. Somehow they maintain their focus and persevere to ultimately find enormous success.

Cooking is not one of my passions. I can cook water, an egg, some pasta and that is about it. I am really fortunate that my wife loves cooking and often makes very creative and tasty dishes. But somehow I really enjoy watching the show Chef’s Table on Netflix.

Chef’s Table

Chef’s Table goes inside the lives and kitchens of some of the world’s most renowned international chefs. Each episode focuses on a single chef and their unique look at their lives, talents and passion. The series is created by the maker of the award winning documentary ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’, David Gelb. A documentary about the sushi Master (or Ikigai) Jiro Ono I saw years ago and that I also loved watching.

They keep working passionately with a dedication and focus I am jealous of

What I really like about Chef’s Table is the fact that it is not so much about creating the food but more about the lives of the chefs. Quite often these chefs had a rough start in life and were not able to find a purpose. Sometimes they made some bad choices in their education and work. But ultimately they find their passion. First they fail a few times but somehow they persevere, maintain their focus and keep their head up. After a while their hard work and perseverance pays off and they become really successful. They keep working passionately with a dedication and focus I am jealous of.

he doesn’t like to speak much now but that he lets his work speak for him

Jordi Roca

One of those inspiring stories is Jordi Roca’s. He is the pastry chef of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain and tells his story in a whispering voice. He is not whispering on purpose but because of a medical condition. His voice never recovered after a case of laryngitis. Later he explains that he doesn’t like to speak much now but that he lets his work speak for him.

When he was a child he was bullied by his much-older brothers for the size of his nose. Later, when they offered him a job in their restaurant in Girona (Spain) he completely messed up. “I felt small,” he says. “Inferior. There was no place for me. That was clear.” Then he started working with the pastry chef, who refused to treat him like a privileged relative of the bosses. He is the one that aroused his interest in the process of creation. He found his place and discovered his creative talent. Now he is a world famous and very successful pastry chef.

Magnus Nilsson

Another inspiring story is that of Magnus Nilsson. A Swedish chef who is head chef at the restaurant Fäviken in Sweden. He had originally wanted to become a marine biologist, but instead attended a culinary school. Later he moved to Paris and began to work at a Michelin starred restaurant under a very strict French Chef. He worked there for a couple of weeks before being fired as he was finding it hard to understand the other chefs as his French wasn’t as good as he initially thought it was.

Later on he took a break from cooking and decided to become a wine writer. He was recruited to put together a wine cellar as a sommelier by the new owner of the Fäviken estate, some 600 kilometres (370 miles) north of Stockholm, Sweden. After failing to find a chef to work there, he returned to the kitchen himself and became head chef.

potatoes cooked in decomposed autumn leaves

A reviewer for the British newspaper The Independent wrote that “Dinner at Faviken is never anything less than interesting, even if there are elements (potatoes cooked in decomposed autumn leaves) that are more pretentious than flavourful.” Another reviewer for the Daily Telegraph wrote “Faviken’s peerless confluence of improbable setting, unique dishes and the castaway romance of a chef who left the world behind only for it follow him elevated our dinner into “most memorable meal ever” territory.” (Source: Wikipedia)

he moved to his own island in a remote area of Patagonia

Francis Mallman

Finally, Francis Mallman is a Chef that lives life by his own rules. After a long career of cooking and being a Chef in South America and France he moved to his own island in a remote area of Patagonia. There he builds large fires on which he cooks carcasses of lambs etcetera in the cold winter air. He also catches his own fish in a rowboat and cooks it on the shore. He also owns multiple restaurants in Mendoza, Buenos Aires, Uruguay, Miami, Chile, and France.

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