Chef's Table

18 documentaries and series about gastronomy to see on Netflix

Films show the beverage manufacturing process, chefs’ stories and introduce themes such as barbecue

Targeted at aspiring or just curious and entertaining, the films on gastronomy available on the Netflix platform please all tastes and palates.

There have been success stories (and also failure) of chefs, such as the Italian Massimo Bottura, to presentations of the process of making drinks, such as wine, sake and champagne, as well as meats and the barbecue. 

These narratives are told in documentaries as well as documentary series that introduce the viewer to chefs and culinary artists around the world, narrated by writers and chefs such as American Anthony Bourdain.

Overlapping the more technical side of the theme, the “Cooked” series will search the roots of culinary history as it transforms the world and addresses important themes such as power changes and lack of cooking time.

See below the options currently available on the platform:

Chef’s Table

This documentary series was nominated for an Emmy and shows what happens in the kitchens and in the minds of the starry chefs who break concepts in high gastronomy. Each episode shows the profile of a chef. They operate in several countries and have restaurants listed among the best in the world. Among the professionals presented are the Brazilian Alex Atala, from Dom; and Grant Achatz of the Alinea restaurant in Chicago: the inventive American chef’s dishes blend with works of art.

The Birth of Saké

The documentary, which won awards at many festivals around the world, shows the routine of employees of the Yoshida Brewery family business, one of the last to continue the centuries-old art of sake-making, from the top of its 144-year history. The process, quite handmade, lasts, in total, about six months, and this cycle includes rigorous winters. The interviewed workers have a diverse profile, ranging in age from 20 to 70 years, and were monitored daily by the documentary team during a certain period.

King Georges

In 2010, French chef Georges Perrier, 67, struggles to save his iconic restaurant in Philadelphia, Le Bec-Fin. Although his customers start to prefer cheaper and more informal food, Perrier does not give up on the luxurious cuisine that has guided the restaurant’s four decades of history, even on the verge of selling it. This trajectory is told in this documentary.

Somm – Inside the Bottle

Winemakers and sommeliers discuss the history and ways of manufacturing and marketing the beverage in this documentary. Among the testimonies is Aubert Villaine, producer of one of the most expensive wines in the world, the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. The film also tackles controversial issues, such as the score created by critic Robert Parker, who has led producers to adapt their products to their palates.

Anthony Bourdain: No reservations

Chef and writer, the Frenchman travels the world in search of differentiated dishes. In addition to several places in the United States, Anthony also visits, among other countries, Brazil, Macao, Kurdistan and Haiti after the earthquake of 2010. In each place visited the host is welcomed by hosts. One of them is the leader of Queens of Stone Age rock band Josh Homme, who hosts the host on the group’s ranch, located in the Mojave Desert, California. The chapter dedicated to Brazil is part of the seventh season of the series.

Sour Grapes

The documentary tells the story of Rudy Kurniawan, who faked wine and stole millions of wealthy American investors. He even raised $ 35 million by offering supposedly rare labels, part of his large wine cellar, when he called the FBI’s attention in 2006. The coup was unmasked by a French wine producer, who learned that Rudy was selling his wines from crops that had never been produced.

Barbecue

This documentary shows the techniques and variations of the celebrated barbecue in 12 countries. In addition to presenting ways to make food over the fire, the director reflects on how such a basic way of cooking can bring together people from different social classes and cultures with the same intention: to celebrate friendship and unity. Among the places visited are Texas, Mongolia, Japan and even Syria.

A year in Champagne

Winemakers, entrepreneurs, fanatics and experts show the complex process of producing sparkling wines, exclusive to the famous French region. The documentary team follows the routine of the local producers for 12 months and interviews both small producers and large houses in the region. The film is presented by Martine Saunier, a famous local wine merchant.

Cooked

Writer and food activist Michael Pollan shows how cooking can turn the world into this documentary based on his book, “Cooking, A Natural History of Transformation.” Its purpose is to inform about the origin of food and to encourage more people to make their own food, simply and with fresh produce. The film is divided into four episodes, each dedicated to one element: air, earth, fire and air.

(R) evolution of meat

The French documentary shows a team searching for the best beef steak in the world. The search includes interviews with chefs, farmers, butchers and other experts on the quality of the meat and ends up defending the responsible creation of the animals, by showing small and medium producers that produce a quality meat without it is necessary for this to attack the environment or use criminal killing techniques.

Decanted

With a beautiful photograph, the documentary portrays the vineyard-rich region of Napa Valley, California, and the winemakers who live there. Among them is Heidi Barrett, owner of labels such as Screaming Eagles, which are sold in the United States for $ 2,400.

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent

The documentary features the profile of influential chef Jeremiah Tower, who helped create modern American cuisine from California. Passionate about food since his childhood, the chef had not had a formal education in the area before becoming a chef, so he decided to apply for a job at an unknown restaurant in the area, it did not take him a year to become one of the establishment.

Massimo Bottura: Theater of Life

The documentary follows Osteria Francescana’s star chef, Massimo Bottura, who decided to make gourmet dishes for the most needy from discarded food at Expo 2015 in Milan. At Refettorio Ambrosiano, he works alongside forty other renowned chefs. The social project has already been replicated in several parts of the world, including Brazil,

The Mind of a chef

Chef Anthony Bourdain shows the creative processes of famous international chefs to discover their sources of inspiration, accompanying each one of them from many countries in search of inspiration, ingredients and perfect meals. The documentary series blends humor, history, science and art on the journey to show how it is an essential part of the work of the professionals portrayed.

Somebody Feed Phill

Documentary series where producer Phil Rosenthal, creator of TV series like “Everybody loves Raymond”, runs the world exploring the culture and cuisine of cities like Bangkok, Lisbon, Mexico City, among others. The tone is humor, and the author defines himself “just like Anthony Bourdain, but if he was afraid of everything”

The search for general TSO

Awarded in film festivals around the world, the documentary analyzes the figure of the Chinese military man of the 19th century to understand the origin of the dish with chicken that bears his name, famous in the United States. The journey to discover where the name of the dish came from goes through several countries and has an investigative tone, but without losing the humor.

For Grace

By taking care of every detail of the opening of his restaurant, from the furniture that will be used in the establishment until the staff are hired, chef Curtis Duffy recalls difficult childhood and complicated relationships after leaving office at a renowned Michelin starred restaurant. Later, his restaurant, Grace, has entered the list of the best in the world.

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

For those who want to get away from the documentary, but enjoy the cuisine as a backdrop for good stories, the series shows small fictional stories that always have the same Japanese restaurant scene. The property is one of many in Tokyo that opens only at night to meet those who work at night. With each episode it is possible to meet more homemade food in Japan, besides the sushi and sashimi. The restaurant featured has a very reduced menu, but if the dish that the customer wants is not available, simply bring the ingredients that the chef prepares.

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