Should You Binge Watch Chef’s Table Season 5 This Weekend?

By Mallika Dabke December 17, 2018
Still from Chef's Table Season 5 on Netflix.

In a year that has produced so many wonderful food shows to watch, everybody’s favourite Chef’s Table by Netflix released a season 5 this year, too. From all the seasons of the show, this one has the most diverse selection of featured chefs and cuisines, which was a refreshing change.

If you haven’t seen Chef’s Table before, you might as well start with season 5. I would credit this show to sort of revive food documentaries from the lull they had been stuck with on television. Making a food show like Chef’s Table go online was one of the best things to have happened in food-media, for it gave rise to more creators pushing the boundaries. Each episode of Chef’s Table shines the spotlight on a chef who’s doing outstanding and exceptional work. This season featured Christina Martinez, Musa Dağdeviren, Bo Songvisava and Albert Adrià.

While in the past, Chef’s Table has always dug deep inside the minds of the genius chefs they were featuring to strike an emotional chord in us viewers, this time was a whole other level of connecting with painful, yet hopefuls stories.

The first episode of the season featuring Christina Martinez might just be the most powerful opening episode of the whole series by far. The chef behind Philadelphia’s South Philly Barbacoa has a heartfelt and engaging story to tell about her undocumented life in America, and her illegal move from Mexico in search of a better life for her daughter. We saw a glimpse of her business in the tacos episode of Ugly Delicious, and in this episode of Chef’s Table we get the full picture.

chirstina martinez chef's table season 5

Christina Martinez with her husband Ben Miller, who run South Philly Barbacoa together. Image sourced from billypenn.com

The episodes that feature Bo Songvisava and Musa Dağdeviren both tell similar narratives about how the chefs found their calling by embracing the roots of their homelands: Thailand and Turkey respectively. Albert Adria’s finale episode is all about his ground-breaking work at El Bulli in Spain. Known for his avant grade methods of dealing with food, this episode shows us some behind-the-scenes actions and stories that haven’t made it on-screen so far.

With only four episodes, season 5 is easy to binge on. The cinematography is better than ever, and the makers of the show seem to have really stepped up this season by roping in a much needed socio-political conversation. Season 6, that’s set to be released in 2019 has an equally interesting line-up that includes Indian chef Asma Khan of her restaurant Darjeeling Express. I already can’t wait for the next season!