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I rediscovered this just yesterday, so I've seen only one episode. But if the documentary I watched is any indication of the quality of the rest of the series, then I'm hooked -- totally and without reservation (forgive the pun).
Chef's Table is a series of six one-hour documentaries each focusing on a different chef and his or her restaurant. But each film is more than than just a story of a menu or a place to eat. We learn something about the city, the people, and a cuisine.
The first episode introduces us to Massimo Bottura and Modena, Italy. We see the beautiful town and countryside and learn how the chef saved an entire Parmesan cheese production run through a single recipe. We hear stories of Massimo's childhood and meet the woman who helped him perfect his pasta skills. We discover the inspiration behind some of his inventive dishes (and get glimpse of his kindness and easygoing nature too).
But mostly we get to know the man, his wife, and what makes him think. I just might have fallen a little bit in love with Massimo. He has a zest for life and a passion for what he does. He has a fantastic marriage and was so lucky to have found Lara; the two seem perfect for each other. (And you'll love the story of how they met.)
I'm fascinated with the way Massimo uses traditional Modena ingredients and dishes and completely modernizes them. As Lara said, he takes people back to their childhood through his flavors not through his dishes. His restaurant, Osteria Francescana, has three Michelin stars and is considered the third best restaurant in the world. Even without the acclaim, he is a person I'd love to meet.
Here is the trailer for the series. I cannot wait to see the rest of the films and am already looking forward to season 2. Have you seen Chef's Table yet?