What to eat while watching the newest season of 'Chef’s Table'

Every foodie’s favourite documentary series is back with food porn shots to make you salivate. Here are some things you can munch to stave off the menu envy

28 February 2019 - 10:59 By sylvia mckeown
Take a seat at the 'Chef's Table'.
Take a seat at the 'Chef's Table'.
Image: Netflix

A most glorious time is upon us — volume 6 of Chef’s Table has just come out on Netflix.

The documentary series that launched a thousand moments of menu envy with its iconic twirly close-up shots of gorgeous food is predominantly taking us to the American South, with a few quick stops in Italy, India, and London.

As usual, each episode focuses on a different extraordinary chef and how they've overcome personal struggles, such as stress, sickness, cultural differences and loss, to enhance their craft in their own unique way. So, expect a few emotional moments in between the food lust. 

WATCH | The trailer for the sixth season of 'Chef's Table'.

As with all food shows, it’s hard to watch this volume without getting hungry, so we have rustled up recipes inspired by each episode to bridge the hunger gap.

EPISODE: MASHAMA BAILEY

The chef: After rediscovering the joys of her childhood in the American South, Mashama Bailey moves to Savannah, Georgia, to open a restaurant that pays tribute to her culinary roots. Called The Grey, it's housed in what used to be a Jim Crow-era segregated bus station.

The food porn: Bailey's food is a sophisticated elevation of simple Southern cooking that is nothing short of lusciously dreamy; it makes you thirsty for iced tea on a veranda. Plus, you will want to find a rice field to stand in.

Mashama Bailey's connection with local farmers and traditions is what drives her food forward.
Mashama Bailey's connection with local farmers and traditions is what drives her food forward.
Image: Netflix
Watermelon margarita popsicles.
Watermelon margarita popsicles.
Image: Christoph Hoffmann

Your snack: A thrill is popsicle made in a plastic cup, sold by neighbourhood ladies in Savannah on hot days, and is a cornerstone of Bailey's childhood. Substitute Bailey's take on watermelon thrills with our watermelon margarita popsicles for a jovial alternative. Get the recipe here.

EPISODE: DARIO CECCHINI

Warning: this episode is not for vegetarians or vegans.

The chef: Dario Cecchini is the butcher at Antica Marcelleria Cecchini. He tries to bring additional glory to an animal’s life in the way it’s handled after death. Looking past the shots of many dead animals, it is a gloriously sweet story about an Italian man with one outfit who eventually finds his place in the family business.

The food porn: He brought the world the concept of nose-to-tale cooking. Cecchini gives rightful praise and grandeur to every part of the animal, with a smile on his face. Expect rich shots of meat on an open flame, a lot of red wine and dishes made of bits of animal you’ve never seen before.

Eisbein with a light spicy crust.
Eisbein with a light spicy crust.
Image: Sean Calitz
Dario Cecchini loves to share his passion for Florentine steaks while reciting Dante.
Dario Cecchini loves to share his passion for Florentine steaks while reciting Dante.
Image: Netflix

Your snack: There are so many shots of glorious roasted meat shared among friends that we naturally grabbed a meat recipe and bring you eisbein with a light spicy crust. (Get the recipe here.) Sure, it’s not Italian but done just right the meat is soft and tender and the skin is all a-crackle, so we think it will do just fine.

EPISODE: ASMA KHAN

The chef: Of all of participants this season, Asma Khan is perhaps the most wonderful storyteller. The way she describes her journey towards opening Darjeeling Express in London is full of texture and colour and comes across as rich and wonderful as the food she and her self-trained female chefs create.

The food porn: Khan is the queen of traditional Indian home cooking, best seen when she makes a briyani in a massive pot and seals it with dough, never to be touched again until service. She unfurls it in front of the guests and serves it in a grand, yet casual, performance. It is deliciously indulgent and will instantly have you craving all the spice.

Lamb biryani with apricots and cashews.
Lamb biryani with apricots and cashews.
Image: Roelene Prinsloo
Being homesick for India is what inspired Asma Khan to learn how to cook.
Being homesick for India is what inspired Asma Khan to learn how to cook.
Image: Netflix

Your snack: Best you make this lamb briyani with apricots and cashews before you even press play. Get the recipe here.

EPISODE: SEAN BROCK

The chef: After Anthony Bourdain’s death, chefs are finally talking about how their hard lifestyles are affecting their wellbeing. In this episode, we have Sean Brock, with his droopy eyes, showing us how his ridiculous work ethic at restaurants McCrady’s and Husk brought him great success but also almost killed him.

The food porn: Through his struggles he has found melding almost-lost traditions with molecular gastronomy — and sprinkles of self-care — results in awe-inspiring dishes that bring the food of the American South into the modern day in the most beautiful way.

Curried okra & potatoes served with rotis.
Curried okra & potatoes served with rotis.
Image: Supplied
Sean Brock's preservation of traditional southern seeds is perhaps his greatest legacy.
Sean Brock's preservation of traditional southern seeds is perhaps his greatest legacy.
Image: Netflix

Your snack: After so many shots of chopped okra, we are all about this recipe for curried okra and potatoes with rotis. The recipe (get it here) sits somewhere in between all the themes and dishes in this volume – especially if you throw some well-seasoned steak into the mix. But, to keep with spirit of Brock, make sure you throw in some self-care as well.


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