16th Sep2020

‘Chef’s Table: BBQ’ Review (Netflix Original)

by Rhys Payne

I’m going to start this review with a question. Imagine is a summers evening (let’s say a Friday evening) and you fancying some food but also want to spend some social time with friends … what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I’ll tell you what, it’s a barbecue! There is nothing better than sitting outside and enjoy some burgers, sausages and chicken straight from the grill. I am honestly the biggest fan of BBQ cooking around and so a show that explores renowned chefs who are forerunners in the BBQ community is absolutely a show I would love.

Even though I am a fan of BBQ cooking, my exposure to the art has been solely based on outside grills or cheap disposable BBQ in a field but Chef’s Table: BBQ has really pushed my knowledge of the cooking technique and now I’m an even bigger fan!

I did think at first that Chef’s Table: BBQ was going to be a cooking competition show that would put BBQ master against BBQ master, to see who the king of BBQ was (there’s a TV show idea in there!) similar to The Final Table but instead this a documentary-style show; a spin-off of the critically acclaimed Chef’s Table which explores iconic chefs all around the world.

Due to the documentary-style interviews, Chef’s Table: BBQ is very subdued and relaxed but also requires constant attention and focus. Additionally, each episode is around 40 minutes long and due to the lack of action, some episodes do drag slightly but is still an enjoyable watch. The series showcases the chef’s abilities and explores the impact they have had in the world of BBQ but also grants the featured ‘artist’ an opportunity to showcase the businesses they work in. The chefs talk about where they work, how they ended up there and the style of restaurants which can only benefit the businesses involved – which I personally love to see in these types of shows!

One of my favourite things that Chef’s Table: BBQ explores, is the effect that this type of cooking has further than just an enjoyable eating experience. The show also showcased how truly popular barbecue cooking is all across the world. When I think of BBQ cooking as a style my first (and only thought) is America but this show visited impactful BBQ chefs in places such as Spain – wich again expanded my knowledge of this cooking form.

In the opening episode, Chef’s Table: BBQ showcases the community involvement in barbecue cooking and I never realised how much a style of cooking can bring people together. They discussed the rich history of barbecue cooking and how it was originated by slaves, which is personally something I never knew. My personal favourite was an episode that explored a more fine-dining, fancy restaurant where even the salad was cooked on a BBQ. It has become my personal dream to visit a fancy BBQ establishment as I don’t think it would be like any place I have visited before!

Overall, Chef’s Table: BBQ is a very impactful series that truly expands everyone’s knowledge of barbecue cooking while giving chefs and businesses an opportunity to showcase their work. The episode’s are fairly long but the entire series only has four episodes.. and I really hope more will be produced in the future. I have a strong suspicion that Chef’s Table and its spin-offs will cover more forms of cooking in the future so I would keep an eye out for that!

**** 4/5

Chef’s Table: BBQ is available on Netflix now.

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