By Stephanie Soto
Netflix Original Series’ Chef’s Table tells stories of exceptionally gifted chefs that shatter expectations and demonstrate struggle, success, and unbelievable perseverance.
Chef’s Table is a documentary series on chefs from all over the world exhibiting their groundbreaking if not radical culinary delights. Season Two features six different chefs, a few from America, with amazing stories.
Grant Achatz, the chef behind the mind blowing restaurant Alinea in Chicago, mixes science and food into a gorgeous work of art with floating sugar, tomatoes in the shape of strawberries, and endless innovative creations. Being in a position to create pursue his vision was the struggle, and a compelling part of the story. Achatz grew up in his family’s diner, and fell in love with food while studying with the best chefs in the country. Then, he defied ordinary fine dining, becoming a great artist of the dining world. His dream met road blocks, such as stage-four cancer of the mouth. Doctors said he would likely die from the cancer or the subsequent surgery. He nearly gave up hope, until the University of Chicago offered a different solution to chemotherapy, but Achatz lost his sense of taste. This hurdle didn’t stop him; it spawned the idea to let others assist him in creating innovative dishes until he regained partial tasting ability. This story of one man’s dream to defy the odds with his cooking and perseverance is an inspiration to us all. Perseverance shapes who we are and urges us on when things get hard. God is there as we push through the darkness toward a brighter day.
Dominique Creen, an adopted woman from France, made her mark in San Francisco becoming the first female chef to win two Michelin stars in America with her restaurant Atelier Crenn, named after her father. Her food is a different take on traditional French food, that incorporates her childhood memories and feelings; it takes you back to times held most dearly. She wants her restaurants to help people feel at home, to bring them to her home, and make them family. Her menu is not traditional; it is a poem, that within each line, incorporates each dish in a new way. Success comes with a price, and while running her restaurant her father developed cancer. Due to her job, she could not see him until he passed away. Later, when her mother got sick, she went immediately to France to care for her. Creen’s dedication to her craft is admirable, but chasing your dream can not take over what really matters and that is family; a balance of the two helps you achieve your goals better than doing it alone.
There are more chefs in the series, each with a jaw-dropping amazing food to savor; each with a story of how they scratched and climbed their way to the top. Just remember, Mathew 19: “With man this is impossible; with God all things are possible.”