Netflix has finally hit the shores of Dubai ! and this weekend, feeling a little crappy with dizziness from a throat infection and swollen glands, I signed up to a free thirty day trial to see what all the hype is about, after all when you are feeling rough there’s nothing that can beat watching TV in your PJ’s right? Actually some chocolate or cake would help but alas the Christmas stocks have been depleted and the chocolate cupboard is bare.
Anyway, there’s tons of things to see on the Netflix ranging from movies and plenty of TV series which look interesting. However the first thing I did was search “coffee” which sadly came back as a no show, and then secondly “food” and sure enough a few things of interest popped up.
First thing to grab my attention is a series called Chef’s Table and the first is about Massimo Bottura a chef I met briefly when I was at Madrid Fusion in the Philippines last year. Chef’s Table is a six part series with each one showcasing a different chef.
From sourcing local ingredients in the market, saving a local business after an earthquake, driving a tractor in a vineyard, a flick through the family photo album and many glimpses into the kitchen, you get a real sense of understanding of what Massimo is all about. With commentary from food critics, stunning images and photography you get to see him turn traditional Italian ingredients from Modena into stunning modern dishes using his memory as an added ingredient.
“He takes what his mother made and turns it into something divine”
Through the episode you get to hear about the inspiration behind some of his dishes as he describes the plate of his life “raw Tortellino” from memories of catching ingredients from the under the table as his grandmother made fresh pasta above the table.
A trip to source Parmigiano cheese leads him to describe “Fives Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano” a dish he is so famous for and which I watched him make at Madrid Fusion, there’s also the story behind the infamous dish “Opps I dropped the lemon tart” as well as a glimpse into the story behind a whole host of other dishes.
It’s an intimate film which shows glimpses of his life and memories, from being a child under the table in the kitchen, to being a student and learning about traditional plates of pasta, his run in with the critics before both positive and negative and about a chance encounter in a New York restaurant, prompted by an Espresso which led to the eventual marriage to his wife Lara.
Chefs Table surprised me, it’s not a typical Chef show or autobiography, instead it’s so much more and for me it’s story telling at it’s best in an intimate, visual and engaging way. It’s a story of love, a love of memories, a love of Italian produce and cuisine and a love of Lara his wife who inspired him to look at food in a different visual way through her passion for art.
Dramatic, playful, fun, provocative and gastronomic this short film has made me add Modena and Osteria Francescana to my list of Culinary Trips
Massimo’s restaurant | Osteria Francescana is currently rated 2nd in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and has 3 Michelin stars.