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Virgilio Martínez is the chef/owner of Central, a restaurant in Lima, Peru that currently sits at number four on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. After a decade spent cooking in kitchens around the world, Martínez only found his true identity as a chef when he began exploring the different regions of his native Peru, from the ocean to the Andes. While some chefs are obsessed with a 'sense of place,' Martínez strives to offer his guests a sense of many places — entire ecosystems over the course of a tasting menu.
Martínez always had an adventurous spirit, but growing up in Peru during the 70s and ‘80s meant that many parts of the country were closed off to him. As a teenager, he learned that pursuing a career in the kitchen would allow him the freedom to travel all over the world. The chef ended in charge of a restaurant in Madrid. This is really where Virgilio started to develop his experimental style. Martínez decided to leave Spain to go and work on opening his own restaurant in Peru. He decided to explore the idea of cooking dishes based on altitudes and ecosystems. Martínez runs Central’s kitchen with his wife, Pia León. They developed the altitude-based menu concept together. Martínez’s sister, Malena, has a science background, so he brought her on as part of the team to explore different terrains in search of ingredients that they could use at the restaurant. Virgilio remarks: 'We use 180 ingredients, and 50 percent of them are unknown.' The altitude-themed tasting menu was introduced in 2012, and the following year, Central landed at the bottom of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Two years later, it soared to number four.
Meet Tim Raue, the lauded German chef who went from gang life to fine dining. After leaving the streets, he defied all odds with explosive creativity, but also the knack for running several lucrative restaurants. For a high school dropout once told he could only be a house painter, gardener, or cook, it's a culinary story that does seem to be written in the Michelin stars.
Ivan Orkin, the brash, white, Jewish guy from New York who made his name as one of the best ramen makers on the planet has an unorthodox story. That means no tweezer food, plenty of swear words, no slow shots of the chef communing with nature. He was a problem child, fell in love with Japan, fell in love with cooking, suffered personal tragedy, and found his reason for being and his ultimate success in Tokyo.
A powerful depiction of Vladimir Mukhin's struggle to resuscitate an almost forgotten russian cuisine, going against the established tradition. Be prepared for stunning images of culinary creations at White Rabbit, some will leave you uneased.
A fifth-generation chef, Mukhin worked in his father’s kitchen as a young man, preparing Soviet-era classics. So, like generations of youths before him, Mukhin had to rebel against the old man. He left his small hometown of Essentuki for Moscow and became obsessed with modern techniques and food from across Europe. It wasn’t until he worked as a sous chef in France, when he collaborated on a menu with chef Christian Etienne, that Mukhin realized Russian cuisine could exist within modern cooking. 'His French clients who ate it were amazed,' he says. ¡They loved his Russian cooking.'
Chef's Table goes inside the lives and kitchens of six of the world's most renowned international chefs. Each episode focuses on a single chef and their unique look at their lives, talents and passion from their piece of culinary heaven.
Jeong Kwan is a not your regular defined chef. She's living as a monk in Korea. She is connected to the spiritual side of food. Instead of trying to be the best in the world, any sense of ego is stripped from her mind and she cooks from the soul. This episode follows the daily life of Jeong Kwan, as she lovingly prepares vegan 'temple food', using ages old recipes and natural ingredients. She is a humble genius. Inspirational and meditative, gorgeously shot. She is a tiny, calm, firebrand.
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Blue Planet II
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