Tag Archives: netflix

I Cry Every Episode – Chef’s Table

I have been enjoying a Netflix series called Chef’s Table.  Each show follows the culinary adventures of one of the world’s great chefs.  But……… you not only see them creating all this amazing food, you also learn their life story. To me that is every bit as fascinating as their skill in the kitchen. Every time I’ve watched Chef’s Table there’s been a moment in the episode that has brought me to tears. 

I just saw the story about Michelin Three Star chef Dominique Crenn.  A meal at Dominque’s restaurant in San Francisco is a very personal experience.  She likes to greet her guests, shake hands with them and talk with them. She writes poetry and when you enter her restaurant you will receive a printed poem instead of a menu.  Different lines in the poem refer to dishes you will eat that night.

Dominque Crenn at work in her kitchen

Her restaurant is called Atelier Crenn and pays tribute to Dominque’s late father Allain Crenn who was an artist. His paintings decorate her restaurant. ‘Atelier’ means workshop and Dominque’s father had an artist’s workshop or studio in the house where Dominique grew up. She named the restaurant to honor her father who loved her dearly and told her she could be anything she wanted to be! During the episode of Chef’s Table featuring Dominique, she goes back to her childhood home in France to see her father’s old studio/workshop and visit her father’s grave. At that point both Dominique and I were in tears.  

Mashama Bailey in her Savannah restaurant

Then there was the episode about Mashama Bailey an award winning black chef who operates a restaurant in Savannah called Grey in an old bus station from Jim Crow times when black and white travelers had to wait for the bus in separate areas of the station, use separate washrooms and drink from different fountains. Reminders of those days of shameful segregation deliberately remain in the decor of the restaurant where Mashama serves southern comfort food.  

There is a scene in the Chef’s Table episode about Mashama where her parents tell her how proud they are of her and how proud her grandmothers would be to know their granddaughter was reclaiming the history of that bus station with her restaurant where people of every race and culture can enjoy soul food together.  You could tell how moved Mashama was at her parents’ praise and I was ……. in tears. 

I haven’t been a big fan of cooking shows in the past but Chef’s Table is different. In each episode you see an incredible artist creating sumptous and gorgeous food but…….. you also learn that their talent and drive is inspired by some very deeply personal experiences that are bound to make you cry. 

Other posts……..

A Chocolate Evening With Beatriz

Cooking Up A Storm in The Yucatan

First Supper in Lisbon- My Husband Has Great Instincts

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Filed under Food, Media

That’s Not My Kind of God Either

I have been watching the American television series The Fosters on Netflix.  It frequently addresses current political issues as it tells the story of an American family in San Diego. In the fifth and final season of the drama many of the episodes revolve around immigration as two high school seniors from the Foster family provide support to a college student from a Mexican family.  Her name is Ximena. 

Callie, one of the girls from the Foster family holds a photo of her friend Ximena at a rally to support young people in the DACA program.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement have arrested Ximena’s parents who are illegal immigrants. ICE officers arrive at a highschool dance to take Ximena into custody too. Ximena is acting as a chaperone for her younger sister at the dance.  Ximena has had DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) status in the past but is waiting for her status to be renewed. The younger sister who was born in the United States is taken away by Child and Family services but two teenagers from the Foster family help Ximena slip out a back door and drive her to a church where she receives sanctuary. The pastor of the church provides the young woman with food, clothing and bedding. 

At one point the pastor says, “If you want to talk or pray, I’m here.”  The young woman replies, “I don’t want to pray to a God that would allow my family to be torn apart like this.”  The pastor replies, “I don’t pray to that kind of God either. I believe in Immanuel God with us and God is with you always, in your family’s strength to keep going, in your hope for the future and in the people who have helped you tonight.”  

I  think along the same lines that fictional pastor in the television program did. I find it really hard to understand people who say they believe in God and yet support the current American administration who are arresting desperate asylum seekers, separating refugee parents from their children, and refusing to fully respect and honour the DACA policy established by their country in the past.  I admit it makes me want to ask, “What kind of God are those people praying to?”  I realize of course that they are probably saying the same thing about me. 

Other posts………

Tolerating Other Christians

Standing Up For Children


Filed under Media, Politics

What’s a Bonus Family?

Do you know what a bonus family is?  I’ve just found out by watching the Swedish television drama Bonus Family on NetflixIt tells the story of Lisa and Patrick a couple who have fallen in love and moved in together.  Both Lisa and Patrick share custody of their respective children with their former spouses. 

Bonus family is meant to be a positive term.  Children whose parents move on to second partners gain a bonus parent,  bonus siblings and a bonus family.  One of the show’s producers explains that in Sweden “we don’t say step-dad or step-mom anymore because it has a negative connotation; instead we say ‘bonus dad’ or ‘bonus mom’.”

bonus family

The cast of Bonus Family.

But adjusting to life in a bonus family is often far from positive and the television series Bonus Family does not sugarcoat just how incredibly difficult it can be to merge two families, to share custody of children, to handle finances after a divorce, to co-parent one another’s kids, and handle grandparents who are having a hard time adjusting to the bonus in-laws they have suddenly inherited. 

Lisa and Patrick end up going to counselling sessions to help them deal with all the difficulties inherent in creating a bonus family. 

Bonus Family addresses a serious issue in a serious way but there are also some very funny moments and viewers grow to really care about all the characters. If you are looking for a new Netflix series to watch I can recommend Bonus Family. 

Other posts………

The Bechdel Test

Breaking Bad- What’s to Like? 


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Binge- Watching

offspringNot long ago I got horribly hooked on a Netflix series from Australia called Offspring.  At its heart was a young obsterician named Nina Proudman. I think part of the reason I couldn’t stop watching was because in every episode Nina delivers at least one baby and each time it’s such an emotional experience.  Nina is a bit of a klutz and frequently drifts off into the world of her daydreams.  But when she is delivering babies she’s focused and professional and really, really good at her job. The Proudman family is HIGHLY dysfunctional and Nina feels responsible for them all. 

I was intrigued by Nina’s bohemian wardrobe and the way she decorates the various homes she lives in during the five seasons of the show.  Nina’s brother-in-law is a musician and I really liked the songs he writes and performs in some episodes.  

Even though I often felt like grabbing some of the Offspring characters by the shoulders and telling them they needed to be less selfish, more circumspect and a whole lot more responsible about their relationships, I was drawn in by the story of the Proudman family.  I know now what the term ‘binge- watching’ means.  I got very little done for days while I was watching Offspring.

I’ve decided the next time I start to watch a Netflix series it would be prudent to be sure there are no more than two seasons.  

Other posts……..

Warms Your Heart and Makes You Laugh Out Loud

House of Cards- Are Politicians Really Like This?



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Filed under Media