The Chef Show: It’s A Kitchen Drama As Gwyneth Paltrow And Her Pals Cook Up A Storm In A New Foodie Show

What would you cook for Gwyneth Paltrow?

Actor Jon Favreau and chef Roy Choi deliberated over this at length when she agreed to be their inaugural guest on The Chef Show.

They ended up making a Jamaican pepper pot soup, mainly for the lols — Paltrow played Pepper Potts in Iron Man, get it? She was impressed: they invented a meat-free version to be appropriate for her multi-million-dollar health juggernaut Goop, and the dish propelled this TV show to top position in Netflix’s documentary section.

(Netflix)

Netflix is investing in food shows, with two new series of Chef’s Table on the way. But The Chef Show has a more freeform, unstructured feel. Choi, who runs Los Angeles taco truck Kogi, met Favreau when he was an adviser on 2014 film Chef. This show is a chance for them to hang out again, with celebrity friends and at restaurants across the US, sharing recipes and anecdotes.

It has all the ingredients of successful food TV: engaging hosts with believeable chemistry, an intriguing guest list and dishes that don’t feel too intimidating to cook yourself after a day at work. In fact, it has a similar upbeat spirit to the film Chef and made me want to rewatch it.

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An approachable Paltrow, dressed in a Breton striped top and blue jeans, mucks in as sous-chef. She zests oranges and tries her best not to wince at the Scotch bonnet chillis in the stew. And all without tying back her waist-length hair or getting food on it. Impressive. 

Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Lab - in pictures

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Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Lab - in pictures

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1/9 The bathroom shelves have been packed with Gwyneth's favourite products

Jessica Sample for Goop

2/9 Goop Lab's geenhouse will teach you to be a gardenista

Jessica Sample for Goop

3/9 The shop's kitchen is fully functioning

Jessica Sample for Goop

4/9 Snoop around the star's shoppable living room

Jessica Sample for Goop

5/9 Goop Lab's greenhouse is filled with foliage

6/9 You'll find Goop's eponymous "Sex Dust" in the bathroom

7/9 There are shoppable details throughout the home

8/9 Fans of Goop can now shop the star's favourite products

9/9 Goop Lab will also host a special four-piece shoe collaboration with Gwyneth's close friend, Christian Louboutin

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1/9 The bathroom shelves have been packed with Gwyneth's favourite products

Jessica Sample for Goop

2/9 Goop Lab's geenhouse will teach you to be a gardenista

Jessica Sample for Goop

3/9 The shop's kitchen is fully functioning

Jessica Sample for Goop

4/9 Snoop around the star's shoppable living room

Jessica Sample for Goop
>

5/9 Goop Lab's greenhouse is filled with foliage

6/9 You'll find Goop's eponymous "Sex Dust" in the bathroom

7/9 There are shoppable details throughout the home

8/9 Fans of Goop can now shop the star's favourite products

>

9/9 Goop Lab will also host a special four-piece shoe collaboration with Gwyneth's close friend, Christian Louboutin

But the best moment is when she forgets she was in Spider-Man: The Homecoming. This has the shock factor of live TV and it’s a credit to Paltrow that she didn’t demand this was cut. Favreau and Choi hide their surprise well. Or they could be too preoccupied worrying about being on their best behaviour around Gwynnie, pretending to empathise with her horror of grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Their cover is blown when they go on to cook a cheese fest later in the show with comedian Bill Burr. It’s a shame Paltrow couldn’t stick around for this. Surely the glistening gruyère would have persuaded her to break her puritanical diet? It had me reaching for my phone to see if I could order a similar toastie on Deliveroo, despite having just had dinner. The men watch rapt as three types of cheese melt into ciabatta, and compare their sandwich construction technique to Tiger Woods laying up putts. 

TV shows to watch in 2019

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TV shows to watch in 2019

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1/31 BBC

Killing Eve Aimee Spinks/BBC America/BBC

2/31 Netflix

Orange is the New Black Cara Howe/Netflix

3/31

Beecham House ITV / Fremantle

4/31 Netflix

What/If Adam Rose/Netflix

5/31 BBC

Gentleman Jack BBC/Lookout Point/Jay Brooks

6/31 HBO / Sky

Big Little Lies HBO

7/31 Sky Atlantic / HBO

Game of Thrones HBO

8/31 BBC Two

Summer of Rockets BBC/Little Island Productions

9/31 Netflix

Stranger Things Netflix

10/31 Netflix

Our Planet Netflix

11/31 Netflix

New season: Ricky Gervais in After Life Natalie Seery/Netflix/PA

12/31 ITV

The Bay ITV

13/31 BBC One

Line Of Duty BBC/World Productions

14/31 BBC

MotherFatherSon BBC/Laurence Cendrowicz

15/31 Netflix

Chambers Ursula Coyote/Netflix

16/31 BBC

Pose BBC/FX/Pari Dukovic

17/31 ITV

Victoria ITV

18/31 BBC

This Time With Alan Partridge BBC

19/31 BBC One

Ghosts BBC/Button Hall Productions

20/31 Channel 4

Chimerica Channel 4 / Playground

21/31 ITV

Grantchester Kudos for ITV

22/31 Netflix

The Society Seacia Pavao/Netflix

23/31 Sky

Das Boot Sky Germany / Nik Konietzny

24/31 Netflix

Sex Education Netflix

25/31 Netflix

Turn Up Charlie Nick Wall / Netflix

26/31 BBC

MasterChef BBC

27/31 ITV

Cleaning Up Sister Pictures

28/31 BBC

Luther BBC

29/31 Channel 4

Catastrophe Channel 4

30/31 BBC

Peaky Blinders BBC One

31/31 BBC

Poldark BBC/Mammoth Screen/Mike Hogan
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1/31 BBC

Killing Eve Aimee Spinks/BBC America/BBC

2/31 Netflix

Orange is the New Black Cara Howe/Netflix

3/31

Beecham House ITV / Fremantle

4/31 Netflix

What/If Adam Rose/Netflix
>

5/31 BBC

Gentleman Jack BBC/Lookout Point/Jay Brooks

6/31 HBO / Sky

Big Little Lies HBO

7/31 Sky Atlantic / HBO

Game of Thrones HBO

8/31 BBC Two

Summer of Rockets BBC/Little Island Productions
>

9/31 Netflix

Stranger Things Netflix

10/31 Netflix

Our Planet Netflix

11/31 Netflix

New season: Ricky Gervais in After Life Natalie Seery/Netflix/PA

12/31 ITV

The Bay ITV
>

13/31 BBC One

Line Of Duty BBC/World Productions

14/31 BBC

MotherFatherSon BBC/Laurence Cendrowicz

15/31 Netflix

Chambers Ursula Coyote/Netflix

16/31 BBC

Pose BBC/FX/Pari Dukovic
>

17/31 ITV

Victoria ITV

18/31 BBC

This Time With Alan Partridge BBC

19/31 BBC One

Ghosts BBC/Button Hall Productions

20/31 Channel 4

Chimerica Channel 4 / Playground
>

21/31 ITV

Grantchester Kudos for ITV

22/31 Netflix

The Society Seacia Pavao/Netflix

23/31 Sky

Das Boot Sky Germany / Nik Konietzny

24/31 Netflix

Sex Education Netflix
>

25/31 Netflix

Turn Up Charlie Nick Wall / Netflix

26/31 BBC

MasterChef BBC

27/31 ITV

Cleaning Up Sister Pictures

28/31 BBC

Luther BBC
>

29/31 Channel 4

Catastrophe Channel 4

30/31 BBC

Peaky Blinders BBC One

31/31 BBC

Poldark BBC/Mammoth Screen/Mike Hogan

High-energy music plays as they share recipes, and they make it sound easy. When they cook the beignets from Chef there’s a moment where I believe that I too could whip up these fluffy fritters. Choi says the method is foolproof but I suspect he’s underselling himself — as he admits, this is like watching shows where artists show you how to paint. It appears effortless until you have a go yourself. 

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The hosts rely on their contacts — they also cook with Robert Downey Jr and Tom Holland. Most intimidating, though, is maverick New York restaurateur David Chang, whose cookbooks Favreau has been practising from. Chang seems knackered and doesn’t give much away. A precise man, he says one second extra spent grilling a jalapeño is the point between winning and losing. Favreau felt the pressure, and I felt for him. 

He and Choi are having a lot of fun but the show doesn’t feel indulgent. Their enthusiasm translates; it’s entertaining to feel like you are part of their culinary adventure. I’ll just leave the beignet making to them.

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