This week I volunteered to write a review of “Selena + Chef,” and boy, am I happy I did. I’ve always been a fan of Selena Gomez, but this show made me love her even more. Each episode she teams up with a well-known chef via Zoom and learns how to make two dishes, while they remain in their own kitchens. And yes, it gets even better. Each chef chooses a charity to support, who then receives a $10,000 donation from Gomez and her HBO Max team.
I began with episode one, “Selena + Ludo Lefebvre,” which, as the name suggests, invites Lefebvre to join Selena and teach her a few skills. Lefebvre is a French chef and restaurateur who has impacted the Los Angeles food scene immensely. Not only is he the recipient of numerous awards, but he is also credited with inventing the concept of “pop-up restaurants,” where he transforms a restaurant into a gourmet dining experience for only several months.
As soon as I began the episode, I knew I would love it. Lefebvre’s passion and Selena’s kindness entangle into the perfect viewer experience; and I will admit, his accent isn’t too bad, either. He teaches Selena step-by-step how to cook the perfect French omelette and cheese soufflé. One aspect of the television show that I particularly enjoy is how real it is. From several shots, the viewer is able to see how each party is making this technological masterpiece come to fruition. Lefebvre’s wife was the one filming moving shots, while Selena’s dog in a future episode kept barking at the cameras. Since we are living through the Zoom era, I appreciate when individuals use the tool to create such a pleasant experience, while also sharing the technical difficulties with the audience. In one shot Lefebvre’s daughter comes in and is drawn to Selena’s colorful knives. Immediately, Selena offers to send her some. I mean, how can you not love this woman?
The second episode I watched was titled “Selena + Angelo Sosa.” The duo made a delicious looking guacamole and Baja-style fried rice. While watching this episode I noticed that I was actually learning. Sosa taught both me and Selena how to properly chop an onion and why you should never add sesame oil over an open fire. Learning and watching television is the best of both worlds in my book. While watching the gourmet meal making is outstanding, it’s also nice to see something that I am able to make in my own kitchen.
As I continue watching, I hope to see the inclusion of many different chefs from around the world. What I loved so much about Lefebvre is that the audience truly witnessed his passion and artistry surrounding French cuisine as a true French chef. While I knew Selena would never disappoint, “Selena + Chef” exceeded my expectations. If you can’t tell, I strongly recommend it to anyone.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars