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National Geographic Society
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  • WORLD'S BEST CHEFS

  • Premieres Tuesday February 3rd at 7pm, 6pm BKK/JKTF
  • National Geographic Channel

DESCRIPTION

The World’s Best Chefs is a television series about today’s most influential chefs, the trailblazers of creative and avant-garde cuisine. With The World’s Best Chefs we will travel the globe to get to know some of the most famous and respected chefs of recent times. We will discover their culinary philosophies, working methods and creations… The chefs will reveal the secrets to their creativity, prepare some of their incredible dishes, and demonstrate the techniques, processes and innovations that have produced their standout, unusual and unique gastronomic style.  

EPISODE GUIDE

  • World's Best Chefs: Massimo Bottura
    Massimo Bottura (Modena, Italy 1962) is the quintessential Italian chef. Enthusiastic, talkative and extrovert, he shows a boundless passion for cookery. His culinary philosophy draws upon the best of Italian traditions fused with innovation. Centuries of history and culture frame the revolution Massimo Bottura has led from his restaurant Osteria Francescana, in the heart of medieval Modena. There, surrounded by fine examples of contemporary Italian art, diners enjoy his now classic creations such as the Foie Gras Magnum, Five Ages of Parmiggiano Reggiano, or Camouflage, his most audacious dessert combining chocolate, coffee and blood. Bottura shares his recipes with our chef Katie Button in the kitchen of his restaurant. He also takes pride in introducing prime products from his region Emilia-Romagna; Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale and authentic Parmiggiano Reggiano. He even shows her some of the finest vehicles manufactured in the area by great names such as Maseratti, Lamborghini, Ducati...The land of fast cars and slow food has without doubt found its best ambassador in the figure of Massimo Bottura.
  • World's Best Chefs: Michel Bras
    Michel Bras is a self-taught chef who has revolutionized contemporary cuisine from his base in the tiny French town of Laguiole. Building his craft on austerity and sobriety, and working with produce from his region, Michel Bras started a silent revolution which has placed him, for the last 20 years, at the forefront of avant-garde cuisine. Chefs from the world over make the pilgrimage to his restaurant in the remote region of l’Aubac to express their devotion for the creations of a chef who has invented some of the most copied dishes of recent decades. Michel Bras takes our chef, Katie Button, into his vegetable garden to pick the more than 60 herbs and vegetables that go to make up his signature dish, Le Gargouillou. And his son Sebastien, who has taken over from his father in the running of the kitchen, will demonstrate how to plate this dish whose apparent simplicity masks great technical complexity. He will also show Katie the secrets of making a genuine Chocolate Coulant. And Katie will find out for herself how nothing escapes the vigilant gaze of the maestro Michel Bras. Michel and Sebastien Bras will share with Katie the true meaning of French joie de vivre, the pleasure of food, the inspirational beauty of their region, and their unconditional love and respect for its landscape and ingredients.
  • World's Best Chefs: Andoni Aduriz
    Andoni Aduriz (San Sabastian, Spain, 1971) is a daring and passionate chef who guides us through a surprising journey of textures and aromas, where nothing is what it seems, and flavour is made exceptional in even the most humble ingredients. Andoni Aduriz is always looking to go one step beyond, to surprise, but always with his feet firmly on the ground of Guipuzcoa, his home province, like the roots of the oak that presides over his restaurant, Mugaritz. Edible stones, seaweed hair, shavings of ice with prawn jus… Aduriz creates remarkable dishes that unsettle the senses and generate new sensations. We travel with our chef Katie Button to Renteria in the Basque Country, where Andoni shows us the kitchen and the dishes that epitomise his culinary philosophy; passion for the produce. Less is more. A sense of playfulness and humour. Precision in creation. The constant search for the new in order to break with the established. Katie travels with Aduriz to Saint-Jean-de-Luz in the French Basque Country to buy the best seasonal ingredients from the market there, which they will later cook together to produce one of his new creations. He shows us around his herb and edible flower garden, where he gives free rein to his passion for botany. And we are let into the secrets of his latest investigations; Katie will be the first person to taste an apple… with mould and vodka.
  • World's Best Chefs: Joan Roca
    Tucked away in a blue-collar neighbourhood of the Catalan city of Girona is what is considered by many to be the best restaurant in the world; El Cellar de Can Roca. In charge of the kitchen is Chef Joan Roca, a discreet, modest and resolute man. He works there with his two brothers, Josep (sommelier and maître d') and Jordi (pastry chef). They are the three rocks providing a solid foundation for the restaurant crowned the world’s best in Restaurant Magazine’s 2013 50 Best list.Our chef Katie Button will join in the precise and brilliant work they do in the kitchen at El Celler de Can Roca. She will help them in the preparation of their signature dishes in which traditional and avant-garde techniques transform prime produce into unique experiences for the senses. She will festoon a bonsai tree with caramelized olives, taste flower petal snacks… She will even learn to shape, using glass-blower’s techniques, a toffee apple with Jordi Roca, one of the most daring and innovative pastry chefs on today’s culinary scene.Joan will also take Katie to meet Montserrat, the Roca matriarch, who is still to be seen stirring casseroles in the family restaurant. Every inch the proud mother, she reveals Joan’s favourite dish, while he, as every day, eats standing up in the kitchen of his parents’ modest bar.
  • World's Best Chefs: Grant Achatz
    No limits exist in the kitchen of Grant Achatz (Michigan, USA, 1974). There are no boundaries to the culinary creativity of Achatz, an intrepid, perfectionistic and passionate chef who has revolutionised the gastronomic avant-garde in the United States from his base in Chicago. Grant Achatz reveals to our chef, Katie Button, the secrets to his two restaurants, the mythical Alinea and his most recent gastronomic enterprise, NEXT. Being inside Achatz’s kitchen-laboratory is to find yourself in a remarkable world where the most sophisticated processes are put to the service of ingredients to create exquisite and theatrical dishes. It is all about a gastronomic journey for the five senses, to which Grant Achatz has added a sixth element; constant surprise. Katie will prepare starters in branches of flaming oak, she will eat a free-floating apple balloon, and will work alongside Achatz himself on a stunning, four-handed, dessert-performance. As well as success and awards, Grant Achatz had to face the biggest challenge of his life; he will talk to Katie about his battle against a life-threatening cancer of the tongue, and how it affected his sense of taste. He overcame the illness and came out of it stronger, fortified by the conviction that his work is a source of inspiration and happiness for him and all those who enjoy the pleasure of his creations.
  • World's Best Chefs: José Andrés
    José Andrés (Mieres, Spain, 1969) is a dynamic chef in constant evolution. A self-made man who arrived in the United States 20 years ago with 50 dollars in his pocket and a dream to make it to the top. Today that dream is a reality and he is one of the most celebrated chefs in North America. José Andrés takes our chef Katie Button on a dizzying tour of his creative universe. New produce, new dishes and new techniques pour forth from his non-stop creative research laboratory. In the kitchen at Minibar, the jewel in the crown of José Andrés's gastronomic empire, Katie will take part in the continual and fervent creative process with José Andrés and his team. She will help in the preparation of such stunning dishes as the Sphericated Egg 2.0, Rubber Ducks filled with foie gras, and fusilli parmesan filled with pesto. Bold and exquisite dishes to delight the palates of the 12 lucky diners seated at the restaurant bar, all orchestrated by a Spaniard who has introduced the White House to lentils with chorizo. But José Andrés can move effortlessly between cutting-edge avant-garde techniques, reminiscent of his mentor Ferrán Adrià, and the extremes of traditional cookery. He will travel with Katie to the heart of the Virginian countryside to cook typical dishes from his region in the open air, such as the legendary Fabas Asturianas. For José Andrés, cooking has always been his way of making the world a better place.
  • World's Best Chefs: Alex Atala
    Alex Atala (São Paulo, Brazil, 1968) has turned his fascination with the produce of his country, often unknown to the outside world, into a foundation for the culinary creations he serves in his restaurant D.O.M. in São Paulo. The result is astounding, unconventional food that has won many admirers and helped put Brazil on the world gastronomic map. Our chef Katie Button takes a tour of Brazilian cuisine and its exotic ingredients in the kitchen at D.O.M. with Attalla and his team. Katie leaves behind her preconceptions to enter a world of new sensations where flowers are electric, perfumed essences flavour banana ravioli, and Amazonian ants are an exquisite delicacy. Alex Atala retains all the rebellious spirit of his early days as a punk rocker and DJ to create dishes that challenge the senses and produce unique impressions. Katie encounters a succession of unknown tastes and ingredients, some brought from the depths of the jungle, others deeply rooted in native communities; humble materials that the kitchen wizard Alex Atala raises to the highest level, serving up the aromas and flavours of his country in each course, building a bridge between nature and culture.
  • World's Best Chefs: Gastón Acurio
    Peru is one of the countries with the largest food biodiversity in the world, and has a cuisine that is the result of a crossing of the cultures that have arrived here over the last 500 years and local Amerindian traditions. Spearheading the movement to reclaim and promote the country’s gastronomy is Gastón Acurio, the chef who has ensured that Peruvian food has become known the world over. At Acurio’s side, our chef Katie Button discovers the exquisitely exuberant flavours of Peruvian cooking, and how they are transformed into a memorable experience at the tables of Acurio’s restaurant, Astrid&Gastón. There, Katie helps in the preparation of courses for El Viaje (The Voyage), a tasting menu that narrates the travels of an Italian immigrant who arrived in Lima in the 1930's, with dishes that meld the two cultures and cuisines. Katie learns how Acurio and his team convert local produce into haute cuisine; how to make a guinea pig terrine or yellow gnocchi from four of the thousands of varieties of potato that are grown in this astounding country. Huacatay, rocotó, ají, lúcuma… Katie’s culinary vocabulary is considerably broadened by these sonorous words from the Andes as she discovers the secrets of making ceviche, the national dish. And the voyage ends with the new Astrid & Gastón, the latest enterprise of this chef driven by a passion for Peru. The new restaurant is located in a totally refurbished 17th-century estate house, complete with botanical garden, cooking academy and laboratory; the ideal setting for writing a new chapter in the brilliant future of Peruvian cuisine.
  • World's Best Chefs: Juan Mari Arzak
    San Sebastián is the city in the world with the most Michelin stars per head of population, where gastronomy reigns supreme – and Juan Mari Arzak (San Sebastián, Spain, 1942) is one of its leading exponents. Arzak has been serving avant-garde Basque cuisine in the century-old family restaurant since 1966, and is today opening its doors to our chef Katie Button to reveal the source-code of his approach to cooking. Juan Mari Arzak heads the restaurant in tandem with his daughter Elena (San Sebastián, Spain, 1969), the fourth Arzak generation to work in the food business. At the Arzak restaurant Basque cooking is reinterpreted via research and imagination. The senses respond to each dish as though it were a work of art: bewitching hakes, tuna served on digital tablets, edible dolmens, and ephemeral giant chocolate truffles all astound Katie. She also visits the La Bretxa market in San Sebastián with Elena, where she discovers another key element to the Arzaks’ cooking; top-quality local produce. Juan Mari Arzak also allows Katie to enter his flavour bank, a storehouse of more than 1,600 samples of spices and flavourings that is instrumental in the creativity brought to his dishes. Brimming with admiration, Katie sees how the 72-year-old Juan Mari Arzak, with his ceaselessly inquisitive mind, retains the rebellious and nonconformist spirit which took him to the forefront of New Basque Cuisine, the cooking style that modernised Spanish gastronomy and to which his daughter Elena is the ideal successor.
  • World's Best Chefs: Michel Guérard
    In the Aquitaine region of France is the small town of Eugènie-Les-Bains which guards a secret that has fascinated nobles and empresses, a spa resort called Les Près d’Eugènie. An idyllic enclave presided over for the last 40 years by Michel Guérard (Vétheuil, France, 1933) with his refined and exquisite culinary creations. Michel Guérard is the maestro of maestros and amongst his stirring-spoons and saucepans our chef Katie Button discovers how his subtle and sophisticated cooking is raised to the level of art. Katie takes a tour of French classic cookery given by one of the most renowned chefs in France. Guérard illustrates in his dishes two pivotal moments from his culinary career: his role in the early 1970’s as one the prime movers and leaders of the now legendary Nouvelle Cuisine; and later as the creator in 1975 of Cuisine Minceur, low-calorie, health-conscious food exquisitely prepared and presented according to the canons of haute cuisine. Katie discovers some of the secrets to this living legend’s fine cooking: how to marinate a lobster in Armagnac before cooking; that green coffee is the ideal accompaniment for oysters; and that the perfect way to cook beef is on an open grill without any further equipment. The final surprise in store for Katie sums up perfectly Michel Guérard’s cuisine: the elegance and harmony tempered by skill and precision needed to attain his spectacular soufflé. With the sophistication of simplicity, Guérard demonstrates to Katie his mastery of the subtle and elegant dishes that are pure luxury for the palate, complementing to perfection the refined setting of Les Prés d’Eugénie.
  • World's Best Chefs: Daniel Humm
    In New York, one of the most iconic and dynamic cities in the world, the young Swiss chef Daniel Humm (Strengelbach, Switzerland, 1976) is the latest culinary revelation to win over and seduce critics and gourmets alike. Humm arrived in the Big Apple eight years ago to take over Eleven Madison Park, a high-end brasserie which under his leadership has transformed into a sophisticated restaurant with three Michelin stars, serving some startlingly imaginative reinterpretations of New York cookery. The classicism and formalism of European haute cuisine is applied to traditional American food. Daniel Humm will show our chef Katie Button a life in constant evolution as his restaurant changes its menu every three months. And how he finds inspiration in Miles Davis and the concepts embodied in his legend: reinvention, constant movement, collaboration, spontaneity, innovation… Cool. Katie will learn the secrets behind the refined and imaginative dishes that are already classics on his menu: a steak tartare with carrot instead of beef; a humble baked squash that is a symphony of texture and flavour; an apparently simple roast duck representing the culmination of many years spent perfecting the classic techniques of haute cuisine. Daniel Humm is one of the new stars of world cuisine. But, despite his food having already seduced the city that never sleeps, Humm sees this as only the beginning of an exhilarating culinary venture.
  • World's Best Chefs: Ferran Adrià
    Ferran Adrià (L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain, 1962) is a creator in constant evolution. Driven by his relentless search for the new, he closed the restaurant that had brought him world-wide recognition when it was at the height of its fame and was considered by many to be the best in the world, and embarked on a new ambitious project: to explore the heart of cookery itself, decode the culinary process, and make available to every gastronome around the world a whole new universe of information. Our chef Katie Button goes to Barcelona, one of Europe’s most dynamic, vibrant and modern cities, to meet the person who has had the greatest impact on her career; Ferran Adrià, the chef who revolutionised world gastronomy by putting creative freedom and a sense of the avant-garde at the centre of his unique approach. He transformed the art of cooking into an experience that goes beyond the table. From elBulli, a small restaurant on the Catalan coast, Ferran Adrià created a gastronomic universe that is still expanding throughout the world. To explain the phenomenon that was elBulli and the new culinary language created there, Ferran takes Katie through the highlights of his 25 years at the helm of his restaurant. They include: deconstruction, enabling him to combine textures, temperature, and techniques to transform ingredients; the new and controversial use of foams that led to the invention of a special syphon which now can be found in professional kitchens around the world; spherification, the culinary process of shaping liquid food into spheres that explode in the mouth and delight the senses; and one of his latest concepts, the recreation of foods, where Ferran and his team deconstruct ingredients to then rebuild them with surprising results. Each one of these new techniques, concepts and processes has been a turning point in the world of Western haute cuisine. Ferran blazed new trails at his restaurant elBulli. And now, converted into elBulli Foundation, it will be a leading light in culinary research and knowledge. He tells Katie all about this new project of titanic proportions that sprang from one deceptively simple question; what is cooking? To find the answer he has set up a creative laboratory and a research team to work on the definitive tool for kitchen professionals; the Bullipedia. Katie is given fascinating insights into this mammoth task, and Ferran Adrià himself will let her into his best-kept secret: the elBulli of the future.
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