Dig Into these Chef Documentaries


By Melehuna

I once had the pleasure of taking a single cooking class from the late chef Mark Peel, and will never forget the extreme care he took in slicing an onion. He brought exquisite attention to the simplest of tasks. Peel died in June, quite quickly after a dire cancer diagnosis, and was remembered fondly in this article in the NYTimes, and this one in the LA Times. Two documentaries about famous chefs debut this summer, one about Peel’s mentor Wolfgang Puck, so they’re highlighted here in Peel’s memory.

From David Gelb, the prolific chronicler of kitchens, and Disney + comes a new documentary, Wolfgang, about LA super chef, Wolfgang Puck. Puck was a mentor of Mark Peel’s and did this nice interview with Madeleine Brand shortly after his good friend’s sudden passing. Gelb brought us “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” – which if you haven’t already seen is a must watch – and is behind the popular Chef’s Table,” so would seem to be the perfect person to get to the man behind the myth and food empire. Although reviews are slightly mixed, this is worth watching for the pure fun of the LA based history of Spago and the early development of LA’s food scene.

One of my favorite documentarians, Morgan Neville (director of 20 Feet from Stardom and Won’t You Be My Neighbor) brings us a much-anticipated look at the life of Anthony Bourdain. The film will be released on July 16 in theaters, approximately three years after the surprise death of the beloved traveling chef.