Jon Favreau’s film The Lion King was just released and is already seeing big box office. Also known as the director of Marvel’s Iron Man and Iron Man 2, Favreau is now showing his cooking chops on his Netflix series The Chef Show along with Roy Choi of PBS’ Broken Bread.
The two recently joined several other famous foodies brought together by the Hollywood Reporter to dish on a host of topics including their biggest on-camera disaster and the best thing they’ve eaten this year. Masterchef Gordon Ramsay, Padma Lakshmi of Bravo TV’s Top Chef, and Netflix stars David Chang of Ugly Delicious and Samin Nosrat of Salt Fat Acid Heat were a part of the conversation with Favreau and Choi.
Caught on camera
Celebrities are known to have slip-ups, bloopers, and other mishaps caught on film. When you’re a chef, the embarrassment level can sometimes be taken up a notch when mistakes happen on-camera. Ramsay shared his biggest recorded disaster involving a chicken dish. “Making chicken curry on live TV, not noticing that the burner wasn’t on,” he shared with the group. “When I fed the guests, they only pretended to eat it. I had no idea it was raw. Don’t let anyone check on the stuff but yourself.”
Chang told of a time he used the wrong ingredient for a recipe. “Trying to make dumplings with tapioca powder, not flour. I was mortified. It turned it into glue. I maintain that it was sabotage,” he said.
Favreau and Choi recalled a not-so-fresh bakery product mix. “Oof, that stale box of beignet mix in the first episode of Chef Show,” Choi said, with Favreau adding, “That was my bad.”
For Nosrat, she still gets grief on a particular cultural dish she botched. “I cannot tell you how much shade I have gotten from every Iranian in the world that I ruined tahdig [crispy Persian rice] on Salt Fat Acid Heat,” she said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
What they want to see on the small screen
The famed culinary cluster also discussed the dishes they would like to see in the food sector on television. Lakshmi took a unique route, saying, “I want to see more people get down and dirty with fermentation. There are so many fermentation practices happening in various cuisines.”
Ramsay chose a health track. “Brain foods. Doctors are using things like turmeric and ginger to help stimulate the brain and try to delay Alzheimer’s,” he said, as noted by the Hollywood Reporter.
Nosrat commented on an “upscaleification” of foods globally, and Choi shared that he’d like to see mothers in the spotlight for their culinary expertise. “Women who have raised generations; women who can cook just as proficiently as a banquet chef for The Ritz-Carlton,” he commented.
Ugly Delicious star Chang spoke of unlikely pop-ups for food. “In Asia, the food is good in places it shouldn’t be — basements, subway stations, top floors of shopping malls,” he said. “That’s where it’s going to start happening here.”
Giving culinary kudos around the globe
The connoisseurs of cuisine also shared the best dish they’ve eaten this year, with Favreau showing his film director persona by choosing a meal at an upscale Los Angeles chophouse. “The whole-plate short rib at [Chang’s] Majordomo is pretty awesome,” he said.
Lakshmi and Choi put their bets on Vegas, with Lakshmi raving about Thai restaurant Lotus of Siam and Choi going for the steakhouse Bavette’s, praising restauranteur Brendan Sodikoff. “As chefs, we envy others, and the way Brendan Sodikoff can execute the classics is pretty amazing,” he said.
Ramsay went oceanic with sea urchins he found in Hawaii, and Chang voted for a sardine roll from a sushi bar in Japan.
The gourmet gang also played a game of kitchionary, where things got a bit competitive. That’s usually what happens when there are too many cooks!