Chef’s Table is another slice of ‘cool culinary’ myth-making

Netflix’s new chef-focused show creates origin myths for some of the world’s most respected culinary creatives, but has the cool chef revolution gone too far?

In the feverish world of modern food media, it was only a matter of time before those tasked with profiling chefs would turn to the pages of Marvel Comics for inspiration. Naturally, the chef as Superman must have its very own origin myth. With Spider-Man it was the bite of a radioactive spider. With Batman it was the trauma of witnessing his parents’ murder. With Dan Barber, chef of famed field-to-fork restaurants Blue Hills, both in New York and upstate, it was, er, an awful lot of asparagus.

Apparently, one day in 2000 Barber over-ordered the spindly vegetable. He decided to include it in every menu item that night, including the ice cream, and was hailed by critic Jonathan Gold as the figurehead of the ingredient-led food movement.

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