Nancy Silverton, Queen of LA, stars in Chef’s Table Season 3 that premiers on Netflix. I suggest you make it a priority to watch this magnificent storytelling about one incredible human being. The perfect antidote to the weather and politics.
The Goddess of the Delicious is Ready for her Close-up
Nancy Silverton and all her obsessions is given the Chef’s Table treatment; beautiful shots of food being prepared, a stirring classical score and lots of gushing voiceovers like Mario Batali proclaiming Nancy the “Goddess of the Delicious” and Jonathan Gold declaring “unlike a lot of people in her position she still likes to get her hands dirty, she still likes to work with food.” This is the ultimate love letter to being true to yourself, to finding pleasure in serving others and to giving credit where credit’s due. You feel Nancy’s shyness, her humility and slight discomfort at being put on a pedestal, when so much of what she does is a collaboration. She needs to share the praise with those she works with. You also get the sense that she’s honored to have been asked so she can shine the spotlight on her kitchen colleagues and that ultimately she’s ready for her close up.
Showcasing a Little Bit of Nancy
So what are you waiting for? Go and watch Nancy Silverton in Chef’s Table on Netflix. However, before you binge watch season 3 (starting with NANCY SILVERTON, episode 3), I advise you to order a Mozza 2 Go (Benno) pizza and a Nancy’s Chopped Salad – if you aren’t in LA and that’s not an option be inspired to make homemade bread or a pizza on the grill. Failing that, buy a loaf of La Brea Bakery bread and make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich. You will be craving carbs as you watch one glorious image after another. LA woke up this morning to torrential rain and flash flood warnings. What better day to stay cozy watching Nancy’s story on Chef’s Table, Netflix?
“The Most Nourishing to Your Soul” Mario Batali
Nancy Silverton is a legend and I never use that word to describe anyone but let’s be real, this is Nancy and it’s Chef’s Table – that homage to greatness in the kitchen. James Beard Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Pastry Chef, the Queen of the Mozzaplex: Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, Chi Spacca, founder of La Brea Bakery – fashionista, style maven, mother, daughter, quick wit, fountain of knowledge, mentor, inspiration and bad-ass.
I’m honored to call her a friend and whether it’s sharing a meal with a glass of red wine at home, dining together at the World’s #1 Restaurant or working an event together on the beach in Hawaii for Chef Fest, these memorable moments are always fun, exciting and inspiring. As Mario Batali says in the show “Nancy has a pitch perfect palette” and he goes on to describe Nancy’s food as “the most nourishing, not only to your palette, but to your soul.”
Nancy has nourished my soul over and over – not just with her food but with her friendship, laughter and words of wisdom. She will share from her own experiences of lifes ups and downs and will help you see a way through your own trials. She’s very funny, quick witted and playful. Most of all she is kind and nurturing – with wonderful food, laughter and reassurance. This picture captures her wonderful spirit – we had just finished our meal at Osteria Francescana and came out of the restaurant to find Massimo, star of season 1 of Chef’s Table, sitting on the sidewalk in the street. Nancy cozied up next to him and we all had a jolly good laugh.
“Under different circumstances you’d call it OCD” – Jonathan Gold
The show is a warm, authentic and heart-felt love letter in the telling of all of Nancy’s obsessions – from pastries, to bread, to grilled cheese to pizza to the mozzarella bar. I loved all the behind the scenes in the kitchen at Mozza “Behind you!”, at home chopping herbs in her kitchen and the photos of a very young mother with her baby daughter. I loved the way they capture her making bread and showed her artfully rolling out balls of dough, over and over, and then loaf after loaf rising in the oven. I loved seeing a young Nancy cooking in the kitchen with the legendary Julia Child and serving her a molten dessert. Ouch! I loved the scene when the delivery truck arrives, late, and Nancy displays her knowledge of all the bounty LA has on offer – from Weiser Family Farms cantaloupe to the Persian mulberries to the “Let me see more than three leaves.” I loved all the gorgeous dresses with the bright prints and the structural Issey Miyake tailoring under aprons that are just so very fancy, and well, so very Nancy.
All Roads lead to Italy
I especially loved Nancy riding on a Vespa cruising along the winding roads of the Italian countryside, as the music crescendos, with her voiceover telling the story of how she had to rebuild and come back. Nancy in Panicale, relaxed and sun-kissed, tells how Italy called to her after the breakdown of her marriage and the loss of Campanile. She took a step back, a pause before she found the spark at little restaurant in Rome called Obica that would ignite the bigger and better business and her favorite place, the Mozzarella Bar, at the heart of the corner of Melrose and Highland.
Last summer, I too was on a pause of sorts as I was figuring out what I wanted to focus on after life and business had thrown me a few unexpected and disappointing curve balls. Without knowing it, Nancy’s joie de vivre and indomitable spirit was my spark. She inadvertently reset my compass, helped me pick myself up, dust myself off and look forward not back.
I had the treat of a lifetime – a morning at the covered market in Modena with Nancy. She was looking for ingredients for her Chef’s Table taping back in Panicale the next day. This was a woman on a mission, up and down the market we went searching for a particular type of baby sweet pepper and mozzarella cheese. It was obsessive. It was Nancy. It was heavenly.
Amongst the Parmesan, mozzarella, pasta, aged balsamic vinegar and colorful fresh produce, we had a chance encounter with Aziz Ansari. Thousands of miles from her corner of LA, in the heart of a culinary tradition steeped in hundreds of years of national pride she was singled out from the crowd for her edible excellence in the kitchen. Nancy knows everyone, and everyone wants to know Nancy, for her generosity, her obsessive nature, her determination to overcome and let’s not forget her food. This woman’s strength comes from within and she knows what it means to have to rise up.
Back in June, Kate Green invited me and Lisa Rowe to take part in the filming of Chef’s Table at the Osteria. I told Lisa I was taking her out for a birthday lunch and that we could use it as an opportunity to catch up. She was a good sport because this was no quiet table for two where we could delve into everything going on between takes. We were sat at a 6 top with people we didn’t know. Cameras were capturing our every move as we were served plates of food we might not necessarily have ordered. Terrified she’d be made to eat rabbit or quail Lisa told our waitress she was a vegetarian!
Six people sat together, strangers before our first sip of wine. We were all connected through Nancy and we were all there to eat lunch and drink wine. Most importantly we were to have a good time. We all instantly bonded by ordering rosé and raising a toast to our host. It was really fun and delicious as we got to know each other and no one cared about what dish they got as it was all mouthwatering and picture perfect. The crowning moment was when Nancy, all smiles, came over to see us at the end of the meal. This joyful scene is in the show as Jonathan Gold talks about Nancy not being happier that when she’s with friends, eating her food and drinking red wine.
Here are a few behind the scenes pics from our table that were embargoed by the production until today… as well as a couple of shots from our table that made it into the final cut.
Chef’s Table Season 3
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