I had my reservations about this, but actually found it very enjoyable. SELENA + CHEF debuted August 2020 on HBO Max (and on Crave in Canada with the HBO add-on), the Series taking the highly-likable Selena Gomez on a new journey each episode as she gets mentored by a top chef virtually.
While we didn’t expect a second season this soon, it’s already here before us and though we’re waiting on some of the heavier hitters to begin production again amidst this Pandemic, this serves as lighthearted educational fun in the meantime.
International superstar Gomez‘s cooking knowledge self-admittedly isn’t very advanced and that’s fine as she often asks honest questions and shows her limitations, which get corrected on-screen, i.e. her chopping skills are anxiety-inducing at times. There’s something to take away here every episode no matter if you’re a novice or a pro in the kitchen as these celebrity Chefs open-up and give us some real pro tips. Not every creation lands like it should, but we learn how to do it better next time and that’s a refreshing way to present cooking.
See a Highlight Reel of her knifing skills. You’ll see!
At the end of each episode, Gomez ties-in each episode with a charitable donation on her part to a charity of the Chef’s choice and sometimes genuinely is overcome with emotion hearing why the charity is important. An example of this is Chefs Jon & Vinny supporting the NAACP, an organization which is doing work that is relevant especially in a post-#BlackLivesMatter landscape. This any many other genuine moments where Gomez is being her authentic self.
The Series is filled with many little joys and unscripted surprises. We get to make Tacos with Roy Choi and Taylor Swift appears on the phone! OMG. Some Asparagus literally catches on fire in the oven. Terrifying. One Chef, Angelo Sosa insists she mix white chocolate into her Guacamole. “This isn’t my vibe”, she apologizes and she is honest she didn’t like it. Good for her.
Part of what makes the dynamic fun is that Gomez is quarantining with her maternal grandparents, her grandpa or “Papa” as she calls him, is unrelentingly tough on her. Her best friends Liz and Raquelle also are rooming with her and are her Taste Testers and ad-hoc Sous Chefs, who sometimes make matters worse, but it’s all in good fun!
A diverse array of upcoming guests on Season 2 of the Series include Curtis Stone, Kelis (yes, “Milkshake” Kelis!) and more.
See the Trailer below:
We’re actually excited to continue with this and definitely have time in our day for this. New episodes to arrive weekly on Thursday.