Award-winning culinary profile series Mind of a Chef is back for a sixth season focusing on Mission Chinese Food star Danny Bowien. In a novel programming twist, all of the episodes are living exclusively on Facebook Watch, so fans of the show can stream it on their smartphones, laptops, or even TV sets (with a casting device or in-screen app). The first four episodes of Season 6 dropped are live, and it’s already shaping up to be one of the best seasons of the show so far.
Here are five reasons why you should consider streaming the first batch of Mind of a Chef episodes:
- Nobody builds a dish like Danny Bowien: As the name implies, this program does a great job of showing how chefs form ideas and apply them to their work in the kitchen. Danny is an especially good subject because he draws inspiration from so many different sources, and creates unique, highly personal dishes. Some of his most impressive dishes build upon flavors and techniques that can be linked to his upbringing in Oklahoma, his travels through Asia, and his time in kitchens in San Francisco and New York City. His poblano pepper-laced riff on instant ramen, and the fried lamb with noodle soup and pickles, are standouts.
- It’s a journey around the world: Although it’s not explicitly a travel show like Parts Unknown, the first four episodes of Mind of a Chef flit between SF, NYC, South Korea, and Chengdu, with shots of the local markets and bustling cityscapes. Bowien has ties to all of these destinations, but he traverses them like a curious and optimistic visitor. Danny also spends time cooking with chefs in each locale — including a grandma in Korea, and his old mentor, Yu Bo, in China.
- It reveals Mission Chinese’s origin story: The San Francisco restaurant where Bowien first found fame and success has an unusual origin story that has little to do with Danny. For that reason, Mind of a Chef lets everyone else involved — including chef/restaurateur duo Anthony Myint and Karen Lebowitz — tell the story in the second episode, “Threshold.” Once Bowien joined the team, the restaurant really exploded, but the pre-Danny era serves as a fascinating snapshot of the SF restaurant scene circa 2009/2010, when a lot of very talented people were just getting their starts.
- Strong Family Vibes: “Your restaurant’s not your family,” Danny says that the beginning of Episode 4. “That’s a community that you’re building, but it’s not your family.” The chef is a proud dad and husband, and clearly his relationships outside of the kitchen help keep him centered. The “Family” episode is about the work/life balance that seems so hard to obtain for everyone, but especially people who make their livings in the restaurant industry.
- So Many Looks: Danny, his wife Youngmi, and their adorable son Mino dress to impress. There are so many fresh looks scattered throughout these first four episode including this one:
New episodes of Mind of a Chef — which is produced by Anthony Bourdain and his frequent collaborators at Zero Point Zero — drop every Monday night/Tuesday morning over on Facebook Watch.
• Mind of a Chef: The Series [Facebook]
• All Food TV Coverage [E]