REVIEW: ‘Selena + Chef,’ Episodes 17-19

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Selena+Chef Episodes 17-19

Selena+Chef concludes its second season with episodes 17-19, which offer a fun and intriguing batch of cooking sessions with famous chefs. As a conclusion to an overall stellar season, it feels like a solid end to this chapter of Selena’s cooking journey. Overall, Season 2 has been an improvement from the first, and Selena+Chef episodes 17-19 is a good encapsulation of why that is.

Viewers of these episodes are treated to familiar dishes Americans know and consume daily, namely tacos, pasta bolognese, and burgers. And Selena and her teacher chefs make them to exceptional precision in these episodes (with the classic Selena+Chef hiccups on the way). Every single ingredient is made fresh in some really tantalizing ways to watch. Marcela Valladolid teaches Selena and the audience how to make freshly made tacos with traditional mole sauce, and we get to see its unique mix of sweet and savory ingredients. Pasta connoisseur Evan Funke teaches her how to make Tagliatelle Bolognese, with the pasta from also scratch, and teaches the science of cooking the bolognese sauce with bone broth. Graham Eliot likewise teaches her how to make fresh patties with a special sauce for the burgers. It’s all so interesting and delightful to watch.

There’s more variety of techniques in this batch of episodes, unique from what we’ve watched before. Even though all these dishes are staples of American culture, we see them made in complex and innovative ways from the chefs. From the sauces made, to making pasta and tacos, and the variety of ingredients they use, it’s very engaging to watch.

Selena+Chef Episodes 17-19

Selena has vastly improved in confidence in these last few episodes, being so much more willing to take on the challenges the chefs give her. Interestingly, she doesn’t have her friends as her sous-chefs as often as she did in the last batch of episodes, making everything now more challenging for her than before. She still messes up, especially with the knife at one point, but easily bounces back every time. It’s really encouraging to see how far she’s come as a chef (even though she still messes up to comedic effect quite often).

It’s unclear at the moment as to whether there will be a third season of the show, but I’m hopeful there is, particularly to highlight more BIPOC chefs and their culinary techniques. While there’s been a diverse array so far, it would be great in the future if they highlighted Middle Eastern, Indigenous, Pacific Islander (besides Filipino that they covered last week), and other cuisines from BIPOC that they haven’t covered yet. Hopefully, we’ll have another season to see these, and more, diverse cuisines highlighted.

As always, the show highlights a few charities that the chefs work with, and Selena donates $10,000 to each. These include the MAAC Project, Baby2Baby, and SmileTrain this week. It’s really encouraging to see the show continue to highlight these organizations, and, hopefully, it encourages listeners to donate as well during this extraordinarily trying time.

Selena+Chef episodes 17-19 are a great end to its second season. There continues to be a great balance of culinary technique, humor, great food cinematography, and an overall delightful atmosphere to watch. The culinary challenges are overall excellent and will continue to encourage you to take up those challenges yourself. Hopefully, we get more of this great series.

You can watch all episodes of Selena+Chef on HBO Max.

'Selena + Chef,' Episodes 17-19
  • 8.8/10
    Rating - 8.8/10
8.8/10

TL;DR

Selena+Chef episodes 17-19 are a great end to its second season. There continues to be a great balance of culinary technique, humor, great food cinematography, and an overall delightful atmosphere to watch. The culinary challenges are overall excellent and will continue to encourage you to take up those challenges yourself. Hopefully, we get more of this great series.