Mind of a Chef

I believe that anything that could be controlled, should be controlled. And anything that can’t be controlled anyway should just be left like it is.
– Magnus Nilsson, The Mind of a Chef, S3 E16

The Mind of a Chef is easily one of my favorite shows. It’s a cooking show, yes, but it’s really about people. People who are obsessed with food. Each season focuses on one chef who shares stories about their background, influences, aspirations — with cooking demonstrations and recipes mixed throughout. And for me, the cinematography takes it all to a different level. Think the quality of Gary Hustwit’s Design Trilogy. But about food. And on PBS.

Maybe it’s because he’s from Sweden, but Magnus Nilsson has been my favorite chef to watch, by far, and the one to which I relate the most. You could mistake him for a graphic designer based on the way he thinks and talks about ingredients and process. After working in Paris he moved back to Sweden and, dissatisfied with the quality of Swedish produce, actually quit cooking for a time to become a sommelier. He was putting together the wine cellar for an estate when he began working in its restaurant, eventually becoming the head chef.

I’ve felt a similar pull-and-push-and-pull with the world of design, at times enamored and at others disenchanted. It’s interesting to see how a similar story played out in a different world.