If food, booze, and travel are your kind of thing then Chef’s Night Out might just be the perfect online show for you. Having amassed episodes well into triple digits this original format from Vice channel Munchies shows no signs of slowing down. But what makes it so great? And what might compel you to watch a bunch of strangers and chefs get borderline sloppy drunk and gorge themselves on premium food?
I frequently bring up Chef’s Night Out around people, even when I have just met them, with the presumption that everyone will have watched it. The sad reality is that a lot of the time I sound like a mild fanatic and people don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, but on the off chance that they have watched an episode, or ten, there is always a consensus about how great this show is. Within the mix of getting to see places that you may never visit, learning about how restaurants prepare some of their best food, and hearing anecdotes that would normally stay very private, there is a sense of inclusiveness that comes with watching Chef’s Night Out.
The premise of the show is simple when you think about it, but in the words of Munchies themselves, the format is their ‘answer to the glut of sleepy TV food shows’. There’s certainly nothing sleepy about Chef’s Night Out, other than when people fall asleep in the back of taxis at the end of the night. While most of the chefs on the show openly admit that they usually only get one night out every few months, if that, there is no doubt that the places and people that get shown are an insight into the best aspects of the food community.
It is common knowledge that vlogging has become popular because you get to see a little segment of somebody’s life and almost get to know them as a friend. Chef’s Night Out builds on this principle in a much more raw manner. Instead of the shiny glow of point-and-shoot wielding teenager’s bedrooms this show ventures out into cities and towns in search of delicious food and even better company. The best episodes are undoubtedly those where everyone acts like there’s not a camera in the room because you are able to get a real glimpse into the comradery between chefs and the respect people show for each other’s work.
The first time I watched Eddie Huang’s Chef’s Night Out, possibly the first episode I ever saw, I couldn’t stop showing it to people. Every time I was gulping beers at pre-drinks or on the wind down with friends after a night out we would look for something to watch, and I would inevitably ask if everyone there had seen this fascinating and entertaining show. Since then Chef’s Night Out has become a staple in my social circles, and even when I’m on my own it is still top of the list for online content.
Chef’s Night Out is one of the best online shows going, and is sure to provide something for everyone. Whether you are intrigued by Han Chiang, the eccentric owner of the Han Dynasty restaurant empire, or astounded by how a porn editor can turn restaurateur in the form of Night + Market’s Kris Yenbamroong, then you should watch this show. To be honest, if going out, eating food, or drinking alcohol appeals to you in the slightest then you have no excuse not to be watching.