Twenty-seven of America's greatest chefs confided the history and secrets of their success in Chef's Story, a 26-part series of interviews inspired by Inside the Actors Studio. Each half-hour program focused on a master chef whose life, work, and evolution as a food legend was explored in rich and entertaining detail. Personal and professional revelations, often complemented by a cooking demonstration, took place before a student audience.
Chef's Story was hosted by Dorothy Hamilton, founder and CEO of The French Culinary Institute (The FCI), one of America's foremost culinary institutions, located at The International Culinary Center in New York -- and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for The James Beard Foundation. Hamilton brought a breadth of knowledge to the chefs' own stories, drawing out reflections, histories, and opinions with an engaging directness that puts each guest at ease.
The cooking luminaries featured in season one were a virtual Who's Who of culinary achievement: José Andrés, Dan Barber, Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless, David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, Anthony Bourdain, Tom Colicchio, Cat Cora, Robert Del Grande, Todd English, Dean Fearing, Bobby Flay, Suzanne Goin, Thomas Keller, Patrick O'Connell, Charlie Palmer, Jacques Pépin, Michel Richard, Alain Sailhac, Arun Sampanthavivat, Marcus Samuelsson, André Soltner, Jacques Torres, Charlie Trotter, Norman Van Aken, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
"These are icons, at the forefront of the American revolution of fine dining," said Hamilton. "Yet it is valuable to know who they are as people. They represent a fascinating arc that goes back to changes in American culinary tastes and dining that began in the 1970s and 80s. Talking with them provides a remarkable insight into food, culture, and success."
Chef's Story was recorded at The French Culinary Institute's International Culinary Theater, transformed into a high-tech television studio.