Chef! (1993–1996)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy
8.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 796 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 2 critic

Famous chef Gareth Blackstock struggles with dividing time between wife Janice and the restaurant. It's a good thing he can let off steam with his remarks.

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: April

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 29 Dec 2011
 
a list of 112 titles
created 28 Feb 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 25 Jun 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 08 Aug 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 30 Mar 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Chef!" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Chef! (1993–1996)

Chef! (1993–1996) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Chef!.

Episodes

Seasons


Years



3   2   1  
1996   1994   1993  
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  
Director: James Bruce
Stars: Mariel Hemingway, Robert Joy, Lenny Henry
French and Saunders (TV Series 1987)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

This BBC comedy skit show is the brainchild of longtime comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Each episode would feature satire on British life, television, and parodies on big box ... See full summary »

Stars: Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Simon Brint
Are You Being Served? (1972–1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The misadventures of the staff of a retail floor of a major department store.

Stars: Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton
Bernard and the Genie (TV Movie 1991)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Bernard Bottle, a mild mannered art buyer, is fired by his greedy boss, abandoned by his girlfriend and discovers a genie in an old bottle. The genie immediately embraces the modern world and helps Bernard on the side.

Director: Paul Weiland
Stars: Lenny Henry, John Gabriel, Alan Cumming
Chief! (1999)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

During the month of December, 1997, I witnessed several troubling events in Cameroon: In my village a young boy was nearly lynched by a mob people's justice in a lawless state. I went to a ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Marie Téno
Stars: Suzanne Kala-Lobe, Pius Njawe
The Chef (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Director: Mats Arehn
Stars: Kjell Bergqvist, Henrik Lundström, Peter Viitanen
The Vicar of Dibley (1994–2007)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A boisterous female minister comes to serve in an eccentricly conservative small town's church.

Stars: Dawn French, James Fleet, Trevor Peacock
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Sketches on the themes of class and gender, with the occasional spoof thrown in.

Stars: Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse, Sophie Winkleman
Rudy's Rare Records (TV Movie 2014)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dominic Brigstocke
Stars: Lenny Henry, Larrington Walker
Hope and Glory (1999–2000)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The main school in an economically depressed area, Hope Park Comprehensive has been on the verge of closing for years. Things begin to look up when the weary headmaster Neil Bruce is ... See full summary »

Stars: Lenny Henry, Sara Stephens, Amanda Redman
Chefs (TV Mini-Series 2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Stars: Clovis Cornillac, Hugo Becker, Anne Charrier
The Lenny Henry Show (1987–1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sitcom version of "_The Lenny Henry Show" (1984)_, featuring the misadventures of pirate radio DJ Delbert Wilkins.

Stars: Lenny Henry, Vas Blackwood, Ellen Thomas
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Gareth (20 episodes, 1993-1996)
Roger Griffiths ...
 Everton (19 episodes, 1993-1996)
Caroline Lee-Johnson ...
 Janice (18 episodes, 1993-1996)
Edit

Storyline

A comedy, conceived by Lenny Henry, playing the *finest* chef in England, possibly the world. Chef! is set in the kitchen of _Le Chateau Anglais_, the finest French restaurant in England. Gareth Blackstock, the aforementioned chef, embodies all the worst qualities of someone at the top of their profession... Written by Michael Masterson <mjm@wru.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 January 1993 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Gareth: [while preparing vegetables] Somebody bring me a knife, very long and razor sharp. I need to castrate the person who made this sauce and I don't want to cause any unecessary suffering. I'm not a vindictive man, I'm not out to cause pain, but with this man's DNA in the gene pool, humanity is doomed.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Funny Ladies of British Comedy (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Serious Profession
(theme song)
Performed by Omar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Serious Profession?
4 February 2006 | by (Bookseller of the Blue Ridge) – See all my reviews

I loved the first season of Chef!, in fact, I thought that we were going to served a plate of classic Fawlty Towers with a side dish of Hell's Kitchen. To my surprise, we were. The first season demonstrated the comic genius of Henry and his ability to bring humor to the kitchen. Sadly, unlike most other reviews of this series, it is lost after the first season. The second season is watchable, while the final season is so glossy with obvious financing that you completely loose the characters, the structure of the original series, and everything that one could fall in love with. I had to check the box to with the final season to ensure that I picked up the right series. I nearly didn't recognize it. I have always wondered why most of the BBC's television programs only last a couple of seasons, and Chef! explained it to me perfectly. If this had continued further, we would have only deepened our loss for Henry's original obnoxious character and would have filed through nearly all of Britain's finest "would-be" actors to play the part of the ever-changing staff. It would have been a debacle of grand proportions that would have left this series with a horrible hangover that could never have been remedied.

I will state it one more time. I loved the first season of this television series. It was fresh, it was funny, and it had so much imagination that one could simply watch this first series over and over again while experiencing the same enjoyment they had the first time they viewed it. I loved watching Henry argue with the staff, continually sleep on his days off, while still showing quite a human element to his wife Janice. While they did argue throughout the program, I thought that it was nothing more than "love" spats between the two. I felt, at least in the first season, that Gareth and Janice knew each other, accepted each other, and supported each other. Similar to Fawlty Towers there was a bond between them that could not be broken. In fact, they wanted to go in to business together to support each other. This was the beginning of a great series. While this drama happened outside in Gareth's personal life, it was what occurred inside the kitchen that provided most of, if nearly all, the laughter. The connection with the staff, the education of the inexperienced and Henry's obsession with perfection created a very original program. It was bright, it was intelligent, and it was … to sound repetitive … funny. This was not a show that could succeed in America, and I think that is what I loved about it. Then … as if the forced that be were against this program … the second and third season were created.

The second season isn't bad. It does falter a bit at times, perhaps giving us a subliminal indication of what is to come, but it still can stand on its own. Gareth and Janice have their restaurant and are attempting to boost their business. They argue about the finances and the staff, but the love is still there. The staff has completely changed, but I was willing to ignore that for this time. Everton was still present in the kitchen, so I felt a bit comfortable with the lack of familiar faces. Henry is still obnoxious and himself. He stays true to his character from the first season constantly yelling sarcasm to institute perfection from his staff. The timing seems a bit off, but overall it feels like the original. As we chuckle (not quite laugh) our way through this season, there is no way to prepare ourselves for the horrid disaster that we shall simply call, "How Money Ruined Chef!" also known as season three.

The final season was a disaster. The characters that we fell in love with are have completely disappeared. We are introduced randomly to new characters that we are forced to laugh at and enjoy. There is no indication of this at the end of the second season, so it felt like hitting a brick wall. Lenny Henry is not funny. I would go so far as to say that he completely lost his character from the first season. He isn't angry, his sarcasm is very weak, and he does things in the kitchen that I would have never imagined him doing in the first season. Gareth Blackstock lost his spine in this season. While he has a personal crisis happen near the beginning of the season, that does not have to be the central focus of the show. What made this show fantastic in the beginning was the kitchen, and somehow in this season we completely disregard the kitchen (the basis for the show) and bring the comedy out into the "real world". For me, that didn't work. It is obvious that this season had more money due to the crisp visuals and Americanized standards. The music was a horrid choice and displaced any humor that tried to escape. Food was not important any longer, and the structured themes that created this series were torn down with cliché lines and childish acting. This final season ruined this series for me because it wouldn't stay true to itself.

Overall, thanks to the final season, this was a mediocre television series. Lenny Henry is funny, but as the monetary dollars rose, his sense of humor seemed to fall. What began as lyrical humor eventually devolved into physical humor that wasn't funny. This series sank and never had the opportunity to resurface. If you must watch Chef! stick to the first season, you will be pleasantly surprised, while if you continue you may find yourself pleasantly angry by the results. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Grade: *** out of *****


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why was Chef! cancelled? mjburkett
Season three is so much worse than the first two seasons... sanderr78
Was Blackstock modelled on Gordon Ramsey? mlaforet
music wphil007
Chef on DVD August 30, 2005 jfossy
Good show cars81
Discuss Chef! (1993) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page