|Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO|
The man overseeing this cool marriage between the world of NYC's high-end cuisine and one of television's most ambitious dramatic shows is a familiar culprit, naughty chef/scribe Anthony Bourdain. It is Bourdain who had the pull to get rockstar chefs Tom Colicchio, Eric Ripert and David Chang to play themselves in an episode of "Treme's" first season and bring them back again for season two.
A cute quote from the piece comes from Mr. Momofoku himself, chef David Chang, as he relates his newfound respect for Tom Cruise:
But what really makes this piece a must-read for tellyphiles are the lovely TV nerd details about the production design.Like Mr. Colicchio and Mr. Ripert, Mr. Chang was required not merely to act, but to play a version of himself from several years earlier.“It’s so hard!” Mr. Chang wailed. “I take back everything I’ve ever said about actors, because I’ve said some terrible things to my own front of the house. Moving a piece of vegetable into another container in a really hot kitchen while you’re speaking is a real feat. I started thinking, ‘Wow, that Tom Cruise guy is an amazing actor. How the hell does he talk and shoot a gun at the same time?’ ”
Production Designer Chester Kaczenski is the badass responsible for insane attention to detail like historically recreating some of New York City's Top Chef-iest spots Le Benardin, and member restaurants of Craft and Momofoku. I love the obsessiveness of recreating something circa 2006 and 2007 when the Treme character would have worked there. Kaczenski even cast the chefs who prepared the food used in the scenes as chef extras. How does your little tellyphile heart not skip a beat at that? That's beautiful.