Title: Selena + Chef (Seasons #1-3)
Released: 2020

Fix: Non-Intimidating Cooking Show, The Most You’ll Be Able to Relate to a Mega Star
Platforms: HBO Max (U.S.), Crave (Canada)

Crave Summary:

Since quarantining at home, Selena Gomez has been spending more time in the kitchen than ever. But despite her many talents, it remains to be seen if cooking’s one of them. Each episode of this hilariously relatable, informative, and casual cookalong features a different master chef as they help Selena improve her skills and tackle cuisines of every variety – all via video-chat. While Selena teams up with these top-tier culinary artists to embrace both the struggle and the joy of learning to cook, audiences are invited to join the fun and follow along at home.

FYA Summary:

What do you do if you’re stuck at home and you want to learn how to cook? If you’re Selena Gomez, you turn your gorgeous kitchen into a makeshift set for a cooking show and you get taught by world-class chefs — while also raising awareness for and donating to causes of the chefs’ choosing.

Familiar Faces:

Selena Gomez as herself

I’ve actually lowkey loved Selena Gomez for a long time; I never watched her on the Disney Channel, but there was a period of my life when I listened to “Love You Like a Love Song” and “Who Says” literally hundreds of times in a row, and I even paid money to watch Monte Carlo during its theatrical run. But even if I wasn’t predisposed to love her, she’d probably win me over because she’s so charming and lovely. Plus, between this and Only Murders in the Building, she’s been picking some really great TV projects.

Also making appearances are notable names in the chef world, plus also Selena’s friends and family. (In particular, her best friend Racquelle is like the second coming of Lo Bosworth, for the handful of people who understand that reference.)

Couch-Sharing Capability: Family Friendly-Ish

The cooking show aspect is relatively tame and appropriate for all ages, with the occasional innuendo. But honestly, the bigger barriers to entry for anyone who grew up in an Asian household might be:

  • squeamishness over handling raw seafood,
  • just, like… fileting a fish before you cook it and picking out fish bones with a tweezer,
  • discarding bones and other unused parts (save that shizz to make soup!),
  • whatever knuckle method of measuring the amount of water needed for rice that was taught,* and
  • a chef stating that THEY DON’T WASH THE RICE.**

*I couldn’t really follow and it just seemed more complicated than the way I know: use your pointer finger and thumb to measure equal heights of rice and water. Alternatively: get a rice cooker, preferably one that sings. (You better believe that’s an affiliate link.)

**My first time making rice, I actually washed it too much and it turned out very soft and mushy. I was 7. (Rinsing once or twice will suffice, I’ve since learned.)

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Make Yourself at Home

Selena’s friends often enjoy a drink from the sidelines, so feel free to follow their lead — especially with this drinking game!

The Official FYA Selena + Chef Drinking Game

Drink whenever:

  • The chef comments on (aka is concerned about) Selena’s knife handling
  • There’s a mishap
  • Someone on the chef’s side stops by to say hi
  • HBO Max gets cheeky with their text graphics
  • You get kitchen or house envy

Take a shot whenever:

  • Selena holds a knife like a murderer
  • A dish gets rated 5 out of 5
  • There’s a mention of Selena’s love life (or lack thereof)
  • Male delivery arrives

Chug for the duration of:

  • FIRE

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Good

Real talk: I started watching this because I wanted to put something on in the background while I tackled FYA’s ongoing manual migration of our old posts. But then I found myself just watching it because it’s such a fun time! Pandemic aside, it’s actually such a brilliant concept for a cooking show, to see the side-by-side comparison of pro vs. amateur. This relatability definitely makes these beautiful and sometimes complicated dishes seem less intimidating, so maybe this show will inspire you in the kitchen, too.

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.