Replacing Chef Chico, available to stream on Netflix, follows a lovestruck sous chef taking over the helm of the kitchen, replacing the titular head chef while trying to save a fine dining restaurant.
Sous chef at Hain, a fine dining restaurant, Ella loves the head chef Chico. He gets into an accident and is hospitalized and in his absence, it’s incumbent upon Ella to replace him temporarily and save the restaurant’s dwindling sales.
Raymond, a consultant sent there by Chico’s parents, is initially at odds with Ella but gradually helps her focus and bring in great results in the kitchen. She faces adversity and challenges but overcomes them all.
Raymond and Ella develop feelings for each other and he asks her to accompany him to Singapore and work as the head chef for a new restaurant there that he will be managing.
Ella quits after Chico accuses her of sleeping with Raymond and the critic who gave her a glowing review in the prestigious magazine. However, Hain is where she is at her best.
Chico meets her and apologizes, offering her the head chef position at Hain where he would not be working anymore.
Ella makes her decision, which is to stay at Hain. She bids Raymond farewell and returns to her turf as Replacing Chef Chico rolls the credits.
Alessandra De Rossi plays a no-nonsense sous chef who exudes some really off-kilter charms as she emotes little yet says a lot with her stoic face and demeanor.
Piolo Pascual is super reliable as Raymond and makes the performance quite grounded and believable.
Sam Milby has a tough job of delivering venom as a character who’s just lacking any sort of redeeming qualities. His character is really easy to hate — it’s a job well done on Milby’s part.
The feel-good vibes are undeniable and even though each episode brings in drama and emotions they do have weight and tug at the heartstrings quite a bit.
Each episode also serves as a new entry for a new customer at the Hain restaurant, and they bring with them their own story that the show focuses on. Weena’s biological son and ex showing up makes for arguably the best customer segment in the show.
The inclusive parts of the show only add to its charm and comfort factor. The supporting characters in Replacing Chef Chico are not just extras who have to suffice as NPCs.
They’re characters with depth, motivations, and their shining moments.
Chico deserves to be forced out of the restaurant while being shamed for all the audacity he sports. The end to his arc is very unsatisfying and a last-minute justification for his behavior does nothing for his character.
While that is the show’s biggest miss when it comes to catharsis, the conclusion to Ella’s romantic arc is not very satisfying either. She deserves someone understanding and secure after having to deal with such an abusive and toxic boss.
That said, Raymond’s good intentions are also superseded by his failure to spot Ella’s inner conflict before it’s too late. It’s actually refreshing that they don’t end up together, as both get the chance to advance in their lives doing what they love.
Replacing Chef Chico is a comfort food of a series that has several parts of the narrative that need refined writing and finesse. In spite of the underwhelming aspects, the show manages to charm, delight, and tug at the heartstrings just fine.
Replacing Chef Chico
Director: Antoinette Jadaone, Dan Villegas
Date Created: 2023-11-24 01:30