‘Selena + Chef’ Is the Best Cooking Show on TV


The Big Picture

  • Selena + Chef
    is a top cooking show with Gomez as an eager apprentice.
  • The show reveals Gomez’s vulnerabilities, making it relatable and personal.
  • Mishaps and fires humanize Gomez as she progresses in the kitchen.

Selena + Chef is undeniably the best cooking show on reality TV. Selena Gomez serves as host, and her charm as she learns the ropes of cooking is what has kept viewers hooked from the first episode. Through mishaps, fires, accidents, cuts, and burns, Gomez has been finding her way around her kitchen, and learning cooking skills from the best chefs in the business. The first four seasons have already featured appearances from big-name chefs like Marcus Samuelsson, José Andrés, Padma Lakshmi, Gordon Ramsay, Rachael Ray, and more. One of the show’s best aspects is that at the end of every episode, Selena + Chef donates $10,000 to the chefs’ preferred charities.

The show premiered on HBO Max (now Max) amid the pandemic lockdown in 2020. The lockdown left people yearning for connection and gave people the opportunity to learn new hobbies and try new recipes at home, and Gomez was one of them. That inspired her to create a virtual cooking show that followed her as she learned how to cook, prepare food while a celebrity chef guided her along through a screen. The show also takes place inside Gomez’s home. Her kitchen becomes the set, and her own tools become set props that help bring the recipes and the show to life.

Selena Is Not Afraid to Make Mistakes

Selena + Chef has gone through several variations since its debut, but it has consistently shown Gomez at her best. After starring in two successful TV shows, Wizards of Waverly Place and Only Murders In the Building, seeing Gomez in a reality cooking show gives fans a window into who she is behind the scenes and introduces a stripped-down version of herself to people tuning in that are not already familiar with her. Part of the appeal has been seeing a huge pop star, successful actress, and business mogul be an apprentice and beginner at something. Watching someone who is so accomplished learning a basic skill along with the audience is refreshing, and seeing her progress and get better at it is also rewarding.


Selena Gomez Announces ‘Only Murders In the Building’ Season 4 Is Filming With Sweet Message

Gomez once again stars opposite Steve Martin and Martin Short.

But Gomez struggled with her skills in Season 1. The show does a fantastic job of not hiding Gomez’s mistakes as the show goes along, and there are plenty. She is not pretending to be a cooking pro like other celebrities do in their cooking shows, Gomez makes it clear that she is an apprentice eager to learn. In the first few episodes, Gomez struggles to maneuver a kitchen knife, doesn’t know what certain tools are called, drops a dish, and sets her oven on fire. This is not a scripted show by any means, and including her errors and mistakes adds flavor and further enriches the show. Her grandparents and friends, like her best friend Raquelle Stevens, often step in to help, but seeing Gomez fumble the most mundane tasks humanizes her and makes her even more relatable. Gomez isn’t afraid to look silly or to make mistakes as she learns, and that’s a powerful and important message for someone as popular as she is to send, especially to her young fans.

Selena Shares a New Side of Herself on ‘Selena + Chef’

Gomez was a Disney Channel child star, and there is a special charisma that Disney alums tend to possess and carry with them, which is evident in Selena + Chef. She is funny, easy-going, charming, and welcoming to her celebrity guests, which makes each episode feel like a brand-new experience that is incredibly fun to watch. Gomez also has a quirky and awkward personality at times, and when she fails a specific step, she beats herself up for it. But seeing her care so much about what she is doing is endearing. Some fires needed to be put out, and knife skills needed improvement, but her confidence also increased with every recipe she nailed.

Not only are viewers getting the chance to watch her cook recipes and meals from scratch, but they are also getting a window into her personal life that they don’t get access to anywhere else. Gomez is guarded in interviews and doesn’t show much about her life on social media, either. In one episode, she struggles to squeeze a lime, and she seems embarrassed at first, only to later reveal that having lupus affects her hands’ strength. It doesn’t get more vulnerable than that. She talks about her dating life and Max even shows moments where her cooking lesson is interrupted by a phone call from a “cute boy.” In Episode 4 of Season 1, Gomez even FaceTimes her famous friend Taylor Swift to show off one of her successful recipes–Korean BBQ short rib breakfast tacos taught by chef Roy Choi.

“I’ve been telling all my friends that I’ve been doing this. Out of everything I’ve done in my career, this is the most outstanding thing I’ve done,” she says, then tells Swift, “I just wanted to show you because I’m so proud.” The singer then expresses how jealous she was that the chef and her friend were cooking together and how happy she was that Gomez was taking this step. “Do you know how long I have been waiting for you to become obsessed with cooking?” Swift says. As someone who has constantly inspired headlines in magazines and tabloids about her personal life over the years, on Chef, Gomez can be herself and have control over how much she shares with fans. Other reality shows seem more contrived, though, but the conversations Gomez has with friends about her dating life on this show seem genuine. And that’s a treat for those who have been following her on her journey. She has also gotten more comfortable in the kitchen and now that the lockdown restrictions have been lifted, the chefs have made their way to Gomez’s home where they prepare a meal together, step by step, surrounded by her friends and family. Selena + Chef has evolved past being a “quarantine show,” and is now a real deal cooking show.

The show’s success inspired the Food Network to announce two new projects hosted by Gomez. A four-part special titled Selena + Chef: Home for the Holidays was released in November 2023, where the singer learned tips on how to host for the holidays from four different celebrity chefs. Gomez is learning how to cook from the crème de la crème of TV chefs and no matter what the future holds for Selena + Chef going forward, these are skills that will stay with her and viewers long after the show stops airing.

Ready to learn some skills from Gomez and her friends? All seasons of Selena + Friends are now available to stream on Max in the U.S.


The Big Picture

  • Selena + Chef is the best cooking show on TV, featuring Gomez as an eager apprentice.
  • The show offers a peek into Gomez’s personal life and vulnerabilities, making it relatable.
  • Through mishaps and fires, Gomez’s progress in the kitchen humanizes her and adds flavor.


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