Marvel at world-class cooking in VR, 8K and 3D on Quest 2
Meta's new VR series "Behind the Dish" portrays three chefs and shows their dishes from a breathtaking perspective.
I watched the three-part documentary this week and highly recommend it, even if you're only marginally interested in cooking.
"Behind the Dish" tells the story of three women from different cultures who managed to make it in a male-dominated profession. This alone makes the VR series worth watching.
The films are superbly narrated and produced. The impressive close-ups of the dishes in stereoscopic 8K, which let you shrink to plate size and admire the artfully arranged dishes in survival size, are just the icing on the cake.
I also liked the diversity on display. Each of the three episodes portrays a different world region, culture, and cuisine. The diverse landscapes that are often the source of the precious ingredients were also beautifully captured for virtual reality.
Great stories, great dishes
In the first episode, we join African-American Deborah VanTrece, who traveled the world as a flight attendant for ten years before deciding to open a soul food restaurant with an international twist.
Soul food is considered the traditional cuisine of African Americans, which originated in the slave plantations of the southern states in the 19th century and only gained this name in the 1960s and 1970s in the wake of the US civil rights movement.
The episode shows how VanTrece gave new impetus to this traditional cuisine and introduces the storied origins of this quintessentially American culinary art.
The second episode profiles Yumi Chiba, one of Japan's few female sushi masters, who decided late in life, as a result of cancer, to turn sushi cooking into a career and take over the family restaurant - with great success.
The VR film accompanies Chiba to fish markets and wasabi fields and shows up close and in slow motion how artfully the chef cuts the fish.
Something to eat: Edible works of art in VR
The third and final episode focuses on three Michelin-starred French chef and three-time restaurant owner Hélène Darroze, who dared to break with tradition. The VR film traces her rise to stardom on the international culinary scene.
Here, too, you can see some edible works of art in close-up. They were shot directly in the kitchen with a specially designed VR macro camera system that requires two boxes to transport and must be operated by two people at the same time.
"All the images were captured in the middle of the chefs' kitchens, which allowed us to be as close as possible to their work and to capture the textures, the smoke that escapes from the hot dish, little things that allow us to offer the spectators a faithful immersion and to almost taste the dishes," the filmmakers tell XRMust in an interview.
Watch Behind the Dish with Meta Quest 2.
"Behind The Dish" was produced with the support of Meta. The French VR film studio Targo, which has worked with Meta many times and created high-quality VR films such as Rebuilding Notre Dame, When we Stayed Home and most recently Surviving 9/11, is responsible for the concept and realization.
You can find the VR films exclusively at Meta Quest TV. Search for the documentary title or use the links below to save the films and watch them later. For the best picture quality, download the episodes instead of streaming them. See our Quest 2 guide for how to do that.