‘Replacing Chef Chico’: First Filipino-produced Netflix series puts love on the menu

For Filipinos, romance and food make a sizzling combination, and the first local Netflix production in a series format serves up a zesty love triangle set against the backdrop of a fine-dining restaurant. 

Replacing Chef Chico is the brainchild of director Dan Villegas, assistant director Joi Bayan and showrunner Antoinette Jadaone. It stars three of the biggest names in the local entertainment industry — Piolo Pascual (My Amanda), Alessandra de Rossi (My Amanda and What If) and Sam Milby (A Family Affair)

Offering a glimpse into the high-stakes and competitive culinary world, the series’ trailer introduces viewers to the main characters whose lives become intertwined at Hain, a fictional up-and-coming fine-dining restaurant that specializes in customizing each dish to mirror their diners’ unique life stories.

But things take an unexpected turn when titular character Chef Chico (Milby) gets into an accident, leaving him in a coma. The fate of Hain is suddenly left in the hands of his sous chef Chef Ella (De Rossi) and newly hired consultant Raymond (Pascual), who has more than just the restaurant on his mind.

Acclaimed filmmaker Jadaone (Fan Girl and That Thing Called Tadhana) said her inspiration for Replacing Chef Chico came from her love for food-related shows. 

Recommending the series for holiday viewing, she added: “I think it’s perfect for the Christmas season because, at its core, it’s about love, friendship and acceptance. Each episode tells a story of family, friendship and love, all celebrated over food.” 

Both Jadone and Villegas (Exes Baggage and Always Be My Maybe) also expressed their excitement over the evolving media landscape and what it means for the future of streaming and media consumption in the Philippines. 

Replacing Chef Chico was produced for Netflix in association with CS Studios and Project8. It drops 24 November only on Netflix.