Film & TV

TV Review: Aftertaste

Disgraced celebrity chef Easton West returns home to the Adelaide Hills in this delightful new comedy from the ABC.

Aftertaste is the latest six-part television comedy series premiering next week on the ABC.

Adelaide Hills’ strong food and wine culture is the perfect backdrop for this series, which sees explosive celebrity Michelin star chef Easton West (Erik Thomson) reach boiling point, destroy his career, and return home.

Upon his return, he is greeted by his bold and confident dessert-chef niece Diana (Natalie Abbott), who is a long-time fan of her uncle and the only one happy to see him. The unlikely pair soon team up, him trying to make a comeback in the food scene and her eager to start a career.

Aftertaste sees co-producer and Packed to the Rafters star Thomson take on a role that is the antithesis of his reputation as the ideal dad, rather he is rude, blunt and arrogant. It also sees amazing theatre performer Abbott star in her first television production. They form an excellent duo, humorous and natural.

The family dysfunction is hilarious and the dialogue full of profanities. Each character is self-assured, resolute, and unique; from the onset you know exactly who they are, which is sometimes difficult to achieve – yet vital for such a short series (although fingers crossed for season two!).

They are joined onscreen by Redfern Now’s Wayne Blair as Brett, Susan Prior as Easton’s sister Denise, Peter Carroll as their dad Jim, Remy Hii as popular town chef Ben Zhao, and The Hunting’s Kavitha Anandasivam as Diana’s best friend, Nayani. It also stars multi-award-winning actress Rachel Griffiths as Margot. With talents such as these, and when Rachel Griffiths agrees to undertake two weeks of quarantine for only six days of filming, you know it is going to be good.

Scenes mainly revolve around food, which is the way the family both connects and disconnects. Ideas explored are intergenerational conflicts, gender, and modernity. A scene involving chef Ben Zhao and Easton West encapsulates this perfectly when Ben Zhao points out to Easton West that he needs a new narrative, and the days of the ‘angry white middle class male’ are over.

Aftertaste is a Closer Production for the ABC with investment from both Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation. Having been filmed in two of Adelaide Hills’ most picturesque towns, Uraidla and Kangarilla, it truly makes you appreciate the beauty of South Australia’s landscape.

For proud residents of South Australia it is a must see.

Aftertaste premieres Wednesday 3 February at 9.00pm on ABC TV + iview.


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