Chef! Series III Information

This page was done before and during the time that Series III was brand new - and as such, the text seems a bit dated because of that.  I've decided to leave the page here, as I don't see any real need to remove it.

I was also sent a fan created "Season III" guide by someone who didn't care for Season 3, and basically "rolled his own". 
Check it out, it's quite good.

Updated May 30, 1997

On November 24th, 1996 I received two pieces of E-Mail from a Sue Baker in Canada informing me that she saw NEW Chef! on their local PBS station. That was the first I heard of new Chef. Since then, I received a few more EMails from others. Below are some of the more informative EMails I've gotten about the new episodes.

On February 2, 1997, KERA-TV in Dallas Texas started showing Chef! Series III. They ran all of Series III over the next six weeks. If your PBS station carries British Comedies (and especially has had Chef in the past), bug them to carry Series III of Chef! Considering Series III premiered on the air in the UK on November 25, 1996, this is a very fast turnaround time for getting it on the air over here.

Here is the short version of what I've found out about the new series.

  1. Janice IS in Series III. Originally, I had posted that she was not, but this is not true. She is in it, but in a somewhat reduced capacity. (Read onwards for details)
  2. Gustav LaRoche is now played by someone else.
  3. Chateau Anglais is owned by a rich English guy who has a really cute daughter who has a thing for Everton.
  4. The woman who plays Janice is in real life (or was when it was filmed) pregnant, hence her reduced screen time this season.

Below are the texts of some E-Mails I've received about Chef III. Below these E-mails are some total spoilers for Season III. If you don't want the episodes blown for you, please don't read them. Also, if you've seen just the first couple episodes of Series III, and are bitching about the way the characters are behaving, I IMPLORE YOU TO WATCH THE ENTIRE SEASON BEFORE PASSING JUDGEMENT ON SERIES 3!!!.

Joe Siegler
Chef! Web Site Manager

Here is an E-mail I received on December 20th from Michal Betti about Chef III on US PBS stations!

Date sent:        Fri, 20 Dec 1996 21:21:14 -0500
From:             Mike Betti 
Subject:          Chef Series III coming to my home town

I queried my local PBS Chef! outlet (I have 4 PBS stations on my cable)
about Series III (this is the Washington D.C. area, WETA channel 26)
and received a reply that they will be running the new eps. in 
February.  Hopefully, they will be running Series 1 prior to that as
I am missing 3 eps. of that series from my Chef! tapes - I have all
of the rest taped.

Anyway, it looks like some US PBS channels are moving quickly to get
the new eps. on the air - no 2 year wait !  Now if they could only
get the new Red Dwarf eps. on the air that fast too!

Thanks for the great site.

Michael Betti

Here are two E-Mails I received on the 23rd and 24th of Nov 1996 from Sue Baker:
Date sent:        Sat, 23 Nov 96 18:13:06 -0800
From:             Sue Baker (E-Mail address withheld per request)
Subject:          New season - where's Janice???

Hi Joe!

The good news is - a whole new season of Chef!!!  I'm not sure where you are in 
geographic terms, but here in Ontario, our TV Ontario channel ran back to back 
episodes last Thursday at 9 p.m. with two more skedded for this coming Thursday, Nov. 

Of course, I tuned in late - and much to my dismay, discovered Janice has left 
Gareth!!!  Please tell me she'll be back!  Also, the Gustav character is being played 
by another actor, and the Chateau Anglais appears to be owned by a rich English guy 
with a lovely bird of a daughter who's dallying about with ..... Everton!!!

Date sent:        Sun, 24 Nov 1996 18:22:32 -0500
From:             Sue Baker (E-Mail withheld per request)
Subject:          Chef's new season - update

Hi Joe!

Wow, Dallas, huh???  Bet it aint' snowin' there!

I'll double check on Thursday nite but I'm 99% sure that the new season is
copyright 1996.  I'll also try to get the new characters and actors' names
with a little more info.

I missed the first episode, which is why I'm not sure why Janice has left
Gareth.  It could be a temporary thing.  Anyway, on the second of the back
to back shows, Gareth is reporting to some very stuffy English guy who
appears to be the new owner of the Chateau Anglais.  He has a daughter who
seems to be just as snobby, but she's somehow been involved with Everton.
Daddy, of course, didn't approve and said so; she then went off to date a
rich guy almost Daddy's age, which was of course, even worse!  Everton,
meanwhile, is heartbroken and is daydreaming about her in the kitchen.
Can't recall her name offhand but will update you next week.

Meanwhile, Gareth, newly single, is trying to cover up his devastation and
he and Everton are hanging out, telling each other "who needs women,
anyway".  A new kitchen worker, Savanna, has the hots for Gareth and tries
to impress him by inventing an imaginary date, asking for the night off,
giving him a full report and sending herself flowers to try to make him
jealous.  This, of course, doesn't work on Blackstock in the least!!!!

At the same time, Gareth's dad arrives with HIS new girlfriend, who's about
25 years old - he has an imaginary heart attack and Gareth and the
girlfriend reach a meeting of the minds at the hospital.  Gareth's "old dad"
is only suffering from a case of indigestion.

That's all I can tell you.  Again, there's a new "Gustav".  I'll buzz you
back next week.

Could you put out a general inquiry about CHEF! on home video?  I'm
desperate to get all episodes and haven't been taping!!!  Thanks, Sue

On November 30th, I received two pieces of E-Mail about Chef III. One was from Sue Baker again, and the other was from Joe & Chrissy Powers about Chef III. Here they are:
Date sent:        Sat, 30 Nov 1996 19:23:50 -0800
From:             Joseph and Chrissy Powers 
Subject:          Chef-Series 3

I just picked up a copy of the Sunday Times (London) for November 24th
at my local Barnes and Noble Books today and the Culture section (TV
listings) had a write up on Chef 3. It appears to have just premiered on
BBC1 Monday, November 25th. There is a little note about it in the
'Critics Choice' section with a great cartoon of Henry as Blackstock (I
wish I had a scanner to send it to you, It would look great at your
site). Anyway, this is the complete article:

CHEF! (BBC1, 8:30pm)
A third series for Lenny Henry as Gareth Blackstock, the chef whose
jokes sound like carefully composed, up-market menu items. New
characters include a neurotic American (Lorelei King), and the appalling
nouveau-riche owner (Dave Hill). Meanwhile, Mrs. Blackstock (Caroline
Lee Johnson) is putting a 'postcode' of space between her and her
husband unless he leaves his job. No job, no series. What will he do?
-Sally Payne

Well, that's it! Thank god there is more Chef! My wife and I hope our
PBS station out of Sacramento gets them soon. Your site is FAB! Keep up
the good work!

Date sent:        Sat, 30 Nov 96 08:43:54 -0800
From:             Sue Baker 
Subject:          more series III info, but I'm not giving anything away - it's too good!!!

Hi Joe!

More new CHEF! info - episodes 3 & 4 - but I gotta tell you, the storyline 
is so good I just can't give you the details this time.  However, here's a 
few points on series III:

1)  It's definitely a 1996 Crucial Films/BBC production.

2)  Janice is back in a BIG WAY!!! Another character, Rochelle, adds an 
    interesting twist.

3)  The new Gustav is played by actor Jeff Nuttall

4)  The owner/manager (I'm still unclear on which he is) is named Cyril

5)  Only Everton and Gustav remain in the kitchen from the old staff - new 
    kitchen employees include Savannah, an American, and Renee.  Given Chef's 
    temperment, this leads to some funny incidents.

Overall, there have been changes to the show, and I have to say quite 
honestly it's even better than before.  Evidently they're working with a 
bigger budget because the production, sets and location shots are 
excellent.  It seems as though they've screened the episodes before a live 
audience and captured a true "laugh track" as opposed to a canned one.  
The writing is absolutely superb.  The plots are even more intricate and 
the new supporting cast is surprisingly strong and almost immediately 

Here's the frustrating part.  CHEF! shows up only sporadically on our 
stations up here, and it's not listed for next Thursday, so I don't know 
when I'll get to see the next episodes.

I think anyone who's a CHEF! fan is going to really enjoy the new series. 
I was almost in tears from laughing so hard!

Keep in touch......Sue


A lot happens to the characters in Series III. Here's a summary of what happens.

  1. This series is more about the characters in Chef!, not about the "situations" like the first two series.
  2. At some point in between Series 2 & 3, the Blackstocks have to sell La Chateau (to Cyril Bryson).
  3. Janice leaves Gareth in Episode 1.
  4. Gareth spends most of his time moping about Janice not being there.
  5. Gareth's father makes a return appearance played by the same actor (nice touch).
  6. Janice does turn up in about 3 or 4 of the episodes, but the first and last ones are the only one where she's there for more than just a few minutes.
  7. In the next to last episode of the season, Gareth sees Janice kissing another man (peck on the cheek actually), and he decides to finally get on with his life. He is about to get it on with another woman in his apartment, when they find that Janice has let herself in and catches Gareth in a "comprimising position".
  8. Janice announces that she's pregnant and that Gareth is the father (to which Gareth passes out and falls on the floor). This is the last thing in the next to last episode.
  9. In the last episode, Gareth has to decide whether to go with the woman from the last episode, or stay with his wife. Ultimately he chooses Janice, and the two of them go on vacation together at the end of the series.