10 Best Food Shows on Netflix
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When it comes to kicking back with some feel-good content, there’s nothing better than a cooking show. There is something about food that puts us in our comfort zone, whether it’s a host taking you on a journey to lesser-known foodie spots across the world, competing in a nail-biting cooking competition, or diving into the history of your favourite dish.
So, if you fancy a little bit of armchair travel, looking for inspiration for what to cook tonight, or you’re simply after some comforting viewing, here are the best food shows on Netflix.
Chef, author and TV personality David Chang sets off around the world tasting food from different cultures. There are currently two seasons of Ugly Delicious, which see Chang dive into the culture and history of culinary hot spots around the world, from home cooking in Copenhagen to pizza in Tokyo. The show often includes unexpected twists and turns, reminding audiences that food often bears more political weight than people realise. While light hearted and humorous on the surface, the show is insightful and surprisingly emotional.
Following the success of Ugly Delicious, David Chang delivered another Netflix Original travel and food docu series called Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Like Ugly Delicious, the series follows Chang’s journeys around the globe, but this time with a lighter tone of voice. The series covers more about Chang’s guests and his interviews rather than diving deep into the culture of the food they’re eating. Whether it’s exploring Vancouver with Seth Rogen or indulging in food in Cambodia with Kate McKinnon, the series is all about interesting discussions around the need for authenticity in food.
Parts Unknown is so much more than just a food show. In fact, to label it as simply a food show would be a crime. It’s a dive into the different cultures around the world and delving into the food, the people and the history behind it. Late chef Anthony Bourdain brings out the beauty and wonder of travel and reaching out to the world by exploring little-known destinations. He delivers a humorous, straightforward presentation of the world with no attempts to airbrush or avoid the grit.
In Chef’s Table, Jiro Dreams of Sushi director David Gelb dives into the artistry, ethos and mindset that chefs around the world bring to their profession. Each episode focuses on a different chef and their journey to forging a career in the culinary arts. The show is a collection of beautiful stories about how food affects people and how their take on food is influenced by their culture. For fine dining fans, the show provides valuable insight into the industry around the world. With dramatic musical cues and impressive cinematography, Chef’s Table is much more than your standard food documentary.
Salt, fat, acid and heat are the four elements that New York Times Magazine food columnist Samin Nosrat coined as making cooking an incredible universal experience. Having won the James Beard Award for her cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, Nosrat digs deeper with her Netflix docuseries. She travels the world in order to understand and educate about how these four elements create great cooking. Travelling into the homes of families in Japan, Italy, Yucatan and Berkeley, each episode focuses on one of the key elements. Combining documentary filmmaking, cooking instructional and adventure, the show is a must-watch for anyone wanting an understanding of great cooking.
From the same team as Chef’s Table, Street Food consists of two seasons – one in Asia and the other in Latin America. Each episode explores different countries and cities around Asia and Latin America, taking a look at the cities’ culture and history through street food. The show highlights the human aspect, telling the stories of the traders and vendors behind the food stalls. The docuseries is unique in that it has no presenter and no narrator – allowing the vendors and cooks to be the main characters.
Anyone who’s a foodie knows of Michael Pollan. Easily the most well-known food writer of today, Pollan explores the evolution of what food means to humans through the history of food preparation and its ability to connect people across the globe. Each episode is based on one of the four natural elements – fire, water, air and earth – and its connection to ancient and modern cooking methods. The show is a call for us to return to the kitchen and create a more meaningful connection with the ingredients and cooking techniques that we use. Cooked
Don’t watch this on an empty stomach. Taco Chronicles is a celebration of tacos and the people who make them. This Spanish language series dives into the history and culture behind each variety of tacos. Each episode covers a type of taco, covering the origins of the taco style and the traditional methods of preparation. The show also includes interviews with food writers, experts, owners of the taco stands, farmers who grow the ingredients and the craftspeople who make the pots. With brilliant food photography and sweeping drone footage of cities, it’s a must-watch.
Okay, so Rotten isn’t exactly a feel-good show like the rest of these series. However, it’s a fascinating look into corruption in the global food supply chain – and it might just change the way you think about a few cupboard staples. Each episode explores the workings of the food production underworld to expose the corruption, waste and dangers of our everyday eating habits. The show features interviews with manufacturers, distributors and others in order to expose the violations by corporations who are in control of the food we eat.
If you liked the Chef film with Jon Favreau, then you’ll love this series. Starring in the film inspired Favreau to take a real interest in the food world, and Favreau reunites with his Chef consultant and mentor chef Roy Choi in this charming docuseries. The pair travel round the world to cook with different chefs and celebrate different cultures, flavours and people. The show also features surprise appearances from celebrity guests such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Seth Rogen. Down to earth and full of fun, the Chef Show makes you feel like you’re at home cooking with your family.