Do you find yourself tipping your roommate 20 percent for no apparent reason? Craving a booth in the sun, when there is a complete absence of both booths and sun in your apartment? Are you asking yourself “What’s a hobby?” now that going to restaurants is quite literally off the table?
We find ourselves in a new world, where preventive COVID-19 measures have confined foodie culture to houses and apartments, and food shows are the only way to get our restaurant fix. Dig into this decadent lineup of food and drink documentaries, and prepare to eventually re-enter the world of cuisine more educated and passionate than ever.
Ugly Delicious on Netflix
Let David Chang take you all around the world with this easy-yet-smart watch. Each episode focuses on a different dish or culinary concept—like meats on a stick, curry, or fried rice—and lots of tasting and conversations with locals as well as guest-stars, explores that food’s evolution. Tune in for guests like Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Simmons, and Nick Kroll.
F*ck, That’s Delicious on Hulu
This Viceland original, now available on Hulu, is a true indulgence. Follow along as chef and rapper Action Bronson eats the best the world has to offer, from street food to meals at five-star restaurants. Action often collabs with both fellow rappers and famous chefs on the series—and no two episodes taste the same.
Food Lore on HBO
Feel like trying something new? For those that enjoy exotic locales and food, we suggest this HBO anthology series. Released in the United States on March 2, this new approach to food on television features eight episodes, directed by eight different directors in eight countries of the Asian continent, tied together by the common theme of food. With each new story, you may laugh, you may cry, and you’ll most definitely want to start planning an Asian food tour.
Chef’s Table on Netflix
The ultimate show on food philosophy is known and loved by many, so if you haven’t had a chance to indulge in it yet, this is the perfect chance to catch up. Netflix has gathered the world’s greatest chefs all in one place: your living room. Crank through episodes of Chef’s Table and get to know the people that are driving the art of modern cuisine—like Dan Barber, Grant Achatz, and Ana Ros—on a deeply personal level. Each episode is a look into a chef’s mind, detailing their ascent to the top and all the struggles along the way.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi on Netflix
Documentarian David Gelb is the mastermind behind Chef’s Table, but this film is where it all started. This 81-minute feature follows Jiro Ono, the 85 year-old sushi chef behind Michelin-starred restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo, in his pursuit of culinary perfection. Gelb has said that Chef’s Table episodes are really just follow-ups to this original piece. So, if you’re going to binge the series, maybe start here.
Chef Flynn on Hulu
Flynn McGarry rose to fame at the tender age of 10 as one of the youngest chefs in the world. He transformed his living room into a supper club, and his mom into his front-of-house manager, which landed him a feature in the New York Times and numerous other offers to visit and cook in some of the biggest kitchens in the world. This documentary chronicles his path and is nothing short of inspiring.
Kids Try on Hulu
For another light-hearted, adorable dose of kids and food, give Kids Try a watch. The concept behind the series is simple: as the camera rolls, kids of all ages try popular foods from the past 100 years. This easy-to-binge Hulu and Bon Appetit collaboration is especially low commitment: episodes run less than five minutes apiece.
The Great British Baking Show on Netflix
When it comes to baking shows, this one takes the cake! And it’s another show you’ll be glad you caught up on before the next season rolls around and everyone’s talking about the contestants, the jokes, and the bakes. The concept is ingenious in its simplicity—a bunch of British contestants flex their baking muscles in a tent set on a bucolic lawn, until there’s only one star baker left standing. And let’s just say you’ve never seen breads, pies, and pastries quite like this before.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations on Hulu
You might be stuck at home, but with this iconic series, you won’t feel like it. The late, great Anthony Bourdain explores local cuisines and cultures world-wide in this nine-season masterpiece. The Emmy-nominated series, which originally aired on Travel Network, will teach you about food, drink, people, and places, using Bourdain’s signature on-the-ground reporting style.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on Amazon ($2.99 per episode, or $14.99 for the season)
Continue your Bourdain streak with a second series—the CNN gem Parts Unknown. This 12-season show is decidedly more political than No Reservations, delving deeper into people and places than its counterpart. Unfortunately, the show was removed from Netflix late last year, but at only $2.99 per episode on Amazon, it’s still an affordable (and worthwhile!) part of any nutritious TV diet.
The Chef Show on Netflix
While Bourdain is, indisputably, the ultimate one-man show, The Chef Show is built around the most dynamic duo. Jon Favreau and Roy Choi helm the series, experimenting with their favorite recipes, chatting up their favorite movers and shakers in the world of food, and having a grand ol’ time along the way.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat on Netflix
In what has been described as “a love letter to amateur cooks,” chef and author Samin Nosrat takes the viewers on a tour of four crucial elements of well-cooked food: salt, fat, acid, and heat. The mini-series dedicates a whole episode to each of the elements, where Samin cooks with experts and explains how each technique adds to the flavor or texture of the finished dish. And you’ll absolutely want to make her focaccia after her Italian episode on fat.
Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. on Hulu
Another female-led show, Hulu’s “Raw. Vegan. Not Gross” centers around Laura Miller, who rose to fame as a vegan YouTuber. In ten 22 minute-long episodes, Miller debunks the myth that vegan eating is either boring or gross, taking us inside her colorful, creative culinary world to do so.
Street Food on Netflix
And then, on the other end of the health spectrum, there’s Street Food. The third David Gelb brainchild on this list alone, the show explores different street food cultures in some of the most colorful places around the world. Not only do we get a rundown on the history of popular street bites like chaat in New Delihi or traditional eel soup in the Philippines, we also get the human stories of the vendors pouring their heart and soul into their craft.
Beers of Joy on Hulu
The obvious choice to wash down your foodie binge with, Beers of Joy goes deep into the world of beer. Filmed all around the world in an attempt to grasp the significance of beer in our culture, this show is a fun, interesting documentary that will quench your thirst for both beer-facts and travel.
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