Not satisfied with three meals a day, foodie TV is now a bona fide outlet for the food obsessed to drool over the world’s best eats. Whether you’re a cheesy competition fan or after something more, er, mature, here are the best new food shows on Netflix.
Like everything Momofuku chef David Chang touches this show has a rebellious streak, as he attempts to shake off old-school foodie pretentions to put the focus back on food that’s plain old delicious. His shtick is equalizing the culinary playing field as he traces the history, variations, and cultural relevance of some of your all-time favourite foods stuffs — pizza, fried chicken, Chinese food. He’s as likely to show you the artistry behind a hundred-year-old recipe as he is to roll through a KFC, and it makes for seriously salivating viewing. Dispersed with Lucky Peach-esque graphic design and quirky animations, plus a couple of Chang’s famous mates including Aziz Ansari and Jimmy Kimmel among others, this is a fresh new food series for a new generation of diners.
Bless this show’s buttercream-centred heart. Nailed It is a charming and refreshing take on the tried and kind of tiresome bake-off TV show model. You know the format already: three contestants hustle to create baked goods of various difficulty levels for a panel of judges with a nail-biting countdown timer ticking ominously in the background. The difference is Nailed It’s contestants are about as far from the egomaniac chef-wannabes you typically see on cooking shows as you can get. Adorably novice bakers, they seem to find their many screw ups and botched baking attempts as funny as the audience does. The judges are also completely refreshing: they’re genuinely nice in the face of some truly dodgy baking efforts, and they’re all kind of hilarious. This is a rare find: a cooking show with a sense of humour that’s genuinely funny, and genuinely sweet.
A true crime mystery for the foodie crowd, Rotten is a six-part documentary series that delves into the business behind the everyday foods we take for granted (garlic, honey, etc.) and the frankly terrifying worldwide food waste problem. Exposing the economic factors that influence every stage of the food cycle, from cultivation to the supermarket, but with no clear heroes or villains, this doco is about making informed choices. Essential viewing if you’re a tad behind the eight ball when it comes to the sustainable living thing.
Somebody Feed Phil
Hosted by Everybody Loves Raymond creator, Phil Rosenthal, this food-centric travel show is so watchable it almost makes you forgive him. Phil’s boyish enthusiasm for everything edible is contagious, as he explores the world’s unusual cuisines and local culinary specialities. His affable, uniquely Jewish take on the world’s cuisines is light hearted and relatable. Be warned, you will be booking flights to any of his culinary travel destinations by the 10 minute mark.
The Big Family Cooking Showdown
Think your Mum’s the best cook in the world? Get in line. The Big Family Cooking Show pits multigenerational British families against each other in the hunt for the greatest family of cooks in all the land, as they cook up a storm in their own homes to impress the judges, including Rosemary Shrager of Ladette To Lady fame. If the thought of all that washing up doesn’t turn you off, TBFCS has the same cosy vibe as the iconic Great British Bake Off, only with more gravy.
Chef’s Table: France
The first single-destination based spinoff of the game-changing Chef’s Table series is focussed on France, the home of haute cuisine, but it’s not all foie gras and frog’s legs. Instead, the series follows chef’s who have subverted the country’s cooking traditions to make their own unique mark on the foodie landscape. Like the original series, Chef’s Table: France is about a lot more than really, really good looking food; it’s a beautifully shot meditation on art, fanaticism, and the lifelong quest for perfection. Any food fan worth their salt will love every second.
Image credit: Nailed It, Netflix