Netflix Shows That Will Satisfy Any Foodie’s Culinary Cravings
In the past, if you wanted to practice your cooking skills from home, you had to watch The Food Network. Of course, millennials know that cable television means having to wait around for your favorite show to come on. And if you miss it? Well, that’s too bad. Luckily, streaming services like Netflix have changed the game and have given us some amazing food and cooking shows that we can watch anywhere, anytime.
From high-stakes cooking competitions to chefs traveling the world and showing us different cuisines, these Netflix shows are guaranteed to satisfy your cravings and take you on a culinary journey around the world.
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show (also known as Bake Off outside of North America) has actually been around for nearly a decade. Netflix bought the rights and you can watch season three through nine online. The show follows a group of amateur British bakers as they compete through different rounds. It was one of the first shows to focus on baking and has even been credited for revitalizing home baking!
The title sounds boring but viewers have become addicted to the melodrama. Until you watch Bake Off you’ll never know what it feels like to be physically stressed about the 80 -degree lean of a croquembouche.
Zumbo’s Just Desserts
It might seem like just another baking competition but Zumbo’s Just Desserts stands out for many reasons. Unlike other cooking shows where the bakers think up their own desserts, the final round of each episode has the two worst bakers of the week trying to recreate an absolutely ridiculous dessert that famed pastry chef Adriano Zumbo made himself.
Also, it is shot in Australia. That means you get to listen to a beautiful accent the entire time and get introduced to ridiculous Australian terms for normal things. You also get to hear contestants cry in an Australian accent because the stakes are high in this cooking show.
Somebody Feed Phil
This is the perfect Netflix show if you’re a foodie with wanderlust. The show follows Phil Rosenthal, the creator of the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, as he goes on a “goodwill eating tour of the world.” In the show he visits everywhere from Mexico City to Tel Aviv, so you’re guaranteed to see a ton of different cuisine.
The show is basically just a rebranded version of the PBS show I’ll Have What Phil’s Having which was hugely successful. It’s so captivating because unlike other shows who follow a middle-aged white man eating food around the world, Phil isn’t a culinary expert so he’s reviewing for the average Joe.
This is the perfect baking show to make you feel better about your own skills. Hosted by comedian Nicole Byer, Nailed It! features three amateur bakers who admit they’re not exactly pros. They have to replicate complicated baked good and the one who messes up the least takes home a $10,000 prize.
The show was based on the internet trend where home bakers shared their failed attempts to recreate Pinterest-style baked goods. Any foodie who has tried and failed miserably to follow an internet recipe will relate on an emotional level to Nailed It!
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Hosted by renowned chef and food writer Samin Nosrat, this show looks at the four main components of food and (most importantly) gives the viewer tips and tricks on cooking with them. Nosrat travels the world looking at ways different cultures incorporate salt, fat, acid, and heat into their food.
It might sound like every other show but it’s not. Salt Fat Acid Heat has a whopping 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and one food critic calls it a “completely new style of culinary TV.”
Sugar Rush is another baking competition show hosted by Adriano Zumbo. It’s similar to The Food Network’s cake and cupcake competition shows but with an added twist. Instead of having a set amount of time to bake an item, the contestants are encouraged to finish up quickly and bank extra time for the final rounds.
Of course, if you rush too much then you might get eliminated and the time you saved will be completely wasted. The time pressure on Sugar Rush is a refreshing way to spice up a tried and true format for baking shows.
Chef’s Table was one of Netflix’s earliest original documentary series and it still holds up today. Each episode features a different renowned chef from around the world. The episodes detail their upbringing, how they entered the culinary world, their style of cooking, and their best dishes.
You won’t find any celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay on Chef’s Table. The people profiled are masters of their craft and hail from all corners of the earth — from Sweden to Thailand to Russia. Keep in mind, the show requires attention so don’t start scrolling through recipes on your phone while you’re watching.
A Cook Abroad
This series originally debuted on BB2 in 2015, but you can now watch it on Netflix. It’s only six episodes long, but it follows six incredible foodie journeys. In each episode, a celebrity chef travels to a different location around the world and not only tries the cuisine but learns about the history of each dish and will even attempt to cook it themselves.
The show is a must-watch if you’re not only interested in how food looks and tastes, but also where it comes from and the cultures that are behind it.
The Final Table
The Final Table touts itself as the biggest culinary competition in the world. Hosted by the editor of Bon Appétit, the show features 12 teams of 24 professional chefs from all around the world. In each episode, they tackle cuisine based on a different country. In the first round, each team has to reimagine a country’s signature dish. In the elimination round, a chef hailing from the country will be there to choose an ingredient and judge the plates.
Not only is The Final Table an incredible window into world cuisine but seeing 24 of the world’s top chefs battle it out is simply awe-inspiring.
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell
We’ve become used to the same old food shows so something completely different can be refreshing. Enter The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell. Hosted by artist, actress, Instagram influencer and contemporary goth icon, McConnell takes her weird personal taste and turns it into a show any foodie would love.
The Netflix original series invites viewers to watch McConnell create spooky sweets and creepy creations. Yes, the show is odd and its vintage 1950s vibe is creepy on its own, but McConnell’s unique hosting style and the yummy creations are just as memorable. Oh, and she talks to a raccoon puppy on the show.
At first, Ugly Delicious seems like just another food traveling show but it’s so much more. David Chang spends each episode taking a deep dive into one wildly popular dish. Chang travels to its place of origin and explores how the dish evolved over time and crafted a huge following.
Dishes featured in the series include fan favorites like pizza, tacos, fried chicken, American BBQ, and even a Thanksgiving meal. Ugly Delicious sets itself apart because rather than feature obscure dishes no one has ever heard of before, it unravels all of our favorite foods.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Hosted by the late, great, food-entertainer Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown has gone down in history as one of the best food-related shows of all time. And now it’s on Netflix! While the show claims to be food-based it’s far from that. Yes, Bourdain is traveling all around the world to eat different foods but the bigger picture is about him exploring different communities and cultures.
Bourdain may no longer be with us but his legacy remains. Parts Unknown showed that when you gather around a table, judgment and prejudice can melt away like fresh gruyere cheese.
Food, Booze, and Tattoos
This is yet another travel food show but it’s a little more hardcore. It follows writer Brett Rogers as he travels to South Africa to not only taste new culinary foods but also track down micro-breweries and get some edgy tattoos done.
Food, Booze, and Tattoos is one of those food-related shows that anyone can find interesting. You don’t have to be a foodie to be interested in watching a guy eat fresh bread while getting a foot tattoo. Still, the ultimate highlight of the show is the people Rogers meets along the way and their incredible stories.
Food — Delicious Science
If you’re a foodie that also has an interest in science, then this is the show for you. Food—Delicious Science is basically the modern-day version of the classic Alton Brown show Good Eats. It features host Michael Mosley partnering with botanist James Wong. The two explore the physics, chemistry, and biology that goes into the food we eat every day.
Mosley and Wong go down to the microscopic level with carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. It’s the perfect foodie show that will make you hungry and smarter.
This Netflix-produced miniseries takes a look at food through the earth’s four natural elements—fire, water, air, and earth. The series was actually adapted from a book by Michael Pollan. The book was born out of the author’s attempt to learn how to cook several fundamental foods like bread and cheese.
Cooked manages to seamlessly combine food with history, economics, science, and anthropology. You don’t have to be a lifelong academic to enjoy the show though. Pollan’s narration is simple and to the point, and makes the audience feel like they’re part of food history too.
Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman
This show is completely unlike any other food-related show you’ll watch. Based on the manga, Kantaro is about a computer programmer who quits his well-paying job to follow his true passion—food blogging. He begins taking more time out of his day to visit Tokyo’s best dessert shops and critique the food.
The series features some hilariously over-the-top inner monologues and even has cut scenes that show his brain wandering while he enjoys certain desserts. The show might seem goofy at first but it’s a nice reminder to enjoy the good things in life while you can.
Rebel Without a Kitchen
Hosted by Canadian chef Matt Basile, Rebel Without a Kitchen follows the young food entrepreneur as he tries to make a career with just pop-up food kiosks. He might be Canadian but his show encapsulates the American dream. After being denied a loan from the bank, Basile quit his marketing job and just started cooking at events around Toronto.
Basile’s fun-loving attitude and delicious food make the show stand apart. If you question the “rebel” label it’s also important to note that his nickname is “Fidel Gastro.” If that doesn’t give you some street cred, I don’t know what does.
Not every foodie might be interested in watching Rotten but if you want to be more socially conscious, it’s a great docu-series to watch. Rotten takes a look at the evils of over-produced foods. Every episode looks at how one food has become corrupted by preservatives and politics.
Episodes topics include honey, peanuts, milk, and garlic. While the show can get a little too deep into the lives of those affected by Big Garlic, they are still unafraid to show the nasty realities behind food processing. Prepare to give up at least one food product after watching this series.
The Mind of a Chef
This cooking show was produced by Anthony Bourdain’s production studio so you know it’s good. It’s also narrated by the late Bourdain so need we say any more? If you need more convincing, The Mind of a Chef takes a unique look at reclusive chefs around the world.
The show will follow a chef as they recreate their signature recipe on camera while Bourdain explains what is going on in their mind. The Mind of a Chef is a rare time where a viewer can feel they truly understand what makes a good chef tick.
Most cooking shows follow a chef creating one perfectly mastered dish for a single customer. These dishes are intricate and created with an individual in mind. Mega Food showcases the exact opposite side of the food industry. The Netflix series cooks at the challenges of preparing food for large groups of people.
The challenges include cooking for thousands of guests on a cruise ship to catering for A-lists guests at fashion week. Every meal has to be the same and each needs to feel like a 5-star dining experience.