Christmas is a time for celebration, culinary endeavour and, let's face it, chilling out in front of the TV.
With that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best food films and series on Netflix to catch up on this Christmas, from perennial favourites like the unmissable Chef's Table BBQ series, and the mind-bending documentary on mushrooms Fantastic Fungi, to competitive cooking shows and throwback films starring food from the '80s.
So, take your pick, sit back and relax. Here's a roundup of what to watch on Netflix this Christmas:
Food docuseries and series
Fresh, Fried and Crispy
Daym Drops, the grandfather of food reviews on YouTube, travels all over the US in search of the best unknown fried street food, fried food in fancy restaurants, and fried food in home kitchens. From extra-crispy pork chops in Birmingham and deep-fried Oreos in San Diego, to jumbo lump crab cakes in Baltimore. Drops takes one for the team here.
High on the Hog
High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America is up there as one of the most important and entertaining food and travel shows on Netflix this year. Watch and learn as food writer Stephen Satterfield traces the origins of African-American cuisine, from Africa to Texas.
Korean Pork Belly Rhapsody
An ode to Korean culinary traditions and the country's favourite of pork belly. The story unfolds with an exploration of production and cooking methods.
MeatEater: Season 9 (Netflix Original)
Go back to the field and join hunter, author, cook and conservationist Steven Rinella for a ninth season, as he treks into the world's most remote, yet beautiful regions, demonstrating how to bring game meat to the table.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Catch up with the very watchable David Chang, Momofuku chef and Ugly Delicious star, as he travels to exotic destinations with one of his pals and tries breakfast, lunch and dinner, from Canada to Cambodia, joined by celebrity guests like Chrissy Tiegen, Kate McKinnon, and Lena Waithe.
Somebody Feed Phil
Phil Rosenthal, the writer of Everybody Loves Raymond, travels the globe taking in the local cuisine and culture of Bangkok, Lisbon, Mexico City and more in this lively and entertaining series.
Flavorful Origins is the food documentary that takes a deep dive into authentic Chinese food, focusing on local culinary traditions, like those of Chaosan, a cultural-linguistic region in the east of the Guangdong area in China.
This fascinating docuseries is based on the award-winning book by food writer Michael Pollen, who published Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, in 2013. Each of the four episodes is a look at one of the elements - earth, water, fire and air - how they are used in cooking, and how each of them impacted the history and culture of our civilisation. All fascinating and useful stuff.
Chef's Table BBQ
Chef's Table BBQ, a four episode Netflix Original series, features four chefs from four continents. Director Matthew Salleh tells the story of barbecue, from Texas to the Syrian border, as he examines the simple ritual of cooking meat over the flame through the eyes and hands of some of the greatest pitmasters, from 85-year-old Tootsie, to Charleston's Rodney Scott and Sydney's Lennox Hastie.
Street Food takes us to some of the world's most exciting cities to explore the rich and varied culture of street food all over the globe, from the hawker stalls of Singapore, to the food carts of India. Each episode highlights the stories of perseverance and culture that bring life to each country's cuisine in a unique way.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Samin Nostrat (author of the James Beard Award-winning book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking) explores the four ‘holy grail’ elements of cooking in an incredibly memorable and accessible way, against the backdrop of some captivating scenography as she travels around the world. No home cook should miss it.
For some more serious viewing, this series hones in on some of the food industry's darker issues, with episodes including The Avocado War and Bitter Chocolate, it might make you think twice about what's in your Christmas trolley.
Seaspiracy and Cowspiracy
Passionate about ocean life, a filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species, and uncovers a sinister global conspiracy in Seaspiracy. Along with Cowspiracy, these must-watch documentaries are for anyone who cares about the planet, the sea, and our food system.
Something in the Rain
This Korean drama series follows a couple and their fledgling romance, which means lot of time spent on lunch and dinner dates, and which explains the original Korean title of this drama - 'Pretty Noona who buys me food' - shot in a variety of food locations in Seoul throughout the series.
Food Films and Animation
The Way of the House Husband - Part 2
In this lighthearted, love-it-or-hate-it adaptation of the Japanese manga series Tatsu, once a legendary member of the Yazuka, is now trying to make an honest living as a house husband. Follow his struggles in the kitchen.
Fantastic Fungi, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, will transport you into another world, that of the fungi kingdom, by exploring the "beauty, intelligence and solutions" that they can offer us in response to some of the biggest issues of our time.
Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent (2017)
Discover the brilliant self-taught chef Jeremiah Tower, considered by many to be the father of modern American cuisine, who rose to prominence working with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, in this Anthony Bourdain-produced film.
Todo Sobre el Asado (2016)
Take a deep dive into asado, and learn all about Argentina’s culture of barbecue cuisine - exploring flavour, tenderness, choice cuts, and cooking timing - which is so much more than a method of cooking, rather a way of life.
André & His Olive Tree (2020)
André & His Olive Tree follows André Chiang, the Taiwanese chef (who became famous for his 'Octaphilosophy' approach to cooking) during the whole process of closing the famed restaurant André, from announcing his retirement to his team, to winding things down.
Julie & Julia (2009)
Amy Adams and Meryl Streep star in this food-centric film bringing the work of the iconic Julia Child to a new generation.
Eat Pray Love (2010)
Ryan Murphy directed this romance about a woman hoping to find herself on a trip around the world after a divorce. For devotees of the book, it’s a chance to watch it again. For those who avoided it the first time around, it’s a chance to watch it with clear-eyed perspective and see what all the fuss was about.
Mystic Pizza (1988)
This coming-of-age story of three girls working in a pizza restaurant is something that every restaurant worker will relate to. A feel-good rom-com that also ticks the '80s nostalgia box.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
A fun, quirky animated food fantasy for when you need some escapism - think of a scientist inventing the machine that can make food fall from the sky.
Best Leftovers Ever!
Fridge overflowing with Christmas leftovers? Then a little inspiration is probably in order. Here's a well-timed food series about chefs who attempt to make the tastiest meals out of leftover food, incentivised by a $10,000 prize.
Nailed It! Mexico (Season 3)
Yes, more failed desserts in the Mexico season.
The Great British Baking Show: Holidays: Season 3
This beloved feel-good British baking series is a balm for the soul during one of the busiest times of the year in the kitchen.
Waffles + Mochi
For some light afternoon entertainment, switch on Waffles and Mochi, drafting in former First Lady Michelle Obama and her curious puppet pals, Waffles and Mochi, as they travel the world exploring the wonders of food and culture while learning how to cook with fresh ingredients with some pretty impressive guests.
The Great British Baking Show's Nadiya Hussain presents a likable docuseries sharing her favourite recipes for baking cakes, pastries, and more. Hussain is one of the best food documentarians working at the moment, combining warmth and matter-of-factness.