As most of us prepare for a quieter 'at home' Christmas this year, there'll be plenty more time to spend in the kitchen honing our skills, experimenting with new dishes, and even testing out new equipment, if we're lucky.
With that in mind, a little culinary inspiration never goes amiss. We've picked out some of the best food-fuelled shows and films on Netflix this month, from new arrivals, to a roundup of the best cooking series out there, which will allow your mind and palate to travel, even if you can't.
What's on Netflix for Food Lovers this Christmas
New Releases for December:
Jon Favreau’s drama (loosely connected with Netflix’s The Chef Show) centres on a head chef who quits his job after a public altercation with a food critic at a popular LA restaurant, and ends up buying a food truck which he runs with his young son. 1 December, 2020
The Great British Baking Show: Holidays: Season 3
If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit this season, look no further than the festive version of the beloved feel-good British baking series. 4 December 2020
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. 8 December 2020
Best Leftovers Ever!
Fridge overflowing with 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. 30 December 2020
Ongoing food for thought:
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.
Food On The Go
Staying in Argentina, this documentary explores the origins and traditions of food through the lens of Italian immigrants to America and Argentina, who opened restaurants and fruit and veg stalls. A fascinating look at the evolution of food culture and 'assimilated' cuisine and the arrival of dishes like spaghetti and meatballs.
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 docu-series 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 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 viewers to some of the world's most vibrant cities to explore the rich 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. Essential viewing for home cooks.
There are two seasons to tuck into of this more serious docu-series honing in on some of the food industry's darker issues, its corruption, crime and controversies, with episodes including 'The Avocado War' and 'Bitter Chocolate'. It's an eye-opening look at the food chain we all rely on to fill our trolleys, and will probably make you think twice about what you put in yours next time you shop.