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Ok, we’re going to say it, we love Chef’s Table, we all watch it at FDL HQ, we’ve met and interviewed the crew behind it and we actively await the newest season when it airs on Netflix. It’s one of the best food shows on TV but sometimes with all the attention it receives, also from us, it’s like it’s the only food show on Netflix.
Anyone with a discerning eye and thirst for food programming will tell you that some of the best food and cooking shows are on Netflix.
With this in mind we decided to take a look at the best cooking shows on Netflix, from fascinating documentary series about counterfeit foods, to in-depth exploration of the world through flavor - the steaming service has quietly stacked itself up with one of the best collections of food television online. On top of this, it’s loaded with information to take into your kitchen.
BEST COOKING SHOWS ON NETFLIX
Watch David Chang as he sets out to explore and challenge the idea of food traditions, cultures and how they evolve over time. Each episode focuses on one particular dish or style of cooking: pizza, taco, BBQ and fried rice all feature as Chang enlists the help of fellow chefs in different parts of the world as he sets out to explore our idea of what food should look and taste like.
This fascinating documentary is based on the award-winning book by food writer Michael Pollen who published Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation in 2013. The book was a look at the real impacts cooking has had on civilization and the Netflix series interprets this into four different episodes: earth, water, fire and air. Each episode is a look at one of these elements, how they are used in cooking and how each of them impacted the history and culture of our civilization. This is food on a whole new level.
Get ready for some shocks as this food show on Netflix sets out to explore the hidden problems buried deep within the food chains many of us trust and take for granted. From the murky underworld of honey, to billion dollar bulbs of garlic. This is a fascinating, scary and eye-opening look at the food chain we all rely on daily. Animal farming, cod fishing, dairy farming and even peanuts fall under the lens of this important food show.
Great British Menu
This is a cooking show but with all of the skills you want to be seeing in the kitchen, as some of Britain's best chefs face off for their chance to cook at a great banquet. It’s Masterchef minus mistakes as these chefs show off some top talent in the kitchen, coached on by a selection of Britain’s top Michelin talent. If you think British food has nothing to offer, this is a place to have that opinion crushed as tenacious chefs challenge themselves to cook some magnificent dishes.
Originally aired on CNN, Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown show has become one of the best food shows ever created. Allowing viewers to explore far-flung corners of the world as Bourdain, in his honest, tell-all style, sets about to explore new cultures directly through the food on his fork, or chopstick, taco, finger, wrap, sushi counter. Wherever it may be, Bourdain enlightens the viewer as he attempts to get to the core of an area, away from the flashy lights and tourist hot-spots, to truly reveal the local food and with it, the local culture.
This is a great food documentary that steps well away from the world of star chef and instead focuses on the basic impacts your own food choice have on the planet. How we cook, how we waste, how we eat - all of this goes to having a direct impact on the planet we all inhabit, and while many of us are very aware about not putting polluted things inside our body, we are woefully ignorant when it comes to how our own cooking choices are polluting the planet.
Theatre of Life
Step inside the transformative power of food and hospitality in this documentary that follows Italian chef Massimo Bottura as he opens his first Food for Soul soup kitchen in Milan during the World Expo. The chef, who has some of the world’s best chefs working alongside him, takes on the daily mission of transforming a truck full of food off-cuts into delicious, beautiful and nutritional meals for those in true need of a meal.
This is a touching, thought provoking and revealing account into the hands-on impact of social gastronomy.
If you’re one of those people who obsesses about the best possible cut imaginable, this is the show for you, as steak expert Franck Ribière sets out to understand what it is that makes a perfect steak. It includes interviews with chefs, farmers, breeders and butchers as the presenter goes deep on what is required to produce the world’s best quality meat.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
If you haven’t seen this one yet, do us all a favour, stop reading and click straight through to watch on Netflix. This has to be one of the most beautifully crafted food documentaries ever made and was the springboards for its producer David Gelb to go on and make Chef’s Table. In this food documentary, filmed in Japan, Gelb follows the work of the legendary sushi master Jiro Ono, who has dedicated his entire life and passion to slowly perfecting the art of sushi: gaining three Michelin stars for his tiny sushi counter inside a Tokyo subway station. This is a true backstory that shows how the passion of food takes over many people’s lives, how some dedicate all their decades to mastering a craft and how this dedication for perfection is a journey that never ends.