The Best Foodie Shows on Netflix UK
Think you've worked your way through the entirety of Netflix's back catalogue? Think again. To make social isolation and social distancing a little easier, we've compiled a list of our favourite new foodie shows on Netflix, as well as some much-loved classics, that will be sure to keep you entertained for hours on end.
Ever wondered just how much food shapes the world we live in? Of course you have, you're a Bruncher! Well, thanks to Netflix documentary series Cooked, you can follow food writer Michael Pollan around as he explores how the elements - air, water, fire and earth - play a role in ancient and modern cooking methods. From brewers in Peru who use human saliva in the fermentation process to an Australian tribe that fire-roast monitor lizards, prepare to have your mind completely and utterly blown.
If you prefer your food TV to have dramatic flair and enjoy the spectacle of painstakingly precise sushi chefs using tweezers to plate up a thimbleful of salmon and seaweed, the theatrics of Chef’s Table should be next on your watchlist. Spotlighting a revered food veteran each episode – its subjects are as wide-ranging as a Seon Buddhist monk and a Slovenian alpine-skiing sommelier – it sees a return to classical cooking on TV. Your enjoyment of the show depends largely on how much pretension and Beethoven backing music you can stomach but it’s a fabulous insight into the inner workings of fine-dining restaurants.
Netflix's answer to true crime for foodies, Rotten exposes the corruption, fraud and injustice of today's food industry. Think avocado cartels, beehive thieves and prisoners peeling garlic. But the show's not just out to make you feel guilty every time you scoff a bar of chocolate, it will also inspire you to make more informed choices when it comes to the food in your cupboard.
The Taco Chronicles
The title may suggest a Mexican ‘Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants’ but this Netflix original is actually a deep dive into the country’s signature food export, the taco. It may sound like an ultra-specific topic for 6 episodes, and it is, but if a meal can become synonymous with a day of the week (Taco Tuesdays - thanks Mexico) then it’s worthy of the documentary treatment.
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Distilling the mystery of cooking into four essential components – salt, fat, acid, heat – Iranian-American chef Samin Nosrat breaks down gastronomic science without coming off as dry or technical. In just four episodes, she travels across the globe inviting farmers, butchers, Italian cheesemongers and her own mother to teach her the basics. Earnest food-to-table, top-to-tail cooking set in lush locations, it’s a feast for the eyes even if you have no intention of squeezing your own olive oil.
There’s been an implosion of macho “bro-cooking” making the rounds in the last few years, from the hot wing challenges on YouTube’s First We Feast to pretty much everything produced by Vice. Ugly Delicious follows this template with chef David Chang, who kicks back with hipster pals and celebrity guests as they try street food, deli dishes and down-home cuisine from around the US. As an esteemed cook in his own right, Chang keeps it in check by delving into the origins of the food they’re eating, highlighting the contribution of immigrants to local food scenes.
Somebody Feed Phil
If there's one person we never thought we'd see hosting his own food show, it's Phil Rosenthal - the mind behind US sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. As he embarks on his "eating tour of the world", permanently wide-eyed and bursting with enthusiasm, Phil's love of food, people and travel is nothing but contagious. From Lisbon to New York City, this loveable foodie journeys across the globe, meeting locals, eating food and warming the hearts of Netflix viewers around the world.
The Final Table
Where celebrities of dubious culinary backgrounds judge trained international chefs and sous chefs. One episode sees Victoria’s Secret Model Alessandra Ambrosio impart some sage wisdom on artisanal Brazilian dishes, another features Gary Lineker and Cat Deeley waxing lyrical about black pudding. It’s where food snobbery and reality TV silliness reach their peak and as such, is unmissable viewing.
Think American Great British Bake Off with heightened stress levels and enough glitter to cover a large house. Prepare to have your heart rate elevated as you watch these bakers battle against the clock to deliver epic sweet treats that look like they've come right out of a Hansel and Grettel story book. You can expect five-tiered pink unicorn cakes, edible octopuses and absolutely nothing less.
Transporting Netflix viewers across the globe to some of Asia's most vibrant cities, Street Food is all about bringing ordinary food to life. With an emphasis on local people and their connection with food, this documentary series follows the stories of family-run businesses in the likes of Bangkok, Delhi and Osaka, creating a heart-warming tribute to street food sellers around the world.