By Zach Goins
July 12, 2019 (updated)
One of the best things about television is its ability to take you to places you’d never imagine seeing. Some shows can transport you to fantasy worlds with dragons and monsters, while others can put you in the shoes of the president. It can literally take you anywhere.
Sometimes, though, it’s something a bit more simple, like showing you the world’s most delicious tacos or a steaming bowl of ramen. If traveling the world and eating these dishes isn’t an option, you can at least stretch out on the couch and daydream about chowing down. One of these shows might even inspire you to try and whip up something yummy in your own kitchen.
Whether you’re looking for some good ol’ home cooking, traditional foreign delicacies, or the most exquisite Michelin-star cuisine, Netflix has you covered. But beware, binge watching may lead to binge eating.
The Chef Show
After writing, starring and directing 2014’s Chef, Jon Favreau decided it was time to do it for real. In the movie, Favreau plays a famous chef who quits his restaurant job to open a food truck with his son. During filming, Favreau learned recipes from restaurateur Roy Choi, and now the two are traveling the country recreating these dishes and exploring the best restaurants and food trucks. Each episode features Favreau, Choi and some special guests like comedian Bill Burr or Marvel stars Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr.
Back before Netflix was flooded with original documentaries, Chef’s Table helped pave the way. From the director of the critical darling Jiro Dreams of Sushi, this docuseries profiles a different professional chef each episode, breaking down each one’s unique menu and signature style. From Los Angeles to Calcutta, Chef’s Table takes you around the world through delicious dishes.
If fancy restaurants aren’t quite your speed, then this is the show for you. Dive right into the streets of some of Asia’s biggest markets and explore the continent’s most beloved dishes. Nine episodes highlight nine countries, each sharing the rich cultural histories behind every new dish. You definitely do not want to watch this one on an empty stomach or else you might find yourself checking the cost of a plane ticket to Asia.
Gordon Ramsay may be a stickler for plating, but not David Chang. If you couldn’t tell by the title, Chang doesn’t care what it looks like, as long as it’s got flavor. Instead of each episode focusing on a location or a chef, these episodes all center around a dish, and Chang takes viewers around the world to find out where it tastes the best. Plus, special guests like Ali Wong and Jimmy Kimmel stop by to weigh in, too.
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Chef Samin Nosrat believes in four basic elements at the heart of every dish: salt, fat, acid and heat. After the success of her book by the same name, Netflix turned it into a four-episode docuseries, where each episode focuses on a different one of the core fundamentals. Hosted by Nosrat, Salt Fat Acid Heat immerses the chef into various countries as she explores how each culture uses the same elements to produce vastly different results.
Ever wondered about the science behind cooking? Cooked takes a look at the four elements – fire, water, air and earth – and how they impact food and the human body. Whether it’s explaining how bacteria is helpful to some food and harmful to others, or looking at how cooking methods have shaped our digestive systems, you’re sure to learn something new. If you’re still intrigued even after the four-episode mini series ends, check out the book it’s based on, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.
The Final Table
For those food fans out there looking to get competitive, check out The Final Table. Featuring 12 teams of two, each episode challenges professional chefs to create masterpiece dishes from a certain cuisine. The episodes start with the judges asking contestants to cook a particular dish, and the bottom three teams are then forced to compete in an elimination challenge using special ingredients. If all these relaxing food shows aren’t cutting it, try mixing a little reality TV into the recipe.
Somebody Feed Phil
In this 12-episode docuseries, Phil Rosenthal, the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, tastes his way around the world. Without any professional background in cooking or the restaurant industry, Rosenthal may seem like a strange pick for a food show, but that’s exactly why it works. He’s just like everyone else – a guy who really loves food. If he can do it, why can’t you?
The Great British Baking Show
Looking for something sweet? You’re sure to find it here. With four different variations of the show and multiple seasons of each, there are plenty of cupcakes, tarts and pies to satisfy your craving. Each episode pits amateur bakers against each other in three challenges where they show off their signature dishes, technical knowledge and talent. The show is treated almost like religion in the United Kingdom and it’s certainly valued in the U.S., too.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
David Chang is no stranger to food shows and celebrity culture across the internet stratosphere. In this well-produced but simple show, Chang hangs with comedians and actors Seth Rogen, Chrissy Teigen, Lena Waithe, and Kathryn McKinnon for simply; breakfast, lunch and dinner. They engage in candid conversations about food, personal experiences, show business, and food heritage while enjoying delicious dishes native to the people and history of each city they explore.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Considered one of the best sushi craftsman in the world, 85-year-old Jiro Ono is the owner of restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat eatery located in a Tokyo subway station that attracts patrons from all over the world. The recipient of three Michelin stars, a 15-minute meal at the acclaimed restaurant can set you back over $375. Director David Gelb captures the magical process of sushi-making and the relationships with both Jiro’s family and the food that keeps people all over the globe coming back for more.
In this article
- Anthony Bourdain
- Chef Samin Nosrat
- chefs table
- David Chang
- Gordon Ramsay
- Jiro Dreams of Sushi
- Jon Favreau
- Mind of a Chef
- north carolina
- Parts Unknown
- Phil Rosenthal
- Salt Fat Acid Heat
- Somebody Feed Phil
- The Chef Show
- The Final Table
- The Great British Baking Show
- ugly delicious
- Zach Goins