‘Tis the season for feasting and indulgences, and whether or not you’re tucking into a nicely roasted bird for Christmas, or getting ready for a weekend cooking marathon with all your loved ones, food lovers and aspiring home chefs should get hungry for these fantastic Netflix food shows — they’re perfect to put on your to-binge list.
The Mind of a Chef
Who can resist the inimitable Anthony Bourdain when it comes to food? Produced and narrated by the great culinary icon himself, The Mind of a Chef picks the brains of international celebrity chefs on their cooking philosophies and inspirations. Released in 2012, each season spotlights one or two renowned faces in the culinary world — from David Chang to Ludo Lefebvre. Episodes are each 23 minutes or so while spanning five seasons, making it an ideal TV-bingeing situation.
The Final Table
Who doesn’t love a good cooking competition? Just launched on 20 November, The Final Table follows a global culinary competition that pits 24 of the world’s greatest chefs head to head in 12 teams, while tackling the national dishes of nine countries — one in each episode — including Japan, Brazil, India and Mexico. It’s like MasterChef for the big leagues — watch for Hong Kong’s own Shane Osborn of Arcane, alongside Esdras Ochoa of 11 Westside, Salazar and Mexicali Taco & Co. It all revs up until the final episode, where the last competing chef will win a place at The Final Table, joining nine other culinary icons such as Mexico’s Enrique Olvera, head chef of Pujol, and American chef Grant Achatz of Chicago restaurant Alinea.
For those who want to dig deep into the societal and scientific understanding behind different food cultures, in Cooked, food writer Michael Pollan takes you through open-air Aboriginal cooking to the steamy kitchens of India in this four-episode series. Trying his hand at baking, brewing and braising, the author and host explores the myriad ways that cooking transforms and also shapes the way we live.
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Based on Iranian-American chef Samin Nosrat’s cookbook of the same name, Salt Fat Acid Heat is a docu-series that takes viewers all over the world to discover varying cooking traditions, all beautifully summed up with the essential building blocks of deliciousness: salt, fat, acid and heat. From the cheeses, pork fat and olive oil of Northern Italy to the umami of soy sauce and miso in Japan, this is guaranteed to get your mouth watering.
If a food show could encompass a chef’s entire culinary manifesto, it’s this: Ugly Delicious is David Chang’s first personal foray into TV (bar his complete first-season spotlight in Anthony Bourdain’s The Mind of a Chef). Speaking to acclaimed international gourmet geniuses, Chang jets across the world to question the nature of similar dishes tackled in different cultures, particularly exploring what makes something delicious or gives one way of cooking prestige over others. All the while, he providing the ubiquitous food porn and mukbang shots to make any food geek salivate. Whether you’ve seen this already or not, ahead of its promised season 2 return, you’ll want to take another bite out of this docu-series.
Chef’s Table: Volume 5
Who can resist the Emmy-nominated Chef’s Table? Bringing to light some of the world’s greatest culinary stars, this show is beloved equally for its elegant cinematography and its revelatory profiles on some of the most accoladed and respected names in food. This fifth season explores the likes of Cristina Martinez, Bo Songvisava, and Musa Dağdeviren and Albert Adrià.
Million Pound Menu
In BBC’s Million Pound Menu, it’s Dragon’s Den meets MasterChef as six of UK’s next-generation restaurateurs attempt to impress a panel of UK investors during a chance to showcase their best culinary innovation during a three-day pop-up duration.
Fans of the UK’s Great British Bake Off will delight at this up-tempo baking competition. Sugar Rush features four teams vying for a cash prize at the end of three brutal rounds. Culinary stars and celebrities appear as guest judges each episode, from L.A. chef Nancy Silverton to fashion designer Betsey Johnson.
Food on the Go
Love pizza and pasta? Documentary Food on the Go traces the roots of Italian cuisine to its evolution in the Americas. A team of gourmands and epicureans dig into the generational spread of ingredients, heritage recipes, and the sharing of comforting Italian goodness across the Atlantic.
Lords and Ladles
If period dramas are your kind of thing, Lords and Ladles explores some of the greatest (and perhaps gruesome) feasts of lore. Three of Ireland’s top chefs — Derry Clarke, Catherine Fulvio and Paul Flynn — join hands at the country’s most storied manors to whip up the grandest and most unusual recipes of the past.