The days are getting shorter and colder, so there is literally no more perfect time to binge a show than right now. Do you remember back in the day when we couldn’t binge something? What a terrible time. Having to actually wait a week to see the next episode? What kind of malarky is that?
It is thanks to platforms like Netflix that we’ve been able to (mostly) banish the need to actually wait for a show week after week, forcing ourselves through every workday waiting to find out what happens to our favorite characters. Are they dead? Was it all a dream? No one wants to wait a week to see if someone you’re emotionally invested in is dead. Now, with the push of a button, we can easily binge pretty much anything that’s already been on television for as long as we want. Just got dumped? Perfect, there are nine seasons of The Office to keep you occupied. Need a good procedural crime? We’ll put money down that there are at least three hundred seasons of Law & Order: SVU. (Seriously, though, can you remember a time when that show wasn’t on the air?)
Of the binge-worthy shows, we gravitate toward — you guessed it — shows about eating and drinking. There’s just something about diving into the mind of the geniuses who create the amazing things that we are able to eat and drink in life that really rounds out a person’s life. That’s why we’ve put together the best food shows on Netflix right now. Whether you want a smart-ass making jokes or you want to really learn about what makes a famous chef tick, we’ve got you covered.
A Netflix original, The Final Table is a culinary competition that spans the globe. The competition involves twelve pairs of chefs from around the world all fighting to earn a place at the Final Table, a veritable who’s who of famous chefs. Those chefs include Grant Achatz (US), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Clare Smyth (UK), Andoni Aduriz (Spain), Helena Rizzo (Brazil), Vineet Bhatia (India), Carlo Cracco (Italy), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan), and Anne-Sophie Pic (France). Each episode will focus on one country’s national dishes and will feature a variety of celebrity critics and ambassadors. Teams will be eliminated until the finale. The Final Table will be presented by Andrew Knowlton (James Beard Award-winning writer and editor at large for Bon Appétit) and premiers November 20.
Nailed It! has, in it’s first two seasons, developed a cult-like following. Whether you like the gameshow format, the wit of host Nicole Byer or her copilot in culinary misery Jacques Torres, or the train wreck that is amateur bakers believe they are better than everyone else, there’s a little something for everyone on this show. Perhaps the best part is how engaging it is — even if you don’t want to like Nailed It!, you’re going to like it. Like “Call Me Maybe” or the latest song everyone is doing viral dance videos to, it finds a way into your brain and stays there, releasing dopamine every time you watch.
Salt Fat Acid Heat is based on (and hosted by) James Beard Award-winning author Samin Nosrat. The four-part series is based on Nosrat’s book of the same name and will see the host travel to California mainstay restaurant Chez Panisse as well as restaurants in Japan, Mexico, and Italy. In each episode, Nosrat explores what good cooking is through a lens that explores the fundamentals needed to create a good meal. This is the first process-based cooking show on Netflix, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite among the food-minded sector.
The newest of the entries on this list, Ugly Delicious is celebrity chef David Chang’s exploration of foods from across the globe that are — if you couldn’t tell from the title — often overlooked. Along the way, he’s got a who’s who of celebrities joining him to eat, discuss, and delve into what makes good food good while also investigating how food can be used as a tool for cultural change. If you’re a fan of Bourdain’s temperament and approach to things, then Ugly Delicious will be right up your alley.
A PBS show from executive producer Anthony Bourdain, The Mind of a Chef took the Netflix world by binge storm when it first showed up on the platform. It bills itself as an “intelligent show about cooking” and it’s not wrong. Through travel, history, and more, viewers get to see what makes specific chefs tick. The latest season follows chef Danny Bowen in much that same way that the previous seasons have covered such big names as David Chang, Sean Brock, April Bloomfield, Edward Lee, Magnus Nilsson, Gabrielle Hamilton, David Kinch, and Ludo Lefebvre.
If you checked out our list of the best food documentaries on Netflix, then the creator of Jiro Dreams of Sushi and Chef’s Table, David Gelb, is no stranger. Gelb considers Chef’s Table, a series that follows one world-famous chef per episode, the sequel to Jiro. The methods and approaches of Magnus Nillson (also profiled in Mind of a Chef), Grant Achatz, Christina Tosi, and many more are all put on display across the series. The fifth season of the show premieres on September 28.
In this documentary series, Michael Pollan (who has shown up in practically every food documentary and show about how we could be doing the whole “good human stewards of the earth” thing better in addition to penning a series of bestselling books on the topic of food) sets out on a quest to see just exactly how the act of cooking transforms both food on the physical level and the world that we as people build around food. In Cooked, Pollan bakes, brews, and braises his way to a higher level of culinary and cultural knowledge.
Craving something a little longer? Here are the best food documentaries on Netflix right now. In search of something more adventures? Check out our list of the top travel documentaries. If you just all kinds of docs, we’ve you covered. And our brother site, Digital Trends, also has an overall guide on the best movies and shows.