The time of pretending that you were serious about going to the gym is over now, so you can get back to your regularly scheduled life that includes eating, drinking, and bingeing things on Netflix for entire weekends. It’s OK — no one is going to shame you for that. Even if your friend won’t shut up about how many reps they did on the whatever machine that morning, they’re probably lying to you. Or, if they’re not, then they also probably understand the healing power that a good Netflix binge can have on the body and soul.
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.
As the final season of Anthony Bourdain’s show Parts Unknown aired on CNN at the end of 2018, Netflix brought the penultimate season, season 11, to the service on December 25. In season 11, Bourdain travels to Bhutan, Berlin, Armenia, and more.
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 (U.S.), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Clare Smyth (United Kingdom), Andoni Aduriz (Spain), Helena Rizzo (Brazil), Vineet Bhatia (India), Carlo Cracco (Italy), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan), and Anne-Sophie Pic (France). Each episode focuses on one country’s national dishes and will feature a variety of celebrity critics and ambassadors. Teams are eliminated until the finale. The Final Table is presented by Andrew Knowlton (James Beard Award-winning writer and editor at large for Bon Appétit).
Nailed It! has, in its first two seasons, developed a cult-like following. Whether you like the gameshow format, the wit of host Nicole Byer and her co-pilot in culinary misery, Jacques Torres, or the train wreck that is amateur bakers believing 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. This month, Nailed It! is expanding its brand with a new season, Nailed It! Mexico. Premiering February 8 and hosted by Omar Chaparro, it is completely in Spanish.
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.
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 sixth season of the show, which will feature four chefs from three continents, premieres February 22.
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 adventurous? Check out our list of the top travel documentaries. If you just all kinds of docs, we’ve you covered (or maybe you’re just really into crime docs and action flicks). And our brother site, Digital Trends, also has an overall guide on the best movies and shows.