Do you remember the days when you had to wait a week to see the next episode of a show? You’d have to go through seven whole days of drudgery just to get another installment of whatever had you hooked at the time. How terrible was that? It was basically the Dark Ages, if you ask us.
Thanks to Netflix (and other platforms), we’ve been able to (mostly) banish the need to actually wait for a show week after week. 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, here in the food and drink section 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.
In part due to Anthony Bourdain’s untimely death by suicide, Netflix decided against taking Parts Unknown off the air, as they were set to do in June. In Parts Unknown, Bourdain travels the world to find the locales and food traditions that you won’t usually read or hear about, while still injecting the sarcasm and dark humor he was known the world over for. If you’ve not given Bourdain’s shows a chance, now is your time. If you want to know why, read our Food & Drink Editor’s reflection on the importance of Anthony Bourdain here.
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’ four seasons.
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. Our brother site, Digital Trends, also has an overall guide on the best movies and shows.
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