Recent times have pushed us to don the chef hat and experiment. Exploration has honed the survival skills and taken many from basic cooking to restaurant-style cooking. The journey of salt-sugar mix-ups and burned food accounted for bad days(read Maggi as meals), but the persistence led to mouth-watering dishes after all that did many rounds on social media.
Remote working provided the opportunity to brush up culinary skills, and there is no shortage of food shows on Netflix to support you in your mission.
Here is a collection of food shows that will leave you drooling.
The Big Family Cooking Showdown
If you’re out of Great British Baking Show episodes to watch, this is the perfect show to fill the gentle British cooking competition show-sized hole in your life. You’ll recognize Nadiya Hussain, the eminently loveable sixth season winner of GBBO, as one in the pair of Mel and Sue-type hosts who encourage the sets of British families competing to show off their home cooking synergy to Michelin-rated Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli and famous British cooking instructor Rosemary Shrager.
The Chef Show
To prepare for his 2014 film, Chef, director/actor Jon Favreau teamed up with real-life chef and famed Kogi taco truck founder Roy Choi to learn the trade. For a Netflix docuseries, the two decided to reunite, this time with both of them in front of the camera, to document their shared travels and experiences cooking with a variety of specialty chefs in order to learn about their cuisines and culture. It’s a charming travelogue, as many food series is, but with Hollywood hotshot Favreau at the forefront, the show is able to pull some exciting celebrity guests, from Marvel stars (including a truly wild appearance by Gwyneth Paltrow) to Seth Rogen, making it especially fun to watch the intimate experience of cooking with someone.
Chef’s Table: BBQ
Like Chef’s Table before it, Chef’s Table: BBQ follows the same format of profiling chefs and their precious culinary creations, but this rendition focuses on — you guessed it — pitmasters and their barbecue. This one’s a little less pretentious and a little more homespun than the original series, though. It of the course gets your mouth watering by highlighting the tradition of preparing delectably smoked and flame-grilled meats, but it also manages to get your tear ducts flowing too by telling heartfelt stories of pitmasters who put theirs all into their cooking. The stories here aren’t about the pitmasters who might first come to mind when you think about the trade, like the 85-year-old Texan a chef named Tootsie, but it’s all the better for it.
Michael Pollan is easily the most famous food thinker today. This four-part docuseries based on his book of the same name centers each episode around nature’s elements and how they affect the way we cook around the world without ever diving so far down a science rabbit hole that it becomes inaccessible. Directed by Alex Gibney, who also made the Enron documentary, the Scientology documentary and Netflix’s series Dirty Money, Cooked asks us to reexamine our connection to the things we put inside our body, like so much of Pollan’s work does.
The Final Table
The Final The table was Netflix’s first big swing at the streamer’s own high-level culinary competition, and while it doesn’t quite match the dramatic addictiveness of Top Chef, it’s a success in its own right. Hosted by Bon Appetit restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton, the series circles the globe in one kitchen through its localized themes, hitting major (mostly Eurocentric) food countries like Mexico, India, France, Italy, etc. (Where’s China? Thailand? Anyway). In teams of two, accomplished chefs work together to create gorgeous dishes, the creativity of which far surpasses any other mainstream cooking competition out there. It’s worth a viewing just to watch the impressive technique and care the chefs devote to their food.
Fans of beautiful sweet eats and competition cooking shows get their fix in this Netflix original. In Sugar Rush, pastry chefs are ruled by the pressures of time as teams compete in constructing a series of confections in just a matter of hours; finish in less than the allotted time, and you’ll have a rollover minutes for other rounds. The teams are judged by professional bakers Adriano Zumbo and Candace Nelson of Sprinkles fame, so if you have a taste for insane cupcakes and beautifully fondant-iced cakes that appear as if they couldn’t possibly be cakes, this is the reality show for you.
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