Perhaps Netflix’s most acclaimed culinary series, every episode of Chef’s Table follows a renowned chef, revisiting their upbringing and illustrating what inspires their career. It’s a really in-depth documentary, and I’ve learned a lot about how chefs decide the ingredients, cooking style, and presentation to create their dishes. Since I’m more of a baker, I really enjoyed the season featuring pastry chefs and geeked out when my family stopped at one of the featured chefs’ places in Spain. If you’re curious in any way about the people behind culinary arts, Chef’s Table is a worthwhile series to watch!
The Great British Baking Show
Although I’ve never watched it, the Great British Baking Show has a cult-like following, so I asked my friend Isa to share a little about the series. Here’s how she described it:
“The Great British Baking Show is a feel-good series featuring a variety of British comedians and foodies as they judge amateur bakers’ talents through different ‘bakes’ (i.e. biscuits, cake, pastry, etc.) each episode. They are easy to watch and give you the warm, fuzzy feeling that can usually only be created by a warm chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven, except with a British accent!”
When watching Street Food, viewers skip the fancy restaurants for 74-year old Jay Fai’s Michelin star food stall in Thailand where she sells her famous crab-meat omelettes. I really enjoy the refreshing authenticity and everyday life mixed into the cooking and presentation—the show’s down-to-earthness means each episode features overlooked Asian restaurants and exposes readers to a more diverse set of chefs and cuisines. And just like with all food shows, my family starts craving everything being served up.
Somebody Feed Phil
Although Phil Rosenthal doesn’t seem to possess any culinary degree, he travels to different cities to try their best foods, joined a slew of professional chefs and food critics who he’s befriended over the years. My family’s convinced he’ll never eat a dish without his wide-eyed, eyebrow-raised look, the indication of his love. I like that Somebody Feed Phil doesn’t focus on the dishes or the chef but rather on the culture and people it embodies; there’s always a very sweet element, whether he’s charming Vietnamese children with ice cream and songs or facetiming his parents. This is a great show to watch in general, but especially with your fam.
Ever tried to recreate something you saw on Pinterest only for it to fail unbelievably? You’re probably still better than these bakers. Nailed It! features amateur (like “I think this is a blueberry?” amateur) bakers recreating a pastry chef’s creation with hilariously disastrous results. It’s super entertaining to watch with friends as you make fun of the bakers (perhaps a confidence booster for all you home bakers). There’s no shortage of episodes either, with a holiday version, as well as versions in Mexico, Spain, and France. After binging, you can challenge your friends to a bake-off!
These are five shows that I personally enjoy (or know people like), but there are so many other great food shows on Netflix, so let me know if there are others you’d like me to highlight!