With Christmas upon us, there’s no finer time to catch up on some good food programmes on Netflix.
I’ve got a list as long as my arm of shows and movies to dive into over my time off from work, so if you’re stuck for some ideas, I’ve picked out 7 food programmes to watch on Netflix over the holidays.
These are certainly streaming on the Irish side of things, and if they’re listed there, they should be available in most other territories.
The Quick List
Let’s go deeper…
1. Salt Fat Acid Heat
Based on Samin Nosrat’s best-selling, James Beard Award-winning book, Salt Fat Acid Heat is the essential guide to the basic elements of good cooking.
In a nutshell – master those four elements and you master the kitchen.
Directed by Caroline Suh, each episode of this four-part series joins Samin as she travels to home kitchens of Italy, the southern islands of Japan, the heat of the Yucatán and back to Berkeley’s Chez Panisse – where she started her culinary career – to demystify and explore the central principles of what makes food delicious and how each of us can easily incorporate those elements into every dish.
Rotten gives food the true crime treatment, diving deep into the food production underworld to expose the corruption, waste and real dangers behind your everyday eating habits.
In a world where huge global supply-chains are increasingly intertwined and consolidated, this series starts on your dinner plate and follows the money to the shocking consequences – intended or not – of regulation, innovation and greed.
It’s a six-parter with each episode around 60 minutes long and from the same people behind Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown and The Mind of a Chef.
3. Ugly Delicious
Ugly Delicious pits award-winning chef David Chang and Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville together to challenge both your taste buds and minds.
Over eight episodes (about 45-55 mins each), Chang travels the world with writers and chefs, activists and artists, who use food as a vehicle to break down cultural barriers, tackle misconceptions and uncover shared experiences.
From comfort food to cultural fusion, there’s some pretty good tales, heart warming moments and some freaky weird dishes on display.
Ugly Delicious ventures out of polished kitchens into the wider world to explore Viet-Cajun cuisine in Houston, Neapolitan Pizza in Tokyo, home cooking in Copenhagen and loads more.
4. Testing The Menu
If you want a few short, digestible episodes then try Nic Watt’s Testing The Menu, each one running around 20 minutes.
The six-parter sees Watt create, then tweak, recipes for his Auckland restaurant by asking ordinary people on the street to give them the taste test.
You probably reckon that summer rather than Christmas would be the prime time to be watching documentaries about all things barbecue, but if you’re sick of turkey and ham, this one could be a winner.
Barbecue is a feature documentary from Matthew Salleh and Rose Tucker and it’s not just about grilling a piece of meat. The documentary looks on barbecue cooking more as a ritual performed religiously across the world.
Whether it’s a €2.99 job from the petrol station on the way home, or fire pits dug out and nutured for days on end, this one should go down well with those with a grá for outdoor cooking.
6. 42 Grams
After launching a successful underground restaurant out of their apartment, an ambitious chef and his wife open an all-consuming upscale eatery.
Enter, 42 grams where Jake and Alexa wound up opening a 15-course restaurant in their apartment, and going all in on food.
It’s about 80 minutes long that follows their journey from cooking at home to turning an old chicken takeaway into a fine dining restaurant.
7. Chef’s Table
If you’ve been putting off season 5 until now, there’s no better time to jump in.
Never watched Chef’s Table? Well, now you’ve got five seasons to catch up on – with a sixth on the way in 2019.
Chef’s Table season 5 goes past the surface of the fine-dining world to showcase four remarkable chefs and cuisines.
Drawing on her family’s rich barbacoa tradition, Cristina Martinez has become a Philadelphia food star and a voice for undocumented immigrants.
At Istanbul’s Ciya, ‘food anthropologist’ Musa Dagdeviren meticulously re-creates regional Turkish dishes in a bid to keep them from going extinct.
Frustrated by the dearth of authentic Thai cuisine, Bo Songvisava revives bold, complex local flavours in her sustainable Bangkok restaurant.
Finally, after years as the creative director of El Bulli, innovator Albert Adria now prised over an “amusement park” of genrie-bending Barcelona eateries.