The best shows for foodies to watch on Netflix
Binge eating, meet binge viewing. There is no shortage of food shows for the culinary curious.
Eating dinner in front of the TV is a pastime as old as TV itself. But in 2019, that tradition has an entirely new meaning thanks to the vast treasure trove of food-related TV shows and movies that Netflix constantly keeps stocked in its online pantry. From cooking competition shows to mouth-watering travelogues, the streaming giant has plenty of content to keep you busy – whether it's binging on a lazy weekend or a quick viewing during your lunch break.
Below, we've curated our list of favorite food viewing on Netflix. So prepare a meal, plop yourself down on the sofa and turn on your TV ... deliciousness awaits.
'The Great British Baking Show'
Whether you're here for the steely blue eyes of host Paul Hollywood or the serene setting of the English countryside, 'The Great British Baking Show' is the standard bearer for food competition shows. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and a marzipan rugelach as you binge on this ultimate of comfort food shows. Before you know it, you'll be cheering along each of the home bakers who are showcasing their skills in a beautiful tent while sheep meander the nearby pastures. The quaint British accents are – no pun intended – icing on the cake.
If "The Great British Baking Show" is too high-brow for you, then this is the show for you. "Nailed It" was inspired by the craze of people trying – and spectacularly failing – to make elaborate cakes they found online. For example, try recreating that infamous Plaza Hotel cake from celebrity baker Ron Ben-Israel, which was an exact replica of that iconic building. Each episode features three amateur bakers with demonstrated poor baking skills. It's fun all-around, as the contestants are laughing at themselves just as much as we are.
"What might sound like a mean-spirited and cruel show is actually one of the sweetest, most genuinely fun food shows out there," wrote USA Today. Another reviewer simply said it's "joy incarnate." The show has become so popular that Netflix went ahead and aired three seasons in 2018 alone.
'In Search of Israeli Cuisine'
The highly acclaimed documentary, "In Search of Israeli Cuisine," arrived at film festivals and in limited release a few years ago. And now, thanks to Netflix, anyone can see why The Hollywood Reporter has called the film "an unadulterated foodie delight." James Beard Award winning chef Michael Solomonov serves as host to his native country's food scene, traveling from a fishery at the port of Acre to a foraging tour in the Judean Hills. "Every day, every minute that you're here, you're exposed to something new," Solomonov said of his time in Israel. "The mission is to show Israeli cuisine in its entirety. The complexity, but also the beauty."
Can we offer one piece of advice? Map out your route to the nearest neighborhood Mediterranean grocer ahead of time. We guarantee this documentary will whet your appetite to try all sorts of Israeli dishes.
'Somebody Feed Phil'
The best part about this global food travelogue is not the food. It's host Phil Rosenthal. His enthusiasm and childlike wonder is infectious. His eyes burst with joy and he dances with glee after just about every dish that's put in front of him. He literally can't believe he gets to eat for a living. Conde Nast Traveler has called him "impossibly optimistic," so it's no surprise that he won the James Beard Award for his hosting. (He can put the trophy next to his multiple Emmys for a TV another show he created – "Everybody Loves Raymond.")
"The whole point of the show is to get you to travel," he said. "I want you to get up off the couch and look at me and say, 'If that putz can go outside, maybe I can too.'" From The Grapevine readers will particularly enjoy the episodes about Tel Aviv as well as Rosenthal's trip to visit Israeli Chef Alon Shaya at his home in New Orleans.
'Parts Unknown: Anthony Bourdain'
According to Chartbeat, an internet analytics company, the most popular news story of all of 2018 was CNN's obituary of famed TV host Anthony Bourdain. And, if anything, the untimely passing of the legendary chef has sparked increased interest in his travel and food show. For more than 100 episodes, Bourdain took viewers along for the ride as he explored the culture and cuisine of locales around the world – from the mountains of Myanmar to the beaches of Jamaica. The show won 10 Emmy Awards as well as a 2013 Peabody Award.
"If there's one thing Tony taught me, it's really abandoning fear of other people and really wholeheartedly being able to throw yourself out into the world," said Morgan Fallon, a director who worked on the show. "He did that in so many ways and shared so much of himself. He so freely was open about all of his failings and complexities. He did it without fear."
From San Francisco to São Paulo, this Emmy-nominated series gives you unprecedented access inside the kitchens of the world's most ambitious chefs. Each episode of the series profiles a single world-renowned chef. There's Albert Adria, an innovator who presides over an "amusement park" of genre bending Barcelona eateries, and there's LA baker Nancy Silverton, who has reinvented herself as a mozzarella maven – just to name a few.
"Lightness literally bursts forth from the plate," an Eater.com reviewer wrote of the episode about Chef Massimo Bottura. "We see Bottura negotiate the mercato centrale of Modena, chatting with the vendors, calling out, 'Ciao, vecchio!' evaluating cases of beautiful mushrooms, munching on grapes. It was the picture of a man at ease with his world. That's when I started to smile, and I didn't stop until an hour later, when the episode ends."
The world's greatest wine fraud is uncorked in this scandalous documentary now streaming on Netflix. At the center is a rich Indonesian collector named Rudy Kurniawan, who's known as "the Gen X Great Gatsby." He sold countless bottles of fake wine for upwards of $35 million. The film tracks his hilarious rise and spectacular fall. In 2012, the FBI raided his home in Los Angeles and discovered his con, in which he collected empty bottles and refilled them with cheaper wine and then forged the labels.
In its review, The Hollywood Reporter said that the filmmakers "thoroughly and concisely detailed the progression of Kurniawan’s fraud in a style that merges an Antiques Roadshow-style fascination with rare wines with a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous-type fixation on the spending habits of the overly affluent." Sit back, pour yourself some leftover wine and enjoy learning about the most audacious wine crime in U.S. history.
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