With so many cooking shows and channels on television already, it’s hard to fathom that Netflix has been able to create new and exciting concepts in such an overcrowded market. And when it comes to the subject of cake, they certainly have plenty on offer, with hits like Nailed It!, Is It Cake?, and Sugar Rush.
But for those without the cake cravings fear not, as there are plenty of Netflix original shows that involve other types of foods. While there are many to pick from, these shows are just some of the best where cake isn’t the main subject.
When it comes to food documentaries, David Gelb is no stranger to the format and the focus on the art of cooking. He previously directed the acclaimed 2011 documentary movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which focused on the sushi chef Sukiyabashi Jiro and is considered one of the best cooking documentaries for fans who loved Julia.
Following the movie’s success, he created Chef’s Table for Netflix. Running for eight seasons, each episode focuses on a different chef from around the world and their specialist menu, as well as an exploration into how their career grew to where they are today.
Street Food: Latin America
David Gleb made another cooking show for Netflix, although he was not alone this time. He collaborated with Brian McGinn, who previously produced episodes of Chef’s Table, to create a show that focused on street food.
Although it was only made up of two seasons, the second focussed on the celebrated food of Latin America. While traveling from Argentina to Peru, the show focused on different cooks and store owners as they prepare their signature Latin American food for travelers and commuters to enjoy.
Salt Fat Acid Heat
For the uninitiated, Samin Nosrat is an award-winning chef and author who penned the book Salt Fat Acid Heat in 2017. The book was praised by critics and sold well enough to warrant a television series of the same name.
Nosrat starred in the show as she traveled to different countries to see how they used each element of cooking that she deems important in the local cuisine. She also teaches a group of people in each episode focusing on dishes that use salt, fat, acid, and heat. Despite being only four episodes long, it received positive reviews from multiple websites and critics.
Somebody Feed Phil
Everybody Loves Raymond was one of CBS’ most successful comedies back in the ’90s and 2000s, but what would its creator, Philip Rosenthal, move on to next? Surprisingly, it was the world of food.
Visiting some of the world’s most iconic cities, Somebody Feed Phil sees him explore some of the most peculiar and mouth-watering meals that each city has to offer. The show even shows him attempting some unique tasks and inviting his celebrity friends for some comedy-filled lunches. As one of the best cooking shows to stream on Netflix, fans will be in for more of Philip’s antics, as a fifth season is currently in the works.
Cooked With Cannabis
Perhaps seen by some as one of the more controversial food shows that Netflix has to offer, Cooked With Cannabis sees contestants attempting to cook dishes with the drug as one of the ingredients. From lamb chops to waffles, each episode sees chaos erupting across the kitchen as the contestants attempt to cook with the recreational drug.
While the show did garner some fans around the world, it was banned in some countries for its topic. In particular, it can’t be seen in Singapore due to multiple requests that Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) received to take it down from the streaming service.
David Chang is no stranger when it comes to food. Not also did he create the Momofuku restaurants, but he also used his passion for cooking with various forms of media, including magazines and podcasts.
Despite only being made up of 10 episodes across two seasons, Ugly Delicious sees Chang and other chefs and food critics explore the history behind some of the world’s most popular dishes and the techniques behind them. The blend of history, travel, and food certainly makes this stand out from Netflix’s own line of food shows and it’s one of the best cooking shows that isn’t a competition.
The American Barbecue Showdown
When it comes to food, many consider barbecue their favorite. From smoked brisket to grilled vegetables, this style of cooking became the focal point for this Netflix original series.
The American Barbecue Showdown was released in 2020 and saw eight cooks with varying degrees of skill compete for the title of American Barbecue Champion. From cooking unusual meats to preparing dishes from around the world, contestants are surely taken out of their comfort zones. And it looks like more fiery antics will be happening again, as the series was renewed for a second season.
When it comes to documentaries, Alex Gibney is no stranger to the genre. Having directed some Emmy and Academy award-winning movies like Taxi to the Dark Side, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, and Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, he moved on to food for his collaboration with Netflix.
Despite his political and hard-hitting social subjects for his documentaries, he created Cooked in 2016, based on the book of the same name by Michael Pollan. Exploring the elements of air, earth, fire, and water through cooking, Pollan dives into the importance of cooking and how it connects to everyone, becoming one of Netflix’s highest-ranked shows about food.
High On The Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America
Roger Ross Williams previously directed documentary movies such as Life, Animated, American Jail, and The Apollo, and he was also responsible for creating High On The Hog.
The culinary documentary saw food writer Stephen Satterfield visit chefs from multiple generations, as they preserve the recipes and techniques of Black American cuisine. Looking at history as much as the next generation of chefs who will preserve the legacy of these gorgeous meals, fans should be excited for the second season, as it was renewed last year.
The Chef Show
Jon Favreau may have been one of the people responsible for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the director behind one of the best Christmas movies, Elf, but his journey as a filmmaker didn’t stop there. After he made the movie Chef, in which he also starred, he turned it into a Netflix cooking series and presented it alongside chef Roy Choi.
Attempting to cook multiple dishes across America, Favreau and Choi’s comedic banter, teamwork, and love for food provided many memorable moments. But it was the celebrity guests that also drew in audiences, as actors and filmmakers from the MCU and Star Wars were invited to chat and taste some new culinary delights.
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