Food documentaries on Netflix are in a class of their own; the cinematography, music, and scripting elevate these non-fiction films and series to new heights. These documentaries are about the human spirit, race, culture, gender, motherhood, and so much more. To say they are only about food would be doing them a major disservice; they are about the human spirit, race, culture, gender, parenthood, and so much more.
What is special about food documentaries on Netflix?
Good food is a universal human comfort, and cooking shows on television are nearly as popular. As food culture and foodie-ism grew in popularity in the United States, so did an inflow of food programming of all kinds. Could you get multiple seasons of a show that is nothing more than profiles of different types of tacos onto broadcast TV? The streaming world has proven to be an almost infinite avenue for this kind of programming, especially as it became more niche—could you get multiple seasons of a show that is nothing more than profiles of different types of tacos onto broadcast TV? However, that type of show (which is literally titled Taco Chronicles) feels totally at home on Netflix. If anything, it appears to be the reason for the existence of streaming services in the first place.
Netflix has gathered a number of these types of colorful food programs in recent years, shifting away from repeats of old Food Network series and instead focusing on original series and documentaries. From cheesy, broadcast-style reality cooking competitions like Sugar Rush or Nailed It to beautifully shot documentaries like Chef’s Table and depressing docu-series like High on the Hog, they truly cover the spectrum. But be warned: almost all of these shows are dangerous to watch if you’re hungry.
Top 10 best food documentaries on Netflix
1. Ugly Delicious
David Chang is widely regarded as one of the world’s top chefs. He is the founder of Momofuku Ko, a two-Michelin-star restaurant, and the winner of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. He also has a lot of intriguing pals, many of whom appear in his Netflix docuseries Ugly Delicious. Aziz Ansari, David Choe, Jimmy Kimmel, Gillian Jacobs, and Danny McBride are among the special guests, who include writers, professors, and renowned culinary critics.
Whether it’s a cuisine, a culinary style, or a cut of meat, each episode of Ugly Delicious is unique. David delves so deeply into the subject that you can’t help but be absolutely enthralled. ‘Kids Menu,’ an episode that follows pregnant parents David and Grace on an emotional journey as they learn what it takes to be a parent through food, is a great highlight of the series.
2. Chef’s Table
From the first bar of its legendary theme, Antonio Vivaldi’s “Winter, The Four Seasons,” recomposed by Max Richter, Chef’s Table will have you captivated. It has featured some of the biggest names in food, from Massimo Bottura to Nancy Silverton, and took viewers on a journey around the world over the course of six seasons.
Listening to Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi talk about her ‘Crack Pie’ is like poetry; it’s the passion, the way these highly brilliant chefs and cooks talk about food, that draws you into each episode. Stories by Asma Khan and Grant Achatz will leave you feeling particularly inspired, and each installment will make you want more and wish to travel the world in search of amazing eateries.
3. The Chef Show
Is there anything Jon Favreau can’t get his hands on? He’s an actor, director, producer, writer, and now a chef. The smash Netflix docuseries The Chef Show was inspired by the quadruple threat’s 2014 film Chef. Jon, along with Roy Choi of Kogi fame, takes fans on a gastronomic adventure around America, visiting restaurants and cooking with chefs.
The show features celebrity guests such as Seth Rogen, Bill Burr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Holland, and Robert Downey Jr. in addition to finding tantalizing new recipes and gaining insights from chefs like Wolfgang Puck.
4. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
David Chang has reunited with more celebrity pals for the Netflix original docuseries Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. The four-part series has a remarkable lineup of guests who each accompany David on an amazing tour of their hometowns and favorite destinations, complete with all of the best restaurants along the way.
Every episode has something new to offer. Seth Rogen, a comedian and all-around pleasant guy, shows David around his hometown of Vancouver, while Kate McKinnon, a comedian and SNL alum, shows David around Phnom Penh, one of her favorite cities. The Los Angeles edition of Lena Waithe’s show is a must-see for anyone who is new to the city and wants to find some hidden gems.
5. André and His Olive Tree
André and His Olive Tree follows award-winning chef André Chiang as he prepares to close his two-Michelin-star restaurant, André. Chef Andrè is at the pinnacle of his career at the time of the announcement, Restaurant André is Singapore’s number one restaurant and Asia’s second-best, so it’s no surprise that his crew and the culinary world are stunned, so why did he do it?
André and His Olive Tree is an unusual narrative about a man who just decided to move on when the time was perfect, but what makes it so compelling is the story of his trip and his crew.
6. A Tale Of Two Kitchens
A Tale Of Two Kitchens is a delightful twenty-nine-minute film about chef Gabriela Amaura and her two restaurants, Contramar and Cala. Contramar, in Mexico City, is one of the top restaurants in the country, with a staff that treats one another like family; Cala, in San Francisco, is known not only for its food but also for its second chance mentality, which employs formerly jailed people.
7. Chef’s Table: BBQ
Chef’s Table: BBQ is about so much more than food; it’s about love, loss, and dreams, and it’ll tear your heart in ways you never expected a pork documentary too.
Chef’s Table is unrivaled in its ability to convey a human’s story via cuisine, and Chef’s Table: BBQ continues this tradition by delving into the lives and professions of four very diverse chefs. While each participant has a compelling tale to tell, Tootsie Tomanetz’ will have you crying as you learn how the 85-year-olds found a community and, eventually, a cause to live after unspeakable tragedy through BBQ. Rodney Scott, the Pitmaster, will leave you with a lump in your throat and a fire in your gut as he works his way to being crowned the Southeast’s Best Chef by the James Beard Foundation.
8. Taco Chronicles
Taco Chronicles on Netflix is the best cooking show on Netflix for any foodie, with each episode focusing on a different variety of taco. Each cuisine is recognized with a half-hour celebration and research into its roots, from barbacoa to tortilla.
Taco Chronicles is lively, fun, emotional at times, and always mouth-watering, and it will make you want to hop on the next plane to Mexico to do your own tasting tour.
9. Salt Fat Acid Heat
Netflix’s Salt Fat Acid Heat is based on Samin Nosrat’s multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook. Samin takes viewers on a journey throughout the world to educate the four basic characteristics of any good cuisine. ‘Fat’ is shot in Italy, ‘Salt’ in Japan, ‘Acid’ in Mexico, and ‘Heat’ in California.
Samin’s inquisitive nature and contagious laugh make for enjoyable viewing. From this fascinating series, there is so much to learn about ingredients and elements, as well as minor cooking tips and tricks to pick up along the way.
Vegucated is a documentary about three “meat eaters” who are pushed to go vegan for six weeks. The documentary discusses issues such as some people’s aversion to vegetarianism, as well as the ethical, environmental, and health benefits of a vegan diet.
Let’s prepare some snacks and enjoy the food documentary on Netflix recommended above. If you want more recommendations on what cooking shows to watch, please check other articles on Thecookingmovies. Our website provides all you need to know about best food documentaries on Netflix as well as other food movies and shows.