Welcome to the What’s on Netflix guide to the top 10 cooking shows on Netflix. If you’re feeling hungry, stop reading now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Cooking programs are as old as television itself and have come a long way since those first days of Julia. They serve as an educational tool, not only about cooking but as an insight into culture, geography, history, and even science. These titles are sure to make you drool. They have all been sampled by the WoN staff and we heartily approve.
Here are the top 10 cooking shows currently on Netflix:
10. Cooked Netflix Original
This original docuseries features food writer Michael Pollan. He has written a half dozen best-selling books about food, but you would probably better recognize him from shows like The Colbert Report and the documentary Food Inc. Here he takes his latest book and translates it into a four part series. Like the book, the show is explored through the natural elements—Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
Different from most cooking shows, this series encourages us to look at how cooking transforms food and shapes our world. To get back in the kitchen, get back to cooking again, and remember the deep connection we have with memories and meals. Pollan encourages us to take a deeper look, and connect with the ingredients and preparations of the things that nourish us.
9. The Mind of a Chef
Narrated by chef Anthony Bourdain, this PBS show explores what it truly means to cook, think, create and live in a food-obsessed world. Each season features different hosts who travel, learn from other chefs, and try to make connections between food and nature, science, music, art, and history. The show has won many awards, including four Emmys and three James Beard Awards. At least watch Season 1, Episode 1 with host David Cheng. It’s all about noodles. All that Ramen swirling around is hypnotic. It delivers an experience unlike other shows, as you actually get a look inside the mind of the irreverent chef and get a glimpse of what makes him tick.
The show has won many awards, including four Emmys and three James Beard Awards. At least watch Season 1, Episode 1 with host David Cheng. It’s all about noodles. All that Ramen swirling around is hypnotic. It delivers an experience unlike other shows, as you actually get a look inside the mind of the irreverent chef and get a glimpse of what makes him tick.
8. A Cook Abroad
In this BBC series, celebrity chefs try out different recipes from around the world. 6 cooks go to 6 countries, each trying to find the most exciting food on the planet. A chef’s biggest inspiration comes from meeting people, hearing their stories, discovering their passions and tasting their food— this show is all about that. Food transcends cultural differences and communication can be born through shared experiences.
7. Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories
This pick is much different than your usual cooking show. Set in one location, it’s about the comings and goings in the same Tokyo diner. The diner’s owner cooks up one signature dish per episode and entertains a revolving door of customers. Here’s where it’s different: each story is based on people bonding over a specific dish. While the customers are going on their journey, we get to drool over whatever the proprietor is preparing that evening. People connect over food. It’s a unique shared experience. Midnight Diner is that reminder.
6. Street Food Around the World
This reality television series follows Ishai Golan, who explores the street food of a city…wait for it…around the world in each episode. Part history lesson, part food porn, Golan takes you into the world’s kitchens of the streets, markets and alleyways hiding the best street food. Local chefs and clued-in residents help lift the lid on their city’s best-kept cooking secrets.
5. Avec Eric
This Emmy-winning show has a calming pace. Between Éric Ripert’s (dreamy) narration and the beautiful scenery, you may just forget about the food. It’s an insider’s view of the professional life and lifestyle of one of the greatest chefs in the world today. Each episode is an adventure. From restaurant to the source of inspiration to your own home, we learn from a master chef as he teaches us how to achieve four-star simplicity and elevate our own food experiences.
4. The Great British Baking Show
What can I say about The Great British Baking Show? It’s not your typical competition reality show. It’s soothing. It’s refined. Sometimes they give the contestants hugs when something fails. It’s so…British. One episode is entirely about baking bread. I don’t know if you have ever baked bread, but it takes a while. Even when it’s dramatic and things are getting exciting, it’s relaxed. No judges shouting, no backbiting competition. And if they do fail, the judges are always there to reassure them, give them hints, and a consoling pat on the back. This show is lovely people cooking wonderful things.
3. Anthony Bourdain: A Cook’s Tour
The only thing Anthony Bourdain likes to do as much as cooking is traveling. Styled after his book of the same name, Bourdain asks the question “What would be the perfect meal?” In search of the answer, he sets out on a culinary quest. From Los Angeles to Cambodia he goes off the beaten track seeking the rare, the divine, the dangerous.
2. I’ll Have What Phil’s Having
Full disclosure, I love this show. Phil Rosenthal (creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond) is that guy you want to be friends with. He’s gracious, he’s a foodie, and he always has the best pizza parties. Ok. I want to be friends with Phil Rosenthal. I admit it. Currently on PBS, he’s making the move to Netflix and I can’t wait. Bigger budget means more adventures! Phil, if you’re reading this, I really do want to be your best friend.
“Two-thirds of Americans don’t have passports. And that’s including the people who came to America with a passport. Imagine the people who were born in this country who never ventured outside their own experiences. That’s what I’m trying to do with the show. The world would be better if we all experienced other people’s experiences a little bit.” —Phil Rosenthal
1. Chef’s Table Netflix Original
This Netflix original series profiles the most renowned culinary artists in the world. Each episode centers on one chef’s life, style, and artistic inspiration. And when I say artist, I mean it. Every episode is beautiful, with lush colors and exquisitely presented dishes. It rises above a cooking show. It truly is a feast for your eyes.