Admit it; the coronavirus lockdown inspired a lot of us to throw caution to the wind and unleash their inner Nigella Lawsons. Don’t believe me? Take a scroll through Instagram and count all those amateur bakers who’ve been busily making their own bread, or TikTok’s DIY McDonald’s fries, or feta pasta dishes over the past year and a bit. We’ll wait.
If you’re in need of a little culinary inspiration of your own, though, we heartily recommend turning to Netflix. Because, nestled amongst all those gripping true crimes and emotionally-charged dramas, the streaming platform has plenty of films and TV shows about food, cooking and baking for you to enjoy. And no, we’re not just talking about Antoni Porowski’s dalliances with avocados in Queer Eye: oh no.
Here are just a few of our favourites, if you need a little help deciding what to watch next:
Fresh, Fried, And Crispy
Extra crispy pork chops in Birmingham, deep fried Oreos in San Diego, and jumbo lump crab cakes in Baltimore? It can only be Fresh, Fried And Crispy, in which YouTube sensation Daym Drops travels all around the country to find the best unknown fried dishes coming from the streets, fancy restaurants, and home kitchens.
High On The Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America
In the moving four-part docuseries High On The Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, food writer Stephen Satterfield embarks on a vibrant and powerful culinary journey alongside chefs, historians, and activists that celebrates the courage, artistry, and resourcefulness of the African American people.
Cooking With Paris
Paris Hilton can cook… kind of, anyway. And so, in a bid to shake up the traditional cooking show format, she’s welcoming us into her kitchen from 4 August via Netflix as she navigates new ingredients, new recipes and exotic kitchen appliances. To quote the woman herself: that’s hot, right?
Cooked With Cannabis
Cooked With Cannabis is… well, it’s a lot like The Great British Bake Off, albeit with far more recreational drugs. And, let’s face it, is there anything more intriguing than watching increasingly stoned people muddle their way through a high-stakes cooking show?
In this Netflix show, the aim of the game is to cook the best dish with (you guessed it) cannabis in order to win the $10,000 (£8,000) prize. But, you know, as everyone gets more and more relaxed, people care less and less about the money… and that, in turn, makes us, the viewers, feel more relaxed, too.
Right now, we reckon we could all lose a little more R&R. So we’re in. We’re 100% in.
In each episode of Bake Squad (due to begin streaming on Netflix from 11 August), four individually brilliant bakers will battle it out to see whose dessert will be chosen for someone’s extra special big day. And, as they’ve all been personally selected by Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi, we have a feeling it’s going to make for some stiff competition.
The Chef Show
A sort of a follow-up to Jon Favreau’s 2014 film, Chef (which he wrote, directed, and starred in), The Chef Show sees him join forces with award-winning chef Roy Choito experiment with new recipes and techniques, visit with various chefs and restaurants around the country, and host familiar faces for their endeavours.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
If you have wanderlust, join the late and great Anthony Bourdain as he travels across the globe to uncover little-known areas of the world and celebrate diverse cultures by exploring food and dining rituals.
Nadiya’s Time To Eat
Nadiya’s Time To Eat, which was originally recorded for the BBC, sees our beloved Nadiya Hussain talk us through a series of easy, inexpensive recipes that any level of cook can make. Her main focus is to get us cooking well-rounded family meals that are quick to make and work for people on a budget. Win!
Come Dine With Me
The knives – and forks – are out as a group of strangers compete for the title of ultimate dinner party host (and a cool £1,000).
Nigella: At My Table
In this must-watch for foodies, the inimitable Nigella Lawson shares her simple tried-and-tested recipes for famous home-made preparations that are packed with flavour.
As the sun continues to shine here in the UK, and the sweet scent of charcoal fills the air, why not watch Barbecue? In this documentary, film-makers Matthew Salleh and Rose Tucker explore the simple ritual of the great BBQ, taking us all over the world in the process. And, come the end of it, they learn that barbecues are about so much more than cooking meat over an open flame.
Watch the trailer below:
In this deliciously heartwarming TV series, a divorced woman learns to balance living alone and eating well – with a little help from friends and neighbours along the way.
Best Leftovers Ever
As you’ve probably guessed from the title, this series sees the kings and queens of leftover cooking take a leftover dish on an epic journey across two rounds. Can they give old leftovers enough new life, though, to win a $10,000 prize?
Waffles + Mochi
Waffles, performed by puppeteer Michelle Zamora, is a creature who emerges from a grocery-store freezer to explore the world outside. And, alongside her friend, Mochi (Russ Walko), she’s ready for the culinary adventure of a lifetime.
“With the help of friendly new faces like Michelle Obama, the supermarket owner, and a magical flying shopping cart as their guide, Waffles and Mochi blast off on global ingredient missions, traveling to kitchens, restaurants, farms and homes all over the world, cooking up recipes with everyday ingredients alongside renowned chefs, home cooks, kids and celebrities,” reads the official Netflix synopsis.
“Whether they’re picking potatoes in the Andes of Peru, sampling spices in Italy, or making Miso in Japan, these curious explorers uncover the wonder of food and discover every meal is a chance to make new friends.
“And, as such, Waffles + Mochi is an exciting invitation to get kids and grown-ups cooking together in the kitchen and connecting to cultures around the globe.”
Salt Fat Acid Heat
In this Netflix series, which boasts a stellar 100% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, chef and food writer Samin Nosrat travels around the world to demystify and explore the central principles of what makes food delicious. And trust us when we say it is a guaranteed feast for the eyes.
Eat Pray Love
Julia Roberts stars as Elizabeth Gilbert in this adaptation of the book of the same name. When her perfect world comes shattering down after a divorce, our heroine embarks on a journey across the world in an attempt to rediscover her true self – and winds up eating some seriously beautiful meals (think the pizza of your dreams) along the way.
The Big Family Cooking Showdown
Bake Off fans should absolutely check out this lesser-known show, which sees 16 families compete for the top spot. The competition – hosted by Nadiya Hussain – takes place over eight heats, three semifinals, and one final, with each of the heats split into three categories: the £10 challenge, the home visits challenge, and the impress-the-neighbours challenge. Perfect for anyone in need of some frugal foodie inspiration.
Directed by Parasite’s Bong Joon-ho, this may not seem like a foodie film at first glance, but it is very much focused on our eating habits. All about a girl who raises a genetically modified superpig, only to have her beloved ‘Okja’ taken away from her, it challenges us to confront our feelings about genetically-modified food and the meat industry.
Each episode of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious highlights one dish or concept, and explores how it is made. And, hosted by James Beard Award-winning chef David Chang, it takes us outside of the usual cooking show domain of a polished kitchen and out into the wider world. Essentially, it’s a travel show about cooking: what could be better when you’re stuck indoors, eh?
Can’t cook? Or, at least, can’t cook well? Take heart from Nailed It, which sees home bakers with a poor track record in the kitchen seek redemption by recreating edible masterpieces. Lots goes wrong. And comedian Nicole Byer, who hosts the show, is always quick to find the funny in every culinary disaster. But, come the end of the episode, one amateur baker will take home a $10,000 prize. And, as we all know, high stakes = high drama.
Always Be My Maybe
Reunited after 15 years, famous chef Sasha (Ali Wong) and hometown musician Marcus (Randall Park) feel the old sparks of attraction but struggle to adapt to each other’s worlds in Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe. But, while you may come for the romance, prepare to fall in love with the steamers of prawn dumplings, tureens of fiery kimchi jjigae and “big ass bowls” of salty soup
Explored through the lenses of the four natural elements – fire, water, air and earth – Cooked examines the soul-soothing power of food. And, to do this, Michael Pollan takes a look back at the history of food preparation, long-lost cooking traditions and food’s universal ability to connect us all.
In Chef’s Table, some of the world’s best-loved chefs share their deeply personal stories as they prepare an awe-inspiring foodie creation.
Mistreated by his cruel uncle, an imaginative orphan with autism sees hope when a fairy vows to change his life with a week of enchanted recipes.
In this sugary sweet series, a doctor and chef begin working together at a hospice ward, only to find themselves drawn together by meaningful meals in the past and present
Please be aware that this article was originally published on 7 April, but has been updated throughout to include new titles.
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.