From Street Food to Salt Fat Acid Heat, the Netflix food shows that will make you hungry

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Sarah Shaffi
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Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix

Grab some snacks and settle in for some food porn.

Food, glorious, food - we definitely agree with the opening line of the song from the musical Oliver! - food is glorious. But the next sentence, “cold sausage and mustard”, doesn’t exactly have us salivating.

Thankfully, no one has to subject themselves to Oliver Twist’s diet unless they really want to.

For anyone who needs a bit of food inspiration, there’s plenty to be had on our television screens. Netflix is home to dozens of food shows, which take us around the world on a culinary odyssey.

Here are seven of our favourite Netflix food shows. Warning, you will be salivating and starving by the end.

  • The one combining science and food - Salt Fat Acid Heat

    Salt Fat Acid Heat is based on Samin Nosrat’s cookbook of the same name. The basic principle of the show and the book - and Nosrat’s cooking - is that to cook well, you need to master four elements: salt, fat, acid and heat. Each episode of the show takes one of these elements and follows Nosrat as she investigates it further, journeying to Japan to learn about soy sauce in the Salt episode, and Italy to learn about olive oil for Fat. The best thing about the show is the respect Nosrat shows to the producers she meets, how she listens to them, and how she doesn’t talk over them. Salt Fat Acid Heat will have you learning about how to cook without even realising it.

  • The one for those who like their palate to travel - Street Food

    The first, and currently only, season of Street Food takes viewers across Asia, with each of the nine episodes taking place in a different city. The show puts women front and centre, with cooks who have been running street food stalls for decades recognised for the heroes and innovators they are. Everything looks positively delicious, and Street Food is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

  • The one to make you laugh Nailed It!

    Nailed It! is a laugh riot, and the show to watch when you need some cheering up. Each episode, three contestants - all who love baking, none who are very good at it - try to recreate stunning looking bakes across three rounds. Nailed It! could have been a mean-spirited show in which the contestants were made the butt of the joke, but instead we laugh along with them because few of us are immune from a baking disaster. Host Nicole Byer makes you cry with laughter, and there’s nothing better than seeing people try and be happy with the results.

  • The one to amaze you - Zumbo's Just Desserts

    Zumbo’s Just Desserts is nothing short of extraordinary when it comes to baking. Best described as a mix between Great British Bake Off, Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, the show’s host and inspiration is Adriano Zumbo, who produces the kind of confections that belong in a fairytale world. Co-host Rachel Khoo is a calming presence (and complete sartorial inspiration), and the contestants are the usual mix of loveable and villainous. There’s only one series so far (boo!), but a second has been commissioned (yay!), with Netflix co-producing.

  • The one for great stories - Chef's Table

    Chef’s Table homes in on a different chef in each episode, and is for anyone who loves hearing the stories behind food and its creators. Every episode profiles a single world-renowned chef, interviewing them, finding out about their struggles and their inspirations, and giving viewers a view of how truly global food is. Among those featured is the inspirational Asma Khan, owner of London’s Darjeeling Express.

  • The one for those who like the unknown - Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

    The late, great Anthony Bourdain was revered not just for his talents as a chef, but for his appreciation of food and the cultures it came from. In the brilliant Parts Unknown, of which there are eight whole seasons on Netflix to watch, he heads to lesser-known places to explore the cultures and cuisine there. Part food documentary, part travel programme, this should be on the watchlist of any foodie.

  • The one for those who love fusion cuisine - Ugly Delicious

    Ugly Delicious is a programme all about how food develops. Host David Chang highlights a different dish or concept in each episode, pizza in one, tacos in another, and explores how different regions and chefs have evolved that dish. A highlight is the third episode, which looks at home cooking and features Chang’s amazing mum.

Image: Netflix


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Sarah Shaffi

Sarah Shaffi is a freelance journalist and editor. She reads more books a week than is healthy, and balances this out with copious amounts of TV. She writes regularly about popular culture, particularly how it reflects and represents society.

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