So, dear readers, here we are, all stuck inside with oodles of free time. Everything is weird and scary, but let’s look on the bright side! You can finally do all the things you never had time to do, like start a new hobby, read that book that everyone is talking about or if you are like me, get caught up on all of the TV shows you missed. This has included a wide range of things for me, from “Tiger King” on Netflix (a wild ride from start to finish) to “Friday Night Lights” (I would like to say I’m sorry to all of my friends who told me to watch this 100 times, it is so good!). However, one of the most consistent things in my life has been my love of cooking shows, and this is something I have expressed in this paper many times before. A show about food is one of the best ways to practice some escapism and learn something along the way. Here are my top recommendations for cooking shows to get you started. 


Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain 

This show will always have a special place in my heart. I used to watch the first show with Anthony Bourdain, “No Reservations,” all the time with my dad when I was younger, and I think this is when my love of shows about food and travel started. I went back and watched a ton of episodes after Bourdain passed away last year, and it really holds the same amount of joy for me as it did when I first started watching it. The places the show goes, like The Democratic Republic of Congo, Tangier in Morocco and Trindad are totally out of the ordinary realm of cooking shows. It gives the viewer the opportunity to learn about the food and culture of places you never would have dreamed of going. Bourdain’s no-nonsense, sarcastic energy makes it even more enjoyable to watch. I would recommend this show to anyone who wants to see the world in a new way!

Where to Stream: The CNN website


Ugly Delicious 

This show just got a second season and it has gotten me excited about it all over again! David Chang, the creator and original head chef of Momofuku Noodle Bar hosts this show, which focuses on one specific type of food each episode. This format allows you to learn so much about your favorite types of food in many different ways. Chang has a fun, cool vibe that makes it easy to watch and makes the viewer feel like they are learning along with him rather than being lectured at. There is also a large cast of other chefs, celebrities and commentators in a host of different places per episode, which makes it really hard to get bored. The episodes don’t follow any specific order, so you can skip around to the ones that you want to see. Chang also has another show on Netflix, “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner,” where he travels to a different place and has three meals with a celebrity guest. This show is great for laughing and learning at the same time. 

Where to Stream: Netflix 


Chef’s Table 

This show is less of a television experience for me than it is meditation. Every episode focuses on an award-winning, outstanding chef somewhere in the world, and let me tell you it is so relaxing. The camera work is beautiful, with the most amazing shots, usually set to some kind of soothing music. The interviews and in-depth looks at the chef’s process is also another great thing about the show, and it all feels very natural. This show has always been popular, and there are six seasons that prove that (including one solely based on pastry chefs, aka my dream!). If I can’t fall asleep this show is almost always what I put on, and I mean that in the best way! This is a great show for serious foodies and people trying to relax, all in one!

Where to Stream: Netflix


Somebody Feed Phil

This show truly has more “dad on vacation energy” than any other show I have ever watched. Hosted by the writer and creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Phil Rosenthal, the show follows him as he travels to different cities around the world and tries the major foods. It is fun and light-hearted and gives the viewer a real glimpse into some of the most famous cities in the world. Phil is adorable and kind of awkward, but in ways that make him even more lovable. He has so much enthusiasm for meeting new people and trying new food, that you can’t help but want to travel along with him. There is a wide range of places throughout the two seasons of the show, so there is a little something for everyone! Go for the exotic and scenic locales, but stay for Phil! 

Where to Stream: Netflix


About The Author

- Managing Editor Emeritus I English --

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