Oct 29, 2017398 views

Favorite Cooking Shows & Documentaries?

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I'm not a great cook by most counts, but I've always enjoyed watching cooking shows and documentaries. I want to see what other cooking shows/movies people here are watching! Jiro Dreams of Sushi (http://www.magpictures.com/jirodreamsofsushi/) really stood out to me when I first saw it, and I've probably watched it 3-4 times after. I think what was so captivating to me was how Jiro has done the same thing his entire life. The dedication and skill are unquestionably astonishing, but I think what struck me even more was that in American culture it would be laughable to spend years learning how to make just rice, or decades perfecting what could be seen as simplistic cooking. It was just very refreshing to watch and remember that it is okay to dedicate your life to what you love, regardless of how big or small the rest of the world may see your dreams. I'm also a huge Anthony Bourdain fan. Generally half of his shows are dedicated to culture, and working class people, and the featured food is often working class as well. This just makes it a lot easier to connect with from a TV screen than something like high end French cooking, that I'll likely never experience. Let me know what shows you like and are watching as I'd love to check some of them out!
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Cody Boren, Theroc, and 16 others
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Bingeing with Babish is a good one he recreates movie dishes It's Alive one word fermentation Both are YouTube series
IT'S SUPPER TIME! with Matty Matheson is my new favorite cooking show.
Anthony Bourdain’s Thailand episode of Parts Unknown is my single favorite food related production of all time. Anthony and his team truly had way of creating the experience of being present in both the culture and process of food. While not a cooking show necessarily, it’s the only one that had a profound effect on me before and after his death. RIP.
america's test kitchen, masterchef , iron chef japan, shokugeki no soma
I can't believe I'm just seeing this thread. Can't wait to go through all the responses and add shows to my queue!
Competitive Cooking Shows Great British Baking Show - British competitors are so polite compared to Americans, but I am living for Mary Berry's discerning looks. She can't help it if she's disappointed in you for using pre-made filling.
Food Network Star - I've watched this show so much that I have a recurring nightmare that I am on this show. I make some terrible chicken and I decide to make coffee ice cream at the last minute and of course I'm scrambling at the last second to plate my food (WHY?? everyone always messes up ice cream and risotto). Giada won't touch my food. Bobby is mad, and Alton is just disappointed in me.
Top Chef - This is probably the only show that I purchased by the season when I didn't have cable.
Documentary Chef's Table - Stunning show. Pretty convinced that I'm going to become a monk and live in a monastery growing organic vegetables, creating beautiful meals, and living in harmony with the elements.
Ugly Delicious - Just started this! After Chef's Table, this focuses on creating on flavors that are nostalgic and delicious.
Anthony Bourdain's shows - No Reservations, Layover, Parts Unknown, etc. Dude has the best job in the world and keeps creating new shows that I keep watching because food + culture. Mind of a Chef - I know this is a Bourdain show but really loved the first season with David Chang.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi- you already know why this one is worthwhile :)
Movies & Shows about cooking/food Ratatouille- because obviously Midnight Diner - a Japanese TV series on Netflix, really loved the combination of food and story telling.
Chef John's Food Wishes Youtube channel, Good Eats (Alton Brown) and America's Test Kitchen/Cooks Country/Cooks Illustrated, misc other channels but those are my 3 go to's for the real deal on how to cook and the "why" you cook a certain way.
Top Chef, Beat Bobby Flay, Iron Chef America, Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, MasterChef (and MasterChef Junior!)
Not exactly a show or documentary, Craftsy online cooking classes are awesome. I have taken in -person cooking classes, which have always been great, but the Craftsy classes just plain rock. Most are taught by James Beard authors and almost all are great presenters. I learn more in one Craftsy class than several in-person classes, and the best part is that they can be instantly rewound, looped for 30 second blocks, and played anywhere you have internet access, and as many times as you want, even on your phone. (Disclaimer: I have no association with Craftsy other than owning dozens of their cooking classes.)
Let's see. Good Eats was the thing that first made me think I can do complicated things. That they weren't that hard.
Steak (R)evolution kind of evolved how I think about beef. In Search of General Tso taught me not just about Chinese-American cuisine, but about the history of the nation from a different perspective.
Iron Chef (the original) got me interested in fine cuisine. Chef's Table on Netflix is much better for really getting in the mind of a chef and seeing very high end restaurants.
Steven Raichlen teaches fairly conventional grilling and smoking, but such a wide variety of ideas from around the world. Primal Grill, Project Smoke, etc.
Michael Pollan did a 4 episode show for Netflix that I liked a lot as well, but can't really remember the name of. Based on four basic elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and themed each episode around that. A good episode on making bread.
Somm (and the sequel to a lesser extent) was a fascinating look inside the world of top level sommeliers and understanding wine.
I could probably get into Great British Bakeoff if I weren't so concerned about the deleterious health effects of eating a lot of sugar and carbs. I can't watch NFL football because of the brain injury thing, and the competitive sweets making is a lot the same for me.
Cook's Illustrated : America's Test Kitchen FTW!
Good Eats. Alton Brown is a genius. The things I've made of his are typically on the more complicated side because he's so thorough and hygienic. But worth it.
I love watching masterchef lol
kpoovey
same here! lol
-Cooked: each episode is a love letter to how different ”earth elements” contribute to food. So much rewatch-ability here IMO
-Mind of a Chef: I love how inspired all of these seasons are; prepare to eat a lot of ramen after watching season one.
-Good Eats: when the heck are the new episodes coming out??
-French Guy Cooks (YouTube): a new find for me— very reminiscent of the Good Eats formula and style, except hosted by a young Frenchman in a shorter format. Excellent ideas here. Equally obsessed with multi-tankers and abuse of powertools.
The Great British Bake Off!!!
Another vote for Chef's Table, but here are some more I didn't see mentioned:
1. Mind of a Chef: narrated by Bourdain so you'll feel right at home. Each season is a little different and I learn something from every episode. 2. Molto Mario if you can find it, but he's kind of resurrected it over on Viceland. Search for "Moltissimo" on YouTube. 3. Any of Michael Pollan's shows or documentaries: Cooked, In Defense of Food and The Botany of Desire are all great. 4. Emeril's show on Amazon Prime was fun, but not as good as the others on this list, or the ones folks have already mentioned.
Enjoy!
kplawver
Oh yeah, there's also Chef's Table France! Zumbo's Just Desserts just came out on Netflix and is kind of the Aussie version of Great British Bake Off (nothing is as good as GBBO, but there are some bonkers desserts on that show).
And if you can find it, the absolute best cooking competition show in the entire world is Masterchef Australia. Unlike the shouty American, or boring British one, the Australian one is compelling, supportive, and you'll learn a LOT about cooking in the process.
And a couple more... A Chef's Life and BBQ With Franklin, both on PBS and I think maybe on Amazon Prime, are both solid in a pinch.
Another vote for Chef's Table! That show is so inspiring with such a sense of place. I saw the episode on Virgilio Martinez's Central Restaurante and was later lucky enough to visit while in Lima.
A couple I love.....and I think you could find on youtube at this point (and really worth finding):
1. Search for "lidia bastianich". She is amazing. She did a show that I think was called "Lidia's Italian Kitchen" or something like that. Fantastic italian cooking....and it's fun to watch because a) she is super excited about what she makes.....b) she has written cookbooks, one of which I own and her recipes always come out the same at home as when she cooks....and c) any episode i've seen she has some wine at some point.
2. Search for Jacques Pepin and his daughter Claudine....Jacques cooked with Julia Child and to see the interplay of Jacques and his daughter is funny. Jacques is definitely the expert....and Claudine - well, not so much. Hehehehe. But seriously, some really cool French dishes.....
3. Finally, if you can find some with Julia Child on youtube. Being one of the premier chefs from the last 100 years.....she's pretty amazing.
Agreed on both of those fronts I would also add: Alton Brown/Good Eats - gives you the why, not just the how Tyler Florence - killer recipes, see his Prime Rib and other "Tyler's Ultimate" entries Cooked - might just be the new TV but this has some damn fine 4K food shots Lydia Bastianich is also a solid choice on the homey Italian front
Currently loving "Project Smoke" with Steve Raichlin. I LOVE cooking outside! I really loved Alton Brown's shows because he explained the science behind the food preparation.
I watched almost every episode of the Japanese Iron Chef (with subtitles of course).
Used to watch Tyler's Ultimate as a midday break during college - so darn calming.
Chefs Table is also another series I've really enjoyed a lot.
Anthony and Alton definitely stand tall in their respective categories, and a Bourdain-produced special "Decoding Ferran Adria" is a great look at the wildly inventive and creative master chef.
"Mind of a Chef"has been my favorite. Each season follows mostly one chef and their friends on in depth cooking and eating adventures with more discussion than recepies. Anthony Bourdain narrates and is an EP.
In most episodes there is a balance between the exotic and common. I think I'll make something I learned from season two for breakfast this morning. http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/popcorn-grits/
Anthony Bourdain for the why, and Alton Brown for the how.
Theroc
love this answer
With the Halloween season on us, I've lately been enjoying Halloween Wars.
The Great British Bake Off! Love how humble they are!
Danscott0806
Completely agree. A reality show I actually really enjoy watching. Helping each other out and making elaborate desserts? Hells yes.
cutthroat kitchen!! it's so hilarious
BlueCrowned
For entertainment value I totally agree. Can't say it's really life altering, but for 'reality' cooking, its definitely one of the best I think. Far better than Top Chef or shows like that. Bizarre Foods is another silly, but entertaining and occasionally insightful show.