Nothing looks sexier on-screen than food. Whether it’s cheese melting on bread or fish sliding in a pan of hot oil or heavy cream spreading itself on some cake. And when you add terrific stories to the origin of those spectacular dishes or the locations they originate from, it becomes that much more captivating. Add to that contests and reality shows and food is really the most irresistible genre on OTT platforms. Here are some of the best food shows streaming out there.
Chef’s Table (Netflix)
Food porn got a new meaning when this series came out for the first time in 2015. Focussing on one chef in every episode, the show tries to understand the ethos behind the food he or she cooks and the inspirations. But the highlight remains the incredibly gorgeous food shots.
The Mind of a Chef (Netflix)
Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown is unfortunately not legally streaming anywhere in India but you can catch this other show produced and narrated by him. Winner of many Daytime Emmy Awards, the show has Bourdain getting inside the heads of international celebrity chefs to understand and illustrate their process.
The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Netflix)
Since The Great British Baking Show isn’t legally streaming in India, the next best British cooking show out there is this one which often feels like a warm hug. Hosted by British Bake-Off winner Nadiya Hussain along with Zoe Bell, the show celebrates old, secret family recipes plus the sheer joy of cooking with your mother or grandmother.
Hell’s Kitchen (Hotstar)
People used to watch this for Gordon’s gaalis. But even if all the choicest cuss words don’t interest you, the competitive Ramsay-run culinary academy keeps you hooked. By the time you are done with the 96 episodes, you’ll learn an insult or two or twenty. Like: “This lamb is so undercooked, it’s following Mary to school!”
Masterchef Australia (Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video)
The baap of all cooking contests, this competition amongst home cooks from Down Under got everyone to start making their food look pretty. But the USP remains the three endearing judges – Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris – and the guests they got on the show.
Highway on my Plate (Amazon Prime Video)
There are lots of good Indian food shows out there but this one really got the balance right between food and funda, grub and gab. Rocky and Mayur took us to places in our own country which we didn’t know existed and gave us a taste of the best local food.
The Chef Show (Netflix)
Jungle Book director Jon Favreau himself a huge foodie and, of course, the actor-director of Chef the movie, gets together with famous Kogi taco truck founder Roy Choi for this lip-smacking show that has celebrity guests popping up in every episode. The Gwyneth Paltrow episode is especially wild.
Ugly Delicious (Netflix)
As the title suggests, this is not the celebration of pretty gourmet food but those overlooked dishes from all over the globe that deserve another bite. Celebrity chef David Chang is the host and he’s got a charming presence about him which keeps the show going. The celebrities joining him on the tour up the stakes.
Salt Fat Acid Heat (Netflix)
Chef and food writer Samin Nosrat wrote a book with the same title to argue how salt, fat, acid and heat are the four essential elements behind every food you ever eat. Nosrat, who also hosts the show based on the book, has an infectious energy which is as inviting as the food.
Nailed It! (Netflix)
After digging into all the professional cooking on your screen, if you feel lost and depressed, watch this one, that has struggling home bakers trying to put up their bravest fronts. The USP of the show is the failed attempts and it’s okay to laugh at the contestants since the show doesn’t take itself so seriously.