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Staying home isn’t so bad when there are loads to catch on the telly, particularly if you're a foodie—or just love watching others whip up a feast

This article was first published on March 26, 2020 and updated on January 21, 2022. Additional reporting by Amanda Goh

Remember those holidays spent discovering the best pizzas and pastas in Italy, snacking on lavash (flatbread) in Armenia and drinking one too many glasses of champagne in France? With the ongoing pandemic and the new restrictions due to Omicron, it seems like we’d have to wait a lifetime before we could easily board a plane and do these all over again.
As we wait for the whole world to return to pre-pandemic normal, we can easily “escape” from our couches and relive those moments through captivating Netflix food shows. Here are some of our local and international favourites.

Read more: The Best Shows to Watch on Netflix While You're Social Distancing and Staying Home

1. School of Chocolate

1 Season

If you love chocolate, be sure to put this series on your watchlist. Taking you to Los Angeles, USA is this new series hosted by master chocolatier Amaury Guichon, who mentors eight students on the art of chocolate.
Throughout the season, the students will compete for a prize through completing pastry challenges. Watch as chef Guichon creates stunning masterpieces, made with 100 per cent chocolate, while imparting his knowledge to his mentees. This reality competition show is light-hearted, resisting the play-outness of other baking competitions.

2. Cooked

1 Season

Based on the cookbook of acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan, this Netflix docu-series explores the four elements of cooking—fire, water, air and earth—and how it has developed over time. Hosted by Pollan himself, each episode focuses on a specific element, examining its origins and evolution in the culinary world. Pollan travels from Australia to Morocco, in search of learning more about how food gets to our plates.

3. Somebody Feed Phil

4 Seasons

This documentary follows Philip Rosenthal as he embarks on a journey to explore food capitals of the world, among which are Venice, Bangkok and Montreal. Here, he seeks to best understand food and culture through new experiences and flavours. Rosenthal’s natural wit and charm make for a highly entertaining and bingeable show. With season five in the works (streaming date to be announced), it is best to get started on this series before the next one airs.

4. Salt Fat Acid Heat

1 Season

This four-part docu-series follows Samin Nosrat as she explores the principles on what makes food delicious. With each episode, Nosrat takes viewers on a visual journey from Italy to Japan to examine various cooking elements—including salt, fat, acid and heat. This series is a companion piece to Nosrat’s James Beard award-winning book of the same title.

5. Wanton Mee

Short Film

A love letter to Singapore’s hawker culture, this film revolves around a food critic who collects untold stories of hawker stalls. This puts the spotlight on real-life hawker stall owners and stories behind the dying trade. Look out for your favourite hawker stalls, including Outram Park Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh, Geylang Lor 29 Fried Hokkien Mee, and Hill Street Char Kway Teow. Despite the fictional storyline, viewers will be left with new admiration and appreciation for these culinary heroes.

6. Restaurants On The Edge

1 season

Fans of makeover shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy will dig this latest Netflix original. Celebrity hosts Nick Liberato (restaurateur), Karin Bohn (designer) and Dennis Prescott travel the world with the ultimate goal of helping owners of failing restaurants with great potential (majestic views included). 

The hosts take inspiration from the locale and community, and distil what they’ve learned to the business owners. Prescott takes charge of revitalising the menu by reinventing local dishes and using locally-sourced produce; Bohn revamps the space to match the vista; and Liberato works closely with the business owner to tweak the business model.

It’s a complete recipe made for binge-watching, packed with beautiful shots of the scenery, drool-worthy dishes, and captivating stories that will tug at your heartstrings.

Don't miss: 10 Of The Most Romantic Restaurants In The World

7. Ugly Delicious

2 seasons

There are no boundaries when it comes to food; at least that's the underlying theme of this engaging series created by Korean-American chef David Chang and food critic Peter Meehan. Each episode focuses on a specific dish, whether it’s pizza, fried rice, curry or steak, and the hosts explore its origins and evolution.

With the help of celebrity chef friends like Wolfgang Puck, they dig deep into the roots of the particular food and look at how different countries and cultures have adapted it. To be sure, the show won’t just make you hungry, it will also give you a serious case of wanderlust.

8. Nailed It

3 seasons

With so many baking shows online, we think one—with its fun and original concept—stands out from the rest. For one, it’s a show about home bakers given the challenge of replicating creative masterpieces by seasoned pastry chefs.

Over the three seasons, they’ve worked on Marvel superhero cupcakes, fashioned-inspired desserts, and elaborate gingerbread houses. What ensues when these amateurs compete is comedy gold, as you see them try and fail in their challenges. Hosted by American comedian Nicole Byer, the show is done in a light-hearted manner that doesn’t demean the contestants.

In case you missed it: The Best Bespoke Wedding Cake Designers In Singapore

9. Street Food

1 season

This is your ticket to travelling across Asia in search of insights into some of the best street foods. It’s a gastronomic journey that starts in Bangkok, home of veteran cook Jay Fai. She’s a celebrity in her own right, attracting throngs of locals and gourmet tourists who wait patiently in line for her signature tom yum soup and crab omelet, just some of the dishes that have earned her stall a Michelin star. 

Other stops include Osaka, Japan, where you’ll meet seasoned chef Toyo, who helped popularise the humble okonomiyaki and takoyaki; and Cebu, Philippines, where you'll find the most amazing, umami-packed reef eel soup by local cook Florencio Escabas.

Backed by stunning visuals and engaging storytelling about food and the trials and successes of the featured personalities, this is a show you can watch over and over again.

10. The Chef's Table

6 seasons

What’s a roundup of food shows without this cult classic, right? Now on its sixth season, the Netflix original follows the daily lives of renowned chefs such as Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana and Ana Ros of Hisa Franko. This is your insider look at how they run their Michelin-starred establishments and where they usually find inspiration for their delicious creations. Be warned: the show is filled with shots of mouthwatering dishes.

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