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Foodies Pick: Food-Themed Shows
and Film To Binge On

Foodies Pick: Food-Themed Shows
and Film To Binge On

Danti Tarigan
20 April 2023


From moving fiction series to inspiring cooking shows, here are some of our picks of food-centric shows to binge on.


The long-awaited Eid holiday is just around the corner! Besides preparing for the festive celebration, the holiday is the perfect setting to spend and enjoy some quality time with your family and loved ones. And, what’s a better way to do so than watching delicious food on screen together?

Nowadays, food is lurking more and more on the internet’s long vast assortment of content. They are no longer confined to the format of cooking instructions; but often become the main subject of many compelling storytellings. Here, we’ve picked some of the best food-themed shows you can watch and enjoy during the holiday season.

Food-Themed Shows and Film To Binge On

The Bear (2022)

The Bear follows a chef with an impressive fine dining background, Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), who was being summoned home to Chicago due to the sudden death of his older brother. Beyond sorrow and pain, the death also left Carmy responsible for running his family’s beef sandwich shop, which unfortunately comes with mounting debts, a rundown kitchen, and unmanageable staff. 

This comedy-drama was able to impressively score 100% on Tomatometer and got Golden Globe Awards for a reason. Though the story begins with a heated picture of commercial kitchens, through eight episodes, the show slowly progresses to what is ultimately a heart-warming dynamic of family and legacy. It beautifully wrapped the intensity and turmoil of keeping the team intact, while everything else–from struggling to keep the restaurant afloat financially to the grappling grief of a loved one’s suicide– is falling apart.

Where To Watch: Disney+ Hotstar

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Series (2016)

First released in 2016, the Midnight Diner series took place in a Tokyo diner that opens from midnight to seven in the morning. It doesn’t necessarily delve much into cooking techniques or the history of Japanese cuisine, but instead tells the story of ordinary customers who find simple yet profound connections with one another based on the shared love of a particular dish. 

For instance, in an episode titled ‘Corn Dog,’ a customer named Takashi walks into the restaurant and orders a corn dog he used to have with his now estranged father. The corndog failed to satisfy him, to which the Master wisely replied, “Sometimes, memories can be more delicious than the actual food.” Takashi returns later with his father and shares a corn dog, thanking the Master for helping him reconnect with his father and relive the memory. It goes to show how the diner is more than a place to eat, but also where memories are created and treasured.

Where To Watch: Netflix

Sugar Salt Fat Acid (2018)

With the quote, “Master the four elements, master the kitchen,” Netflix’s The Sugar Salt Fat Acid sprang from an award-winning book titled the same by chef and food writer Samin Nosrat. In this show, chef Nostrat explores four basic keys to wonderful cooking, with her traveling to a different location for each one. For example, Nostrat traveled to Italy to explore important fat elements, such as olive oil, cheeses, and meat. For Salt, she flew to Japan, learning how such components work in traditional Japanese cooking, like in miso and soy sauce. 

The show is part how-to guide for home cooks and part aspirational travelogue. While Chef Nosrat’s infectious enthusiasm makes the show as entertaining as it is educational, the stunning human-interest aspect in this show, in my opinion, is the cherry on top that lets you get immersed in the culture and cuisine of each featured location.

Where To Watch: Netflix

Babish Culinary Universe

If you like watching food content on Youtube, chances are you’ve heard of this particular channel. The channel used to be known for a single series called ‘Binging with Babish,’ where a cinematographer and self-taught cook, Andrew Rea, prepared and brought food that comes from fiction to life. 

Now, with more than ten million subscribers, the show has expanded into what’s called ‘Babish Culinary Universe.’ In addition to the flagship show, the channel now features several others, including Anime with Alvin (focusing solely on dishes featured on Anime) and Basic With Babish, where Andrew taught fundamental skills of cooking. Whether you are just a curious fellow or genuinely want to learn how to cook; this channel essentially has it all, plus the bonus points of its humor and fun storytelling.

Where To Watch: Youtube

Selena + Chef (2020)

Who hasn’t heard of Selena Gomez? Though we usually see her in music and acting, in 2020, she apparently ventured into a new realm of cooking shows with ‘Selena + Chef’. The singer taped the cooking series in her own home, making delicious meals while stuck at home in quarantine. Each episode features her with different chefs and celebrities as a guest, tackling a new cuisine and challenges along the way. 

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of hers as a singer or actress, the show’s playfulness (and relatable at times) will still be entertaining and make you feel ‘at home’ with Selena. With fairly easy-to-follow recipes, it’s also very instructional for those who actually want to learn a thing or two about cooking. The best part, the show did donate $10,000 for each episode to a chef’s choice charity.

Where To Watch: HBO Max

Julie and Julia (2009)

Released in 2009, Julie & Julia film is unique because it’s based on two books: Julia Child’s biography ‘My Life in France,’ and ‘Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously’ by Julie Powell. The film contrasts the life of chef Julia Child’s early years of her culinary career in Paris, with Julie Powell’s, a young woman with a soul-crushing job aiming to cook all 524 recipes in Child’s cookbook within a year. The challenge turned into a popular blog and later made her a published author.

The film contains a strong theme of personal growth and self-discovery, as both Julie and Julia struggle to find their place in the world and pursue their culinary dreams. The mouthwatering food, the grit and perseverance of following one’s dreams, plus the exceptional performance of Meryl Streep (as Julia Child) and Amy Adams (as Julie Powell) made this my comfort film, and hopefully will be yours once you watch it.

Where To Watch: Netflix

The Mind Of A Chef (2012)

“The Mind of a Chef” is a television series by PBS, where each season explores the culinary world through the eyes of a different chef, including Momofuku’s David Chang, Milkbar’s Christina Tossi, and Pizzeria Mozza’s Nancy Silverton. The whole season will focus on each chef’s cooking approach, showcasing their techniques, creativity, and philosophies. It will take you into the fascinating glimpse of a kitchen’s behind the scenes. With its intimate approach into the mind of a chef, the show can definitely be a great source of inspiration and help foodies gain a better understanding of the art and science of cooking. Several episodes are also available to watch in their official Youtube channel.

Where To Watch: Available on Youtube

Hunger (2023)

Inspired by the success of ‘The Menu (2022)’, the new Thai release, “Hungry” attempts to tell a similar ‘eat-the-rich’ narrative along with the hunger of power. This film follows the story of a young culinary prodigy, Aoy, who runs her humble family restaurant in Bangkok. One day, she is surprisingly scouted by a distinguished restaurant called Hunger, led by the famous chef, Paul. Realizing how prestigious the opportunity is, she accepts the offer, with a desire to be “special” under the wing of Chef Paul’s mentorship. 

This thriller film portrays the terrifying nature of how in order to become “special”, one must pay a high price. In the movie, we get to see how Aoy struggles to come to terms with the harsh and morally questionable work she has to tackle in the restaurant. More than being a tense yet entertaining spectacle, this film also offers a realization how thin the line is between a fiery passion done out of love and the one that comes from a desperation for power.

Where To Watch: Netflix

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