In the past decade, food shows have REALLY blown up. And if you’re anything like me, your favorite side dish is a cooking show, cuz who doesn’t love some competition (or cultural exploration) with their congee?
Netflix is known for its extensive library of feature films and almost unlimited tv shows. But today we’re spicing up your streaming game with some of the tastiest picks from Netflix’s kitchen. We’re talking about the 5 Best Cooking Shows To Watch On Netflix, a smorgasbord of flavors that will take you from the comfort of your couch to city kitchens around the globe.
Whether you enjoy the sugar rush drama of cooking competitions, the warmth of home cooking shows, or the thrill of discovering new cuisines, Netflix has a buffet of great options.
And, because food is what I do, I’m pairing each show with a Steamy Kitchen recipe I think you’ll enjoy while you view (or binge) these Netflix delights.
First up on our list, and a true gem in the crown of Netflix’s extensive library, is Chef’s Table. This isn’t JUST a cooking show. This is a documentary series that serves up a feast for the senses, as we get an intimate look into the lives (and kitchens) of some of the world’s most renowned chefs.
Blending the artistry of fine dining with the personal stories behind the chefs who create each dish, Chef’s Table’s magic is about so much more than delicious food, It’s about how we connect with food and each other (over food, of course) on a deeply human level.
From Argentine chef Francis Mallman’s use of traditional Patagonian fire and earth cooking methods in the first season, to Korean monk Jeong Kwan and her spiritual, ego-less connection to cooking from the soul in the third, Chef’s Table gives us a look at food and culture with such realistic gravity.
It’s a must-watch for anyone who appreciates a powerful story with their meal.
In the spirit of Chef’s Table, where every dish tells a story, I want to share with you a recipe that’s as close to my heart as Dairy Queen is to my midday sugar cravings: Mom’s Chinese Chicken Soup.
It’s bowlful of memories, a recipe passed down through generations. And it’s simmering with history and the kind of comfort that could only come from a mother’s cooking. My eldest son wrote the original post for this recipe when he was just 11 years old, and it’s pretty hilarious to read again.
And because life’s too short to not have options, I’ve tweaked this family classic to suit whichever kitchen gadget you’ve got handy. Whether you’re a pressure cooker aficionado, a stove top enthusiast, or a crock pot devotee, I’ve got you covered. I hope it warms your soul like it does mine.
The Great British Bake Off
Ah, The Great British Bake Off. A show that has us all believing we can whip up a Victoria sponge in our sleep and has introduced the term “soggy bottom” into our everyday vernacular. Known as “The Great British Baking Show” in the United States, this cooking competition show has risen to become a beloved staple of reality TV.
Here, amateur bakers from across the UK gather to mix their passion for baking with the ferocity of a competition series. It’s a heartwarming series that celebrates the joy of baking, from the humble scone to the most intricate pastries, sprinkled with the kind of charm only the Brits can bring.
With each season, viewers are treated to a wide array of bakes, from the perfectly proofed to the soggy bottoms, all judged by celebrity chef icons. This cultural phenomenon has captured the hearts of viewers around the globe, making it an obvious choice for one of the top cooking shows on Netflix.
In the true spirit of this beloved baking bonanza, where simplicity meets sophistication, I’m thrilled to share with you a recipe that’s bound to get the tent talking: Tiramisu Cupcakes!
Now, before you think, “But isn’t Tiramisu that fancy Italian dessert with enough layers to rival a British winter outfit?” let me stop you right there.
Yes, traditional Tiramisu is a masterpiece of ladyfingers soaked in coffee liqueur, layered with a rich mascarpone cream, and dusted with cocoa powder. BUT! Who says we can’t have a little fun and bake up a storm, GBBO style?
These Tiramisu cupcakes are my cheeky nod to the classic, simplifying the process without skimping on taste: a base of rich, fudgy chocolate cake, followed by a gentle brushing of coffee liqueur for that wake-me-up flavor. Then, we dollop on the creamy mascarpone. But wait, there’s more! A swirl of whipped cream caps it off.
And for the grand finale, a sprinkle of chocolate shavings that would make Mary Berry proud—and maybe even elicit a coveted “soggy bottom” joke from Paul Hollywood.
And the best part? Only 2 eggs required! (I hear a collective sigh of relief from egg-savers everywhere), and absolutely no overnight wait. Because let’s be honest, when you’ve got a craving for Tiramisu at 2 p.m., waiting until tomorrow is simply out of the question.
Ugly Delicious is the brainchild of renowned chef David Chang. This Netflix travelogue breaks the mold of traditional cooking shows by taking viewers on a rich journey that challenges the very notion of what makes food good.
Chang and his friends (who are usually writers, activists, artists, celebrity guests and other chefs) travel the world to dive fork-first into dishes that defy gourmet expectations, from Copenhagen to Tokyo.
Ugly Delicious is a travel show, food show, and cultural documentary all rolled into one. In a style Anthony Bourdain would appreciate, Chang taps into eateries like Galatoire’s in New Orleans and Mister Jiu’s in San Francisco to uncover cultural traditions, personal stories, and the beautiful souls behind each dish.
The series’ main goal is to show how some of the best food often comes without the frills, and that the best part of a meal is the love that goes into it. That’s what truly makes a dish ugly-delicious.
Speaking of unexpected heroes, let’s talk about a dish that’s as deliciously controversial as it is unexpectedly delectable: Spam Fried Rice.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Spam? Really? Yes, really! In the grand tradition of Ugly Delicious, where the beauty of food lies not in its appearance but in its taste, Spam Fried Rice stands tall.
Outside of Hawaii, Spam is like the ugly step-child, banned to the tippy top shelf towards the back, so far out of my 5’2” reach that I have to ask for help. But in places like Hawaii, it’s practically a state treasure, and CAN be transformed into a mouthwatering masterpiece. This Spam Fried Rice recipe is living proof.
It’s a dish that embraces the heart and soul of “Ugly Delicious” proving that beauty truly is in the eye (or taste buds) of the beholder. It’s a combo that’s as unexpectedly perfect as pineapple on pizza or fries dipped in ice cream.
This Spam Fried Rice recipe is about challenging perceptions, and challenging YOURSELF to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary. Deliciousness comes in many forms, even in the most unassuming can of Spam.
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Diving into our next course, Salt Fat Acid Heat is less like watching a cooking show and more like attending a masterclass with your cool, incredibly knowledgeable food writer friend. Author and star chef Samin Nosrat takes the helm in this transformative series that’s part cooking show, part travel tv, part educational journey into the elements that make food POP.
Samin’s warmth and enthusiasm for teaching us about the foundational pillars of cooking—salt, fat, acid, and heat—make this series stand out. It’s a show that empowers you to think like a chef, so you too can transform your home cooking from mundane to extraordinary.
As Samin travels the world, from Italy to Japan, she brings a sense of curiosity and discovery to each table. Salt Fat Acid Heat is a deliciously enlightening series that proves good food isn’t just about the ingredients, but about how those ingredients come together to create something magical. It’s a perfect match must-watch for anyone looking to elevate their culinary skills.
In a similar fashion to Samin, I’ve long believed that there’s a very specific combo of flavors that takes make a dish phenomenal. I call it the 5 S’s: Salty, Sweet, Savory, Sour, and Spicy. When a dish has all 5 of these elements, THAT is when it truly reaches flavor nirvana.
In the spirit of this delicious wisdom, I’m thrilled to share my 20 Minute Sriracha Sauce recipe. This condiment concoction will knock your socks off and then kindly offer to pick them up for you. This sauce is where the 5 S’s come to party, and trust me, it’s a bash you don’t want to miss.
A testament to the power of balance in cooking, this sauce just goes to prove that when you hit all the right notes, you create a flavor experience that’s nothing short of transcendent.
And finally, Street Food takes us out of the kitchen and onto the streets, to serve up a hearty helping of culture, passion, and, of course, mouthwatering dishes. This series is a celebration of the culinary (and often, unsung) heroes who cook up delicious food on city streets around the world.
Each episode focuses on a different country, and offers viewers an intimate glimpse into the lives of those who feed the masses from their modest stalls and carts. From the spicy, tangy flavors of Latin America to the rich, savory delights of Asian cuisine, Street Food showcases the diversity and depth of flavors that street food has to offer, while also honoring the tradition, hard work, and community that these meals embody.
It’s like taking a tour of the world’s best open-air markets and food bazaars from the comfort of your couch. For anyone with a hunger to explore and a taste for adventure, Street Food is the perfect companion.
Let’s talk about a street food favorite that has stolen hearts (and maybe a bit of shirt space) all over the globe: Mexican Street Corn, or as it’s lovingly known, Elote.
Now, I hear you on the whole “eating corn off the cob” debacle. It’s a deliciously messy affair, with every bite a gamble between ultimate satisfaction and a… let’s call it a “corn-tastrophe” of kernels everywhere but your mouth.
So, in the spirit of enjoying the explosive flavors of Elote without wearing half of it, I’ve cooked up a little something special: Mexican Street Corn in the Microwave. Yes, you heard that right. We’re taking this street food classic off the streets and into the microwave, making it a game-changer for those of us who love the taste but could do without the mess.
This recipe is for all my fellow Elote enthusiasts who’ve found themselves more than once picking corn kernels out of their teeth and thinking, “There’s got to be a better way.” Well, my friends, the better way is here, and it’s ridiculously easy.
It’s Elote reimagined for the messy eaters, the fork-favorers, and anyone who’s ever thought, “I wish I could enjoy this without needing a bib.” This Microwave Mexican Street Corn recipe keeps the soul of the street alive AND caters to the mess-conscious food lover.
We hope you loved this guide to the crème de la crème of Netflix’s culinary offerings for 2024. These shows are the perfect blend of entertainment, education, and mouthwatering visuals, and hopefully, they also inspire your next kitchen adventure.
But the feast doesn’t stop here. This streaming service’s pantry is STOCKED with award-winning Netflix originals and an ever-expanding buffet of content, like Final Table where chefs compete for culinary supremacy, or the comforting bakes of Nadiya’s Family Favourites. For those who enjoy a side of adventure with their meals, check out Feed Phil or Taco Chronicles.
Whatever your choice, be sure to grab your favorite snacks, get comfy, and enjoy. And then, of course, come back and report to me which is YOUR favorite Netflix cooking show in the comments. I would love to know!
Happy watching, and even happier eating!
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