By Marilyn Kitzes and Craig Viera
With current social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines across the globe, many of us are spending more time in our home kitchens and living rooms. We’ve already recommended books to read and recipes to cook. Now, take a break from feeding your sourdough starter and press play on one of these food shows available to stream now.
CHEF’S TABLE: PASTRY (Netflix)
Emmy-nominated docuseries Chef’s Table hopes you saved room for dessert. The show’s fourth season extends its focus beyond apps and entrées, instead homing in on the innovators behind some of the most tantalizing sweets in the world—from Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi to Spanish pastry chef Jordi Roca. Directed with the effortless elegance you’d expect from the series and topped with a sprinkle of sugar, the season presents four irresistible reasons to give in to your sweet tooth.
Cooking is about more than just texture and taste—it connects us to our most elemental sense of humanity. That’s the thesis behind this show, which examines food through the lens of four elements—fire, water, air, and earth. Adapted from Michael Pollan’s book of the same name, the series showcases the intersection of gastronomy and anthropology, highlighting the fundamental connections between how we eat and who we are.
NO PASSPORT REQUIRED (PBS)
PBS and Eater teamed up to produce a culinary travel series featuring the cuisine and culture of immigrant communities across the United States. Hosted by renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson, himself an immigrant, the show explores Middle Eastern traditions in Detroit, Ethiopian communities in DC, Vietnamese culture in New Orleans, and more.
SALT FAT ACID HEAT (Netflix)
In a documentary mini-series based on her bestselling cookbook, James Beard Award–winning author Samin Nosrat explores the four elements of good cooking. Nosrat, who is Iranian-American, meets with home cooks and professional chefs in Italy, Japan, and Mexico, as well as travels to Berkeley, California’s Chez Panisse, where she worked as a chef, cooking alongside Alice Waters.
THE FINAL TABLE (Netflix)
A follow-up to the Emmy-nominated series Chef’s Table, this show pits contestants against one another to create unique regional dishes with the ultimate goal of winning a seat at the table among the show’s international chefs. Celebrities, food critics, and global culinary stars make appearances and judge in each episode.
UGLY DELICIOUS (Netflix)
When was the last time you thought deeply about fried rice? In Ugly Delicious, Momofuku restaurateur David Chang and a rotating cast of his foodie friends explore a side of dining enjoyed by many, though studied by few: cheap eats. Each episode offers an expert’s take on a different comfort dish—whether tacos, pizza, crawfish, or BBQ—considering its origin, essence, and broader cultural impact.
Earlier versions of this article appeared as “Watch This” in Sous-Vide magazine’s Spring/Summer 2019 issue and “On The Watch List” in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue. Read the complete print archive here.