As a busy student, meals are usually quick to prepare—and to scarf down.
As many intricate Bon Appétit recipes as I’ve bookmarked in my browser, I usually opt for a salad or can of soup between classes. When you’re running around campus, it can be easy to forget that food can be beautiful and exciting.
These delectable Netflix series will reinvigorate your perspective on food and hopefully inspire you to get creative in your student kitchen.
The first volume of this vibrant show focuses on common street foods all over Asia, from Bangkok, Thailand, to Delhi, India.
Each episode is an intimate look at the local food scene, as well as the moving stories behind the dishes. In my favourite episode, a Filipino fisherman in Cebu recounts how reef eel soup became his family’s central livelihood.
An added bonus is that the series is peppered with beautiful shots of roadside delicacies that will leave you hungry for more.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Chef’s Table follows the world of high-end cuisine.
As a student, Michelin-starred tiny portions and edible gold are out of the budget. That said, it’s enthralling to sneak a glimpse of fine dining. It’s also a great show if you’re making a list of dream restaurants to visit.
While the close-up shots of artfully-plated dishes are beautiful, the real draw of the show is learning about the master chefs themselves. This series depicts cooking as an art form, revealing the crux of each chef’s creativity.
Hosted by Chef David Chang, each episode of Ugly Delicious dissects the culture and history behind famous dishes. Along with some of the world’s most renowned chefs (and a few celebrity guests), Chang samples his favourite iterations of pizza, fried rice, and a myriad of staple dishes throughout the series.
In the same episode Wolfgang Puck prepares a gourmet smoked salmon pizza, Chang pays a visit to Domino’s and learns how to deliver pizza properly. If you’re looking for a mix between unpretentious and high-brow foods, look no further.
Salt Fat Acid Heat
The title says it all. Each episode is dedicated to one factor of the four elements of food: salt, fat, acid, and heat.
If you’ve ever heard someone describe a dish as “well-balanced” and had no idea what they were talking about, you’ll be an expert once you’ve finished this show.
The series follows chef Samin Nosrat as she explores the role of olive oil and animal fat in Italy, the sea salt and miso of Japan, the limes and chilies of Mexico, and finally, the oven and stovetop in Nosrat’s home kitchen in California. It’s an adventure around the world, and you might just pick up some cooking tips as you watch.
Somebody Feeds Phil
While all these shows are equally delicious, Somebody Feeds Phil is my personal favourite. For anyone about to go on exchange, or planning an upcoming grad trip, this is the show for you.
Each episode follows television producer, Phil Rosenthal, in different cities around the word as he explores the local cuisine. The show examines inexpensive alternatives (such as a seafood fry cone in Venice) to fine dining.
Unlike the other shows on this list, Somebody Feeds Phil doesn’t centre around the cooks. Phil doesn’t approach food with the same critical tact as a chef, which is part of the overall charm of the show. He reacts to each dish with the same wide-eyed excitement as the rest of us would.
As a girl who loves to cook but doesn’t always have the time for it, I love watching people from around the world express their passion for food. It’s also a great way to gather inspiration for my next culinary endeavor.
Whether you’re a seasoned chef in your own kitchen or you prefer Skip the Dishes, Netflix has something for you.
Enjoy your viewing alongside a good meal, though—these shows are guaranteed to make you hungry.
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