What, for you, marks the start of the weekend? The moment you leave your desk chair on a Friday evening? The first sip of your after-work pint? The coffee you make yourself while still in your pyjamas come Saturday? Yeah, sure, that probably works. But what kicks the doors down to your end-of-the-week chill-out with the most power isn’t any of these things. No no. It’s that heavenly, mind-massaging, self-indulgent moment when you flick on your television, settle back, and allow yourself the time to bathe in the thoughtlessness of a morning television show. When all your worries melt away like the butter in Jamie Oliver’s screaming-hot skillet on your screen. You’re feeling more relaxed just thinking about it, aren’t you.
It’s true: the humble food show is a sacred being. The gatekeeper to a better, worry-free, more laid-back you. And we, for one, want more of them.
Which is why this has happened – a rundown of the finest, coolest, sexiest, bonkersiest cooking and food shows currently waiting for you at the other end of your favourite streaming service. From deep-fried pizza grossness to heart-warming sushi masters, these are the five-star culinary masterpieces you need to queue up on your Netflix to get your weekend a-rolling…
1.'Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations'
Bourdain’s the sorta guy you want to be snowed into a pub with. Not only can this cool-as-heck chef cook, but he’s lived his 60-plus years pretty damn hard, and as such, has some excellent tales to tell. You’re getting some of them in this, his double Emmy-winning masterstroke in a catalogue of brilliantly watchable TV appearances, as well as deep dive into the local cuisines and cultures from all the way around the world, and an unapologetic obsession with greasy pork.
We’re not the only ones suddenly seriously considering P45ing and dedicating the rest of our days on Earth to winning that massive trophy, $100,000 and the title of BBQ PITMASTER, right? Right? Good.
3.'Rebel Without a Kitchen '
’Fidel Gastro’ is an extremely excellent nickname for a chef, and one that the Toronto-based cook, Matt Basile, the self-dubbed ‘leader of the pop-up revolution’, who helms this global street food-seeking seeking series, has earned himself. You’re in safe hands with this one.
4.'Deep Fried Masters'
THIS IS UTTERLY BONKERS AND WE SHALL ABSOLUTELY WATCH EVERY POSSIBLE SECOND OF IT.
5.'Somebody Feed Phil'
Every fibre and gene in your body is screaming at you to really detest the host of this show, Phil Rosenthal. And yet… you… love… him? We really dunno why and how, just as we really dunno why and how the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond deserves his own worldwide food show. But we’re absolutely letting it happen and we absolutely wish we could hang out with the guy.
6.'Jiro Dreams of Sushi'
Instead of a documentary with 85-year-old triple Michelin-winning sushi master Jiro Ono at its heart, filmmaker David Gelb had actually set out to make a feature about a wide range of chefs. But Ono’s skill and story is so compelling, Gelb rightly decided to sack the rest off and instead only follow this Tokyo hero – a decision that earned his 2011 feature huge critical acclaim, and a stratospheric 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s brilliant.
It had us at “global pursuit for the best steak in the world” tbqh.
The reason you’re ditching Deliveroo tonight and cooking for yourself. A visual interpretation of famed food writer Michael Pollan’s book of the same name, Cooked takes the issue of our over-reliance on massive corporations to feed us, and tackles it in a graciously celebratory - rather than terrifying - four-part package that’ll revive your love for your oven.
9.'Last Call Food Brawl'
Yep, we winced at the extremely in-yo’-face fratboy Americanness of this ‘hardcore comfort food competition’ too. But cut through the whoopin’ and hollerin’ and you’re left with exactly what your work-exhausted eyeballs want – a selection of the finest, sloppiest, after-dark munchies that New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and more of the US’s coolest cities offer. Cleanse your mind in the filth.
Permanently pinned to our Top Three Best Things On The Whole Of Netflix list. Even though we’ve all been through every episode a hundred times already, there’s never not a good time to go back for extra helpings of Coogan and Brydon’s culinary romps through the north of England and Italy.
This one’s been sniffing around your home page’s Trending Now select for a while now, and for good reason – each episode of this Emmy-taunting docu-series burrows into the brains of one of the planet’s biggest kitchen masters, and pulls at their genius. The Francis Mallman episode, with open-fire cooking against the backdrop of the Patagonian wilds, is particularly stunning.
From lowly five-quid garage forecourt tray grills all the way up to the near-religious experiences of Uruguayan wood-fired asado, and the delicate yakitori grills of Japan to the deliciously dirty firepits of America, if it involves fire and meat, it’s in this globe-spanning little documentary. A heart-warming, eye-opening and eyebrow-singeing investigation into the full spectrum and unifying power of the humble cook-out that’ll leave you willing summer to hurry the heck up.