By Wariya I.
Hands up those foodies in Bangkok who’ve become insanely bored from the Covid-19 lockdown? We may not be able to see your hands but we can virtually imagine they are mostly raised. Besides reading autobiographies by chefs or recipe books most foodies are finding food entertainment from the screen of their smart TVs or smartphones by binge-watching reality food shows or reruns on Youtube.
The question is, what are the ‘best’ food shows to watch? Well, it all depends on our taste. Bangkok Foodies sought the advice of the community to find out which food shows are most-watched and favoured by the foodies community! Bangkok Foodies put together a little round-up of the results for your temporary lock-down indulgence.
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1.“Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations”
Bourdain’s Other Show (s): A Cook’s Tour (2002 – 2003), The Layover (2011 – 2013) and Parts Unknown (2012 – 2018)
What is it: By — of course — late Anthony Bourdain is still in the majority’s hearts. The show first released on Travel Channel, 25th July 2005 and ended on 5th November 2012 but with Bourdain’s frankness yet charming compels you to continue watching the show and re-watching over and over again. In 2007, the show was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Programming and won the Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming in 2009 and 2011.
Why watch it: Bourdain proud self-proclamation of being a “cook” than a chef, comes through the screen with his raw, unabashed attitude and razor-sharp wit. He somehow manages to come across as nonchalant yet highly articulate. Bourdain’s unique character and demeanour are what sets this show apart compared to others in a similar subgenre, it is also the reason why millions were devastated when hearing of his all-too-soon passing.
2.“Street Food: Asia” Created by David Gelb
Gelb’s Other Show (s): Chef’s Table (2016 – Now)
What is it: A Netflix’s original documentary focusing on street food only. In season 1, it focuses around 9 cities in Asia which are famous for street food and takes viewers to familiarise themselves with the unique cultures of each featured cities’ street food. From Jay Fai (Bangkok, Thailand) to Rubilyn’s Carinderia (Cebu, Philippines), you begin to understand why these places have become famous locally, best of all, you will get to know them and their story more intimately through exclusive, close-up-shot interviews.
Why watch it: The show takes you to exotic places with exotic delicacies and treats most people would never have heard before, an exciting virtual exploration for potential visitors who are inspired to venture out after the coronavirus disaster is over of course!
Where to watch it: Netflix
3.“Taco Chronicles” or “Las Crónicas del Taco” in Spanish, Created by Pablo Cruz
Cruz’s Other Show (s): –
What is it: Another Netflix’s original documentary about tacos. Yes, tacos there are a variety of tacos and Cruz takes you to their place of birth. Like many documentaries, there are some interviews from experts and restaurateurs. From keeping viewers from potentially dozing off, the creator interlaced fun collages animations for their infographics or when referencing historical stories. So for those who like a bit of animation with their Mexican food, this show is for you.
Why watch it: The programme shows the viewers that taco isn’t just a no-brainer food. The taco’s legacy and complexity, should not be taken for granted. Don’t believe us? Watch it for yourselves.
Where to watch it: Netflix
4.“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”
Bourdain’s Other Show (s): A Cook’s Tour (2002 – 2003), Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2005 – 2012) and The Layover (2011 – 2013)
What is it: Do you remember, when Obama sat with Bourdain in a street food restaurant in Vietnam? Yeah, that’s an episode from Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on CNN. It was first released on 14th April 2013 and the series’ finale aired on 11th November 2018. The show won 12 Primetime Emmy Awards out of 31 nominations in 2013 as well as Peabody Award. Bourdain takes you to lesser-known areas of the world to celebrate diverse cultures through culinary and dining rituals.
Why watch it: Oh c’mon, It’s Anthony Bourdain for heaven’s sake! It’s always about a passion to learn about local ingredients, cooking techniques and bridging cultures through our screens.
5.“Heat Salt Fat Acid” Starring Samin Nosara
Nosrat’s Other Show (s): –
What is it: A television series about an American cooking documentary starring Samin Nosrat who is also the author of the book with the same name which the show is based on. Both the show and book’s title comes from Nosrat’s proposed four elements of successful cooking: salt, fat, acid and heat, and therefore has only four episodes. In it, You’ll find her travelling around different locations to show you how the element in each episode is used in local cuisine.
Why watch it: This show will educate us to be more knowledgeable and appreciative towards these four elements.
Where to watch it: Netflix
6.“Binging with Babish”
Babish’s Other Show (s): –
What is it: A Youtube channel by a guy known as Babish who recreates a dish from a movie, series or cartoon in different ways. Babish starts from the easiest way to the most sophisticated, such as the Krabby Patty from Spongebob Squarepants or the Sloppy Jessica from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the Orange-Mocha Frappuccino from Zooland or the Ratatouille from Ratatouille (Animated Movie). You’ll get hooked with his soothing voice and cinematography.
Why watch it: Well, it’s the katharsis of watching food-in-making and those foods from the movies, series, cartoons and animated movies coming to life.
Where to watch it: Youtube
7.“Ugly Delicious” Created by Chef David Chang
Chang’s Other Show (s): Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (2019 – Now)
What is it: You may have seen Chang in the first two episodes of “The Mind of a Chef”. Ugly Delicious is Chang’s first own show, a non-fiction original series on Netflix combining travel, cooking and history. Each episode examines the cultural, sociological and culinary history of a specific popular food. The first season premiered on 23rd February 2018 and on 22nd November 2018, it was renewed for a second season which premiered on 6th March 2020.
Why watch it: It’s refreshing to finally see a chef of Asian ethnicity on popular American TV teaching people about culture and food. It gives the show a whole new perspective through the mind of an American-Asian chef.
Where to watch it: Netflix
8.“Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted”
Ramsay’s Other Show (s): The F Word (2005-2010), Hell’s Kitchen (2005 – Now), Kitchen Nightmare (2007 – 2017), Hotel Hell (2012 -2019)
What is it: Chef Gordon Ramsay teamed up with National Geography on a quest to explore 6 remote locations, searching for culinary inspiration. You’ll get to see Ramsay do something new other than — well, what he normally does in other *expletive* shows. National Geography outstanding quality in documenting wildlife, outback adventures and exotic scenery would mean Ramsay would have to also step up to the plate. You can also try to recreate Ramsay’s recipe at home from the website, for instance, Aji Amarillo Marinated Grilled Pork Loin, a recipe Ramsay got from his episode in Peru, or Braised Goat Leg & Shoulder that garnished with a colourful berry chutney from his trip in New Zealand.
Why watch it: We all know that cinematography is going to be magical but more reason to watch this is, you’ll be able to witness another side of Ramsay, one that is humbled by nature and the local people.
Where to watch: National Geography
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Wariya has a strong passion for cocktails, and you may have met her several times but she likes to keep it casual and low-profile. She also likes to enjoy quality tea, especially Japanese green tea.