I love cooking television. Just ask my parents, my friends, or any of my roommates from college; watching other people cook delicious food is my absolute favorite activity.
I have seen a wide variety of cooking/food shows in my day, and I have opinions about all of them. Here is my personally-tailored list of the top 17 cooking shows on Netflix, ranked. Let us begin.
This show is just about as dorky as it gets. It reminds me of the show Unwrapped on Food Network, with its cheesy host and 90s vibe. The show has some great cooking instruction, however the delivery is dry and less engaging than other shows.
The theme of the show itself was also misleading–I was confused as to why the show was called American Test Kitchen, for it lacks the trendy, cutting-edge feel that I imagined a test kitchen would have. All in all, not a horrible show, although I would not go out of my way to add it to my list on Netflix.
Featuring America’s favorite goatee enthusiast, Guy Fieri, Guy’s Grocery Games (or Triple G) is a cooking show that combines competition and Guy Fieri’s perfectly gelled frosted tips. In this cooking game show, the competitors shop and cook inside of a perfectly stocked supermarket.
The bone I have to pick with this particular show is that it lacks educational value in many respects. Although, it is entertaining to watch the competitors sprint around the supermarket looking for items, which is also how I imagine I look at Wegmans when I'm shopping for Halo Top.
If I’ve learned anything from this show, it's that food truck owners are a rowdy, yet wildly creative bunch. Hosted by Tyler Florence, AKA the celebrity chef who sounds like he’s yelling at all times; The Great Food Truck Race is a food competition involving seven hopeful teams who are vying for the cash prize of a whopping $50,000.
This show highlights all the drama that food truck vendors and chefs undergo. There is a lot of yelling and crying, which pairs nicely with a great deal of unconventional and delicious-looking food.
If you are flipping through TV channels and come across a blonde guy wearing backwards sunglasses, eating greasy food, and cracking dad jokes, you’re probably watching Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Considering this show has been around for what seems like an eternity, Netflix offers a nicely condensed collection of the best episodes from "Triple D.” If you’re a lover of strange/amazing food and even stranger/more amazing people, hop right on the train to “Flavortown” and watch Fieri eat himself into a lifelong food coma.
13. Giada At Home
In case you didn’t already know, Giada Di Laurentis is the Queen of Food Network. In this more traditional-style cooking show, Giada shows viewers how to execute delicious recipes reminiscent of her childhood in Italy and of her years spent living beach-side in California.
Whether she is baking cookies for her daughter's birthday or a making heaping plate of pasta for a dinner party, Giada makes cooking seem effortless while looking simply stunning all the while.
12. Beat Bobby Flay
Anyone who watches TV has likely seen the charming, Irish, Iron Chef extraordinaire that is Bobby. On Iron Chef America, Flay was renowned as single most challenged chef on the show–so, naturally, Food Network gave him a show of his own for even more chefs to try to take him down.
Hopeful competitors on the show must first face another challenger before competing against Flay himself. If they beat their fellow challenger, they earn the opportunity to challenge Flay in a cook-off of their “signature dish.”
My personal favorite aspect of this show is watching Bobby look stressed out while cooking, (making you think "maybe he won't win") before executing the dish seamlessly, ever-reminding you that he is indeed Bobby Flay.
In Parts Unknown, acclaimed chef and mega-TV personality, Anthony Bourdain, explores many food destinations you may have not even known existed. From LA’s Koreatown to Libya, Bourdain crushes all the stereotypical ideas you may have held about various traditional cuisines.
The show captures how societies across the world prepare food in modern-day and how it is culturally and internationally significant. Bourdain’s lack of ethnocentrism and laid-back enthusiasm makes this show a must-watch for foodies and travelers alike.
10. Good Eats
Good Eats is a classic. Culinary genius Alton Brown invites you into his kitchen to share his own recipes and doing so using his notorious oddball humor.
What I love most about this show, besides Alton Brown, is the valuable information the show communicates to its viewers about cooking and food. Brown has an expansive knowledge about food that surpasses the majority of people in food television, which he uses to both educate and entertain viewers.
This show is timeless and unique, and will actually teach you how to cook–and cook damn well at that.
Add this show to your list on Netflix if you love watching people fail at cooking. And not fail normally like we all have, but failing hilariously by cooking something ridiculous (such as hot dog-ketchup spaghetti), only to see them redeem themselves later in the season thanks to instruction from Bobby Flay and the strait-shooter we all know and love, Anne Burrell.
I gave this show a somewhat high ranking simply due to the fact that it teaches a viewer many of the essential basics of cooking. Don’t know how to fillet a fish or properly chop an onion? This show might just be the one you’ve been missing.
Cutthroat Kitchen is a game show that is absolutely insane, yet undeniably entertaining. The show challenges chefs from around the country to adapt their cooking skills to all kinds of crazy sabotages in the kitchen, which are assigned to them by their fellow competitors.
The only thing better than watching a chef try to cook in a sumo suit, or a pair of chefs cooking while tied together at the waist, is listening to the host, Alton Brown’s commentary as he witnesses the culinary chaos with immense delight.
Cooked is a Netflix Original documentary series including four episodes focused on each of the world’s classical elements: fire, water, air and earth. The show is based off of several books written by New York Times best-selling author and food writer, Michael Pollan.
In the series, Pollan challenges the viewpoints of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan individuals through looking at food and cooking from an evolutionary and cultural standpoint. I found the show was sometimes too densely packed with information, although if you consider yourself a foodie, it'll be right up your alley.
Gordon Ramsey fans-meet the next best show you’ve seen since Hell's Kitchen. The show follows Ramsey as he visits failing, and sometimes grossly dilapidated, restaurants and yells at just about everyone around him. This show is a guilty pleasure of mine; watching Ramsey unleash his wild temper, and cooking wisdom, on people who are in desperate need of a helping hand is too good not to watch.
Kitchen Nightmares also illuminates how tough the restaurant industry is, and how taking criticism from an angry British man can set off even the most composed restaurateurs.
This one is another classic. Although the show’s roots originate in Japan, Iron Chef America began the trend of food-game shows on television in the U.S. by allowing chefs across the country to challenge one of the Iron Chefs in a culinary showdown featuring a mystery ingredient. Both the challenger and the Iron Chef must create a five-course meal and illuminate the versatility in flavor and form of the mystery ingredient in each course of a five-course meal. T
his is a show I never get tired of watching; every episode is unique in its own right. I highly recommend watching an episode with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. This guy makes his food presentations look like works of art with crazy knife skills that will blow your mind.
4. Chef’s Table
A Netflix Original, this series captures the restaurants, and lives, of brilliant, award-winning chefs from around the world. One of the reasons this show ranks so highly on this list is because it allows viewers to witness the fascinating transformation that many chefs undergo throughout their lifetime.
Chef’s Table shows chefs’ determination and daily grind, as well how a chef conveys his or her vision to the world. The series conveys how talented chefs’ passion for food is reimagined through every dish they create, which, to me, is a beautiful thing.
Have you ever experienced pure bliss while watching a jolly Scottish man bake a tarte au citron? If not, The Great British Baking Show may be you’re newest Netflix binge watch.This series is by far one of the best cooking show finds you will come across on Netflix. The Great British Baking Show is the perfect combination of entertaining and educational, and features some of the most down-to-Earth people you have ever seen on reality television.
The competition puts home bakers to the test by having them make masterpiece-worthy pastries in a limited time frame and sometimes without a complete recipe. This show will convince you that bakers rule the world, and will make your sweet tooth ache for a slice of tiramisu.
With three seasons available for viewing on Netflix, the Mind of a Chef captures the creativity of food visionaries such as David Chang and Sean Brock, as well as their own food tips and recipes. Narrated by Anthony Bourdain, this show certainly includes a quirky sense of humor that entertains as well as educates its viewers.
I love this show because it allows a venue for chefs to talk candidly about why food is meaningful to them, which is both fascinating and inspiring.
There is no question in my mind that Chopped is one of the most brilliant television show innovations of the last decade. Chopped combines everything that a great cooking show ought to: delicious food, innovation, cooking instruction, and informative commentary. Not to mention the many underlying stories of the chefs competing on the show, who come from various walks of life.
What I love most about Chopped is the brilliance that each chef must bring into the kitchen in order to win and walk away with the $10,000 cash prize. With ingredients ranging anywhere from cotton candy to rocky mountain oysters (AKA bull testicles), Chopped puts chefs to the test in forcing them to come up with creative and tasty dishes in a limited time frame.