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Put away your apron and grab a seat on the sofa. Dinner is on TV tonight.
Foods shows are blowing up on Netflix this year, from travel documentaries and Australian pastry competitions to comedy-inspired amateur baking failures. Here are five of our favorites to binge-watch now.
James Beard award-winning chef David Chang’s offbeat series follows the Momofuku guru and his celebrity friends — Nick Kroll, Jimmy Kimmel, Ali Wong — around the world, exploring traditional comfort foods in the context of culture. Chang’s best moments are thoughtful takes on the immigrant experience, when he finds exceptional tacos in Copenhagen or forces Marc Iacono of Brooklyn’s celebrated Lucali to eat Domino’s pizza.
Chang drops a ton of F bombs, so be warned. And some episodes with co-star and Lucky Peach co-founder Peter Meehan can get a bit indulgent. But those moments when Chang is exploring the loaded history of fried chicken or Viet-Cajun’s potential in traditional New Orleans are illuminating.
Chef’s Table: Pastry
In the newest installment of this Emmy-winning series, dessert takes center stage as the camera works its hi-def magic on the lives of four of the world’s most brilliant pastry chefs. Learn how Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar came up with her Crack Pie. Watch gelato maker Corrado Assenza milk sheep (for ricotta) and save Sicily’s ancient almond groves (for his almond granita). Witness the quiet genius of Spain’s Jordi Roca and his modernist creations. Discover the ups and downs of Will Goldfarb’s career, and how he went from the pastry kitchen of El Bulli to opening New York’s high-concept Room 4 Dessert — and why he took it to Bali. It’s all there, violin-backed and better than ever.
Kantaro the Sweet Tooth Salaryman
In this subtitled Japanese comedy, computer programmer Kantaro (Matsuya Onoe) switches to a career in publishing sales so he can secretly spend his sales calls traversing Tokyo in search of the city’s tastiest confections. Kantaro’s antics and foodie visions are totally bizarre. He is so ecstatic when eating mamekan, for instance, that he envisions sweet jelly cubes and plump azuki beans in place of people’s heads. And he dons thermals in sweltering heat to fully appreciate the cold shaved-ice treat known as kakigori.
But in between the absurdist antics he takes us into real Tokyo sweet shops, some of which have been in existence for hundreds of years, and explores fusion desserts, such as matcha Bavarian cream. And who among us hasn’t acted totally silly when living out our ultimate food fantasy? (You’ll find the English subtitled trailer here.)
Zumbo’s Just Desserts
Adriano Zumbo is Australia’s answer to Willy Wonka, if the fictional chocolate mogul was a celebrated patissier, as well as tall, tan and devilishly handsome. In this reality TV competition, Australia’s most skilled amateur pastry chefs re-create some of Zumbo’s wildest creations — an edible primary school desk, an ice cream igloo — while trying to impress Zumbo and co-host Rachel Khoo with their original pastry creations that do things like, you know, defy gravity.
All of this is happening against the clock, with Zumbo’s well-meaning yet annoying assistant breathing down their necks. The prize? Bragging rights — and $100,000.
What happens when you put bumbling home bakers to the test? They do things like forget to add flour —or frost cakes straight from the oven. Actress-comedian Nicole Byer and master pastry chef Jacques Torres judge these hot messes through a series of goofball challenges, from making self-portrait cookies to building an edible bust of Donald Trump. The show, now in its second season, is part reality TV competition, part Pastry 101. The contestants are gracious and Torres, an expert chocolatier, offers great tips for budding bakers.
Source: East Bay 5 Netflix food TV shows you should be watching right now