7 Food Shows to Stream If You Love Quirky Eateries and Road trips

While cooking and baking jumped to number 1 on the go-to hobby list in the second half of 2020, binge streaming was definitely its companion pastime.

Remember the halcyon days of the quarantine banana bread era? I have personally cooked, and baked more in these past few months than ever before. Anyone else watch all seven seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” for the fifth time? No? Just me? Well, that’s fine.

If you, like me, have become a recipe connoisseur while harvesting every corner of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube etc., you’re no doubt in need of something fresh. Well, why not throw these two obsessions into the mixing bowl and dive into some fun cooking shows?

Streaming some well-known and hidden food show gems should not only scratch a bit of that travel itch but also give you a slew of new eclectic recipe ideas to try. At the very least, you should learn a few things about the world’s mouthwatering delights.

Luckily for you, I’ve watched a few good ones and am willing to share them here. So, hitch your horse to my wagon friends, we’re going for a ride to streaming flavor town!

“Amy Schumer Learns to Cook”

Stream with a subscription on Hulu.

When it came time to pick a partner, comedian and actress Amy Schumer chose wisely by marrying chef Chris Fischer. He’s worked under Mario Batali, was presented with the James Beard Award for his book, The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook, named after his family’s farm in Martha’s Vineyard, and teaches Amy all (well, most) of what he knows in this Food Network show.

The recipes vary in terms of difficulty, and include things like chicken wings with honey and soy sauce, all the way to fancy-shmancy fennel (Chris is obsessed with fennel), radish, and cucumber salad with tuna dressing.

In each episode, Amy makes a special cocktail to go along with the dish, and her banter makes the show feel like a comedy special with an educational twist.

“Taste the Nation”

Stream with a subscription on Hulu.

Award winning activist, model, and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi guides viewers on a diverse culinary trek across the United States. The restaurants and outdoor eateries she visits are primarily family owned, and staffed by generations of food lovers eager to tell the stories behind some of their most popular dishes.

From El Paso, to Paterson, New Jersey, she explores where the best regional dishes can be found, where their recipes originated, and how food has been, and always will be, a tie that binds.

“Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner”

Stream with a subscription on Netflix.

David Chang’s name has become synonymous with unique flavors, and unexpected pairings. Founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, his latest Netflix show “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner” has him traversing four different cities around the world, usually with a celebrity guest by his side, to experience what they’re serving up.

In each episode, Chang, as well as his guest, are exposed to something fantastic that they would have otherwise never experienced on their own. Watching Chang’s excitement for food is addictive, so if you find yourself wanting to follow along on more foodie journeys with him, his other Netflix show “Ugly Delicious” is a great one too.

“First We Feast”

Stream on YouTube.

This YouTube channel has become known for its short, conversational, and stylishly shot food videos. The most popular of the bunch is “Hot Ones,” hosted by Sean Evans, which features celebrity guests being interviewed while eating wings that get hotter and hotter with each question.

Others worth checking out are “The Burger Show,” hosted by Alvin Cailan and George Motz, “Gochi Gang,” hosted by Reina Scully, which focuses on Japanese comfort food.

If you spend an hour watching a few videos featured on the “First We Feast” channel, you’ll have more of a diverse understanding of food than your average person. Don’t watch any of these on an empty stomach though or you’ll tear up with food jealousy.

“What’s Cooking in Esther’s Kitchen”

Stream on YouTube.

Steve Jenkins and his partner Derek Walter were working as a realtor and professional magician, respectively, until their lives took an unexpected turn. When they were presented with the opportunity to rescue a pig named Esther, they took her in under the pretense that she was a “mini pig,” but a few years later she grew to a thicc and sassy 600 pounds.

Dubbing her Esther the Wonder Pig, her fighting spirit led the guys to get involved in vegetarian and vegan cooking by launching a YouTube channel called “What’s Cooking In Esther’s” Kitchen. This show is all about how to make plant-based meals that Esther would approve of.

“Vegan Black Metal Chef”

Stream on YouTube.

Another great one on YouTube is “Vegan Black Metal Chef.” You wouldn’t think that a guy screaming the steps of preparing delicious vegan meals would be soothing, but it oddly is.

The man behind the corpse paint is Florida cook and musician, Brian Manowitz. As the story goes, he quit eating animal-based foods when he was in college, and got the idea for the videos while dreaming up ways to show people that it’s not hard to be vegan, once you get a few great recipes under your bondage belt.

“Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat”

Stream with a subscription on Netflix.

Samin Nosrat is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook writer, as well as a columnist for The New York Times Magazine’s “Eat” column. She hosts the Netflix show “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” where she travels all over the world showing ways in which different cultures put those four components to best use. Such a simple combination in making some of the most delicious meals to ever hit a plate.

Bon appétit!

Kelly McClure is a writer who has written for NY Magazine, GQ, The Hairpin, Rolling Stone, and more. Find more of her work here.

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