Food TV Shows That Will Inspire, Amaze And Leave You Hungry


August 11, 2017 | BY Tien Chew

We have five must-watch television series made for foodies. Warning: you will be hungry after this.

You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t love food and like us, you know that passionate foodies are always on the hunt for that next tasty thing.

With food being such a celebrated topic today, more chefs and filmmakers are releasing amazing shows that inspire viewers to see food beyond its flavours and forms.

From feature documentaries to light hearted dramas and comedies, we have just the 5 TV shows to watch when you’re resting in between meals.

Samurai Gourmet

Samurai-Gourmet-(Netflix).jpg (original size)Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

The Plot
A feel-good light drama about a 60-year-old Japanese man who just retired from his nine to five job. With an abundance of free time, he finds a renewed outlook in life through food. Whenever cultural norms get in the way of his culinary desires, a mysterious samurai shows up to help him find his way.

Why You Should Watch It
Samurai Gourmet does a fantastic job of capturing the everyday foods the Japanese eat in a very personal and intimate style. It’s easy to relate with protagonist Takeshi Kasumi, as each episode explores a different type of food we ourselves would like to eat, such as a bowl of ramen or Italian pastas. The actor’s expressions when he eats will put a smile on your face and a rumble in your belly.

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

midnight-diner.jpg (original size)Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

The Plot
The show centres around a fictional backstreet diner in Shinjuku, Japan, that only opens daily from midnight to seven in the morning. Its owner and chef, simply named Master, cooks a dish each episode that will somehow have a direct or indirect impact on the lives of the colourful characters that come to his diner.

Why You Should Watch It
Based on a popular manga series, Midnight Diner’s cinematography does a great job at building an engaging atmosphere, sucking you into its universe. The show does have close-ups of food, although not as much as Samurai Gourmet, but it is rarely the star. The main pull for the show is its ability to connect food and personality dining_tatler_stories together, like how a corn dog can ignite a feud between an aging comedian and his rising protégé.

The Mind Of A Chef

Mind-Of-A-Chef-(PBS).jpg (original size)Photo: Courtesy of PBS

The Plot
From the mind of American celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain and David Chang, this television series explores Chang’s passions for food and the influences of cuisines that impacted him growing up. Each episode sees the Korean-American chef explore different aspects of cooking and parts of his life, sometimes taking viewers to countries like Spain and Japan. 

Why You Should Watch It
The show combines cooking, travel, science, humour and history in one entertaining package. Chang is the award-winning restaurateur of the successful Momofuku restaurant group, having restaurants across America, Canada and Australia. He is also a successful author with a likeable personality, making for good banter with other guest chefs that appear on the show. Plus, his food looks delicious and the show is narrated by culinary star Anthony Bourdain.

Bob's Burgers

BobsBurgers-(Adult-Swim).jpg (original size)Photo: Courtesy of Adult Swim

The Plot
An American sitcom revolving around the Belcher family who runs a hamburger restaurant and finds difficulty with financial success. Titular hero Bob constantly comes up with new ways to reel in customers through ridiculous burgers and pun-filled names for them.

Why You Should Watch It
As an animated comedy for adults, Bob’s Burgers combines everyone’s love for burgers with in-your-face humour that works to its own charm. The show has also been nominated for an Emmy for “outstanding animated program” six consecutive times, finally picking up an award in 2014. Always managing to tickle our funny bone with the ridiculous burgers they come up with, there’s the Gourdon-Hamsey burger (with squash and ham) or the Paranormal Pepper Jack-tivity Burger. No points for what the star of the last burger is.

Chef's Table

Chefs-Table-(Netflix).jpg (original size)Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

The Plot
Available on Netflix, Chef’s Table is a documentary series that follows the cooking philosophies of celebrated chefs around the world. The show takes viewers on a private behind-the-scenes with some of the greatest cooks of our time, delving into their unique approaches to food. These chefs range from Gaggan in Thailand, Massimo Bottura in Italy to Magnus Nilsson in Sweden.

Why You Should Watch It
Besides beautiful cinematography, the chance to see how Michelin starred meals are created and learn the inner workings of amazing chefs is too good of an offer to refuse. The series has also won numerous awards for amazing production quality, creating sequels and a spin off in the process. Chef’s Table will inspire you to either pick up a knife and apron or save up for a meal at one of these renowned restaurants.

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