As the world adapts to a new norm of social distancing, we may find ourselves incessantly flipping through television channels, trying to drown out our worries through cinema.
But what if I told you you could get your travel fix through Netflix too? Here are six small-screen gems that would quench both your food cravings and wanderlust.
Midnight Diner: Tokyo Series
Set in a quaint Tokyo neighbourhood, the series follows the likes of “The Master” who runs a late-night diner. Dim neon-lit scenes captivate you and set the stage for the conversations that follow. The show focuses on the relationships “The Master” has with his customers while preparing a specific dish of their choice.
As the once strangers dine over a hearty meal and confessions, you can’t help but appreciate the beauty of human connections and the healing powers of food. A soft Japanese folk tune offers the perfect accompaniment to tantalising scenes of ramen bowls and rice dishes, which leaves you wanting more after each episode.
Street Food Asia
Food is sacred to Asians and there are one too many Facebook pages discrediting the origins of many dishes. What “Prata” is to one person may obstinately be known as “Roti Canai” to another.
The show whisks viewers through nine cities in Asia, giving a glimpse into the earnest life of street food vendors serving up their signature dishes worthy of a Michelin star. Tradition, heritage, and gastronomical galore, this series will have you picking Asia as your next travel destination in a heartbeat.
It remains one of the biggest culinary hits on Netflix to date. Chef’s Table offers a rare behind-the-scenes look into some of the most extravagant and unique experiences around the world. Locations are often hard to find or reservations nearly impossible to make, which compels audiences further.
Each season focuses on several chefs, dissecting the towns they call home and the ingredients they swear by. The series also explores the personal life of the chef, offering a more humanistic and down to earth take on the otherwise cut-throat culinary world.
A show about a famous chef eating and talking about food is hardly a novel concept. And yet, this show manages to feel like something entirely fresh. On Ugly Delicious. the restaurateur and chef David Chang along with his friends tackle the sociocultural aspects of food and dining.
There are plenty of eating and traveling, and even more pondering. However, none of the discussions ever feel too preachy or elitist. With his candid observations and wit, David Chang—possibly one of the most talked about chefs in the culinary world, at least according to the New York Times—talks about food in a way that makes you want to talk about it with your friends as well. Preferably over a Zoom lunch or dinner.
Salt Fat Acid Heat
One of the hobbies you may have taken up during social distancing is cooking, and what better way than to add a show chock full of cooking tips to your repertoire. The title alone speaks volumes, paying homage to the four factors of successful cooking.
Each episode of the show takes you to a different country that emphasises each of the four components. You’ll learn how to cook with fat in Italy, salt in Japan, acid in Mexico, and heat over a wood fire in Berkeley. With beautiful cinematography and a look into a variety of cuisines, the show is as enjoyable as it is instructional.
Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father
If you’re on the hunt for something lighter, Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father is the perfect antidote. A little less Anthony Bourdain but equally spunky and full of cultural experiences, the show takes viewers on a journey with comedian Jack Whitehall and his father on their trips around the world.
Seasons packed with globe-trotting father-on antics give audiences a chance to see renowned cities and cultures through a raw comedic lens. Viewers can get a kick out of Jack and his father bickering just like on family vacations while also overcoming their differences together as a real family would.
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