Whenever I'm hunting for a movie to watch on a Friday night, I inevitably find myself scrolling through the documentaries on Netflix. Thankfully, there are quite a few great ones, particularly in the food space. Here are 10 food documentaries you should add to your Instant View queue:
Jiro Dreams of Sushi Good for: Sushi lovers and those who believe discipline and hard work is the key to everything. Synopsis: Jiro Ono is arguably the greatest sushi chef in the world. This documentary looks at his life and the lives of his two sons as they attempt follow in his footsteps.
Kings of Pastry Good for: Anyone who pins over-the-top desserts to their Pinterest board. Synopsis: This documentary follows participants in the brutally competitive Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the legendary French pastry competition, as they vy to take the career making title of "best patissier."
A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt Good for: Fans of haute cuisine and food as art. Synposis: What does it take to become a successul haute cuisine chef? This doc chronicles the rise of "brilliant and controversial" chef Paul Liebrandt.
Beer Wars Good for: Beer lovers, of course! Synopsis: Since this documentary was made, it's probably a little easier for craft brewers to get a share of the market, since craft beer is trending pretty heavily right now. But it's still hard for independent brewers to compete with the corporate giants of the beer industry. Beer geeks should look out for cameo from Sam Calagion of Dogfish Head, among others.
Pressure Cooker Good for: People who like inspirational films and believe it's important to teach young people how to cook. Synposis: With the help of their tough culinary arts teacher, three inner-city Philadelphia high school students enter a citywide cooking competition with scholarship money on the line.
King Corn Good for: Anyone interested in knowing where their food comes from. Synopsis: When two college friends move to Iowa to grow an acre of corn, they discover just how big a role corn plays in American life. They also hit on big issues like government subsidies and public health.
FRESH Good for: Anyone who wants to see our food system transformed. Synopsis: This film is really a celebration of farmers, thinkers and businesses striving to re-invent America's food system. Among the people profiled are urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur's 2008 Genius Award, and Joel Salatin.
Dive! Living Off America's Waste Good for: Anyone trying to throw out less food. Synopsis: This film is about dumpster diving, so if you've ever wanted to get a glimpse into that world, this is it. It's also a look at America's attitude toward waste in general.
Farmaggedon Good for: Anyone with a strong sense of social justice. Synopsis: In their review of the movie, The New York Timescalled Farmaggedon "part consumer-rights advocacy, part abuse-of-power exposé." The film focuses on small family farms forced to shut down by the government.
Vegucated Good for: Anyone who's ever thought about going vegan. Synposis: This is what happens when three die-hard meat and cheese lovers try to go vegan for 6 weeks. Lots of ups, downs, and lessons learned along the way.