The 15 Best Food Shows of 2022 That Deserve a Binge-Watch Right Now

published Dec 30, 2022
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graphic collage of Jose Andres, Marcus Samuelsson, and Ina Garten
Credit: Photo: Getty Images/Samuel de Roman/Stringer, Getty Images/John Lamparski/Stringer, Talaya Centeno/Penske Media/REX/Shutterstock

From favorite chefs to bold new concepts (and everything in between), 2022 was a great year for food television. We hung on to the edge of our seats as world class chefs went head to head, rocketing through the wilderness on Chef vs. Wild; watched as Ina Garten and Selena Gomez opened their homes for great conversations with their friends over delicious meals; and saw Chip and Joanna Gaines take on their first baking competition all the way in good ol’ Texas.

Many of the cooking competitions we’ve come to love gave us hours of entertainment while allowing us to live vicariously through their competitors. Some took us on amazing journeys across the globe, while others were just there to make us laugh at the ’90s stars who once hung on our walls.

But 2022 was also a great year for food-related documentaries filled with moments of extreme human kindness, relationship drama, scandals, and scams. Frankly, if food-themed shows and the people who love making them are your thing, this year brought you way more good than bad. The other thing they brought forth? Entirely too many options to watch in a 12-month timespan while balancing real life and remembering to actually eat rather than just watch great cooking. Luckily, many of this year’s best shows were either launched via streaming platforms or have since made their way there for your viewing pleasure.

So, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and have no idea where to start, here’s a short list of the best food shows of 2022. You know, in case you missed some of the shows that had the Kitchn staff’s undivided attention this year.

Best in Dough (Hulu)

We’re not sure why it took so long for someone to center an entire cooking competition show around pizza, but it finally arrived this year with Hulu’s Best in Dough. From global flavors to regional face-offs, the show saw pitmasters, college students, fine dining chefs, and real Italian nonnas go head-to-head in a tasty series that managed to toss 10 different competition styles in one.

Is It Cake? (Netflix)

Whether you hate or love the trend, there’s no denying the talent showcased by the pastry chefs who have taken social media by storm with their ability to bake a cake shaped like anything you could imagine. And if you’ve ever wondered how they do it, Is It Cake? lets us watch the magic happen in real time, while also giving these skilled bakers a chance at winning thousands.

Barmageddon (USA)

One of the latest arrivals of the year, Barmageddon — which is set in Blake Shelton’s Nashville bar, Ole Bar — had plenty of reasons for viewers to tune in. One of those many pull-ins? Celebrity contestants. Pit those celebs against a few everyday people who entered the pop culture consciousness through viral videos, add in Nikki Bella as the game show’s host, and throw games like “air cannon cornhole” to the mix, and you’ve got exactly the type of fun you’d expect to have at a party at Blake’s.

Bobby’s Triple Threat (Food Network)

After 16 previous shows on the Food Network alone, we’re not sure how Bobby Flay keeps coming up with fresh cooking competition ideas. But this year, he brought idea number 17 to life with Bobby’s Triple Threat. It’s like Beat Bobby Flay, but three times more intense, with highly skilled chefs — like James Beard Award-winner Jonathon Sawyer — taking on culinary titans Tiffany Derry, Michael Voltaggio, and Brooke Williamson at once.

Be My Guest (Food Network & Discovery+)

Ina Garten’s latest show is so good, she decided to give fans three different ways to experience it. Be My Guest finds the Barefoot Contessa opening her home to celebrity guests “for a day of conversation, connection, food, and fun visits to some of her favorite local spots.” Viewers can stream an extended, hour-long episode on Discovery+ or catch a 30-minute, food-centric version of the program on the Food Network on Saturday afternoons. There’s also an audio version of the show available wherever you get your podcasts.

Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy (Discovery+)

In 2021, actor and author Stanley Tucci set out on a journey to visit all 20 regions of Italy to explore the country’s culinary landscape through a historical and cultural lens. After offering six episodes in season one, Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy returned this year with a condensed four-episode-long second season that managed to pack in just as much adventure. Sadly, with CNN canning it’s CNN+ streaming platform and all of its original content, Searching For Italy is currently on an indefinite hiatus. With only 13 Italian regions under his belt, however, Tucci remains determined to bring the show back.

Iron Chef: Quest For An Iron Legend (Netflix)

After four years of nothing but reruns, the Iron Chef franchise was rebooted via Netflix. And while it bears a slightly different name from the last episodes filmed for the Food Network, Iron Chef: Quest For An Iron Legend brought back some of our favorite aspects from the show’s original 13-year run, including Alton Brown as host and Mark Dacascos as the Chairman. The format is also the same, with all-star chefs Gabriela Cámara, Dominique Crenn, Marcus Samuelsson, Curtis Stone, and Ming Tsai competing against each other, and celebrity judges including Francis Lam, Danny Trejo, and Lorena Garcia deciding their fate.

Me or the Menu (Food Network/Discovery+)

A culinary docu-series developed by the creators of 90-Day Fiancé could not help but deliver a deliciously messy mix of food and drama. Introduced with a description that opens with the sentence, “Sixty percent of restaurants fail, fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, and four couples are trying to beat both odds,” Me or the Menu did not disappoint. The show follows four restaurateurs and their significant others as they work towards opening their first eatery.

Julia (HBO Max)

Julia Child and her storied career have been the subject of a number of documentaries, books, and even a feature film (2009’s Julie & Julia, for which Meryl Streep scored an Oscar nod and a Golden Globe for her turn as the legendary chef). But in 2022, HBOMax brought us an unprecedented look into Julia’s marriage to Paul Child, examining how the changes in her career impacted the couple’s power dynamic. Julia also gives viewers an insider’s perspective on “a pivotal time in American history — the emergence of public television as a new social institution, feminism and the women’s movement, the nature of celebrity and America’s cultural evolution.”

We Feed People (Disney+)

When the time came to document his transition from renowned global restauranteur to head of a humanitarian organization, Chef José Andrés tapped director Ron Howard to ensure that the focus remained on empowerment rather than suffering. We Feed People on Disney+ takes us inside Andrés’ World Central Kitchen and his mission to nourish the world by providing food and resources to people in crisis. What viewers get, however, is much more than the beautifully polished shots of Andrés at work as the project also incorporates grassroots footage captured by WCK volunteers around the world.

Bad Vegan (Netflix)

If you spent some time in New York between 2004 and 2016, you most likely heard the name Sarma Melngailis. And, if you spent some time on the internet and scrolling through Netflix in 2022, you definitely heard her name again as the streaming platform delivered the docu-series on her now-disgraced Pure Food & Wine restaurant titled, Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. Although Netflix does a pretty good job of telling the story of the rise and fall of the vegan maven and her dynasty, it also gives us a good look at how obsession, greed, and gaslighting played a part in her destruction, too.

Drink Masters (Netflix)

This year brought plenty of shows showing us how to cook, but there was one in particular that actually taught us a lot about cocktails. Released on Netflix, Drink Masters saw star bartenders and mixologists go head-to-head for $100,000 and the shot at gaining the title of “Ultimate Drink Master.”

The Bear (FX & Hulu)

If you’ve been looking for a reason to watch the FX/Hulu’s critically acclaimed show The Bear, this is it. Following the story of a James Beard Award-winning chef by the name of Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (played by Jeremy Allen White) that returns to resurrect his late brother’s struggling sandwich shop in Chicago, the show delivers a rather realistic look at the ups and downs (and everything in between) of working in the food industry.

The Big Brunch (HBO Max)

What do you get when you mix unlimited mimosas and Dan Levy? A brunch-filled competition brought to you by Boardwalk Pictures and HBO Max, of course. Aptly titled The Big Brunch, the series gave a spotlight to chefs and self-proclaimed brunch connoisseurs, all for the chance to win big bucks. And if you’re a true fan of the brunch culture, this is one that you’ll want to binge as soon as possible.

The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window (Netflix)

No, technically, Netflix’s campy who-dunnit is not a food show. But Kristen Bell’s character, Anna, and the various storylines and plot twists she stumbled into left us with so many questions about food! What was in that casserole? How did the casserole dish never return, but always re-materialize? Who is baking casseroles daily, yet never remembering that things in the oven tend to be hot? A CANNIBAL? The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window definitely earned an honorary mention on our year-end list.