These Binge-Worthy Food Shows Are Your One-Way Ticket to the Ultimate Summer Escape
Confession: I terribly miss hopping on a plane and exploring different cuisines and cultures from around the world! But lately, I have discovered that watching an incredibly good food show is the best kind of escapism there is (at least for now!). You can lose yourself for hours in someone else’s culinary adventures, and although you’re not splitting that delicious meal with the host or physically walking the by-lanes of a new city in the quest for the spiciest local food, you still leave 100 percent satisfied. If, like me, comfort food TV is your ultimate mental holiday, here are seven recommendations on Hulu and Amazon Prime you need to add to your watchlist STAT. Plus, if you don’t already have Hulu, you’re in luck, because Hulu offers the first month free to new customers. So from cult shows hosted by icons like Alton Brown and Anthony Bourdain to fresh new releases — there’s some incredibly good food content to bite into without leaving your couch.
1. Taste The Nation
Most Americans probably know Padma Lakshmi as an author, actress, model and television host, but for Indians around the world, she’s an icon. Growing up, I binge watched “Top Chef” just for the joy of seeing a brown woman take center stage, so it’s no surprise that “Taste the Nation” is on my watchlist. Each 30-minute episode begins with a single dish that has been passed down through generations — this could be a household recipe or a street-food spot. Lakshmi then explores exactly how that dish has created and expanded that particular community. The show just launched on Hulu this month and all 10 episodes are already available to binge watch!
Watch “Taste the Nation” with Padma Lakshmi on Hulu
2. Pati’s MexicanTable
Watching the exuberant Pati Jinich appreciate and explore her native cuisine is one of the most fun yet educative television experiences ever! The public-policy-analyst turned food expert even recently won the James Beard Foundation broadcast award for outstanding personality and consistently has been using her show as a platform to give viewers access to real and authentic Mexican cuisine and recipes. My favorite episode? When she travels to Oaxaca in season 6 and explores the role of women in shaping the traditional cuisine. Truly riveting! Currently, season three is available for free on Amazon, but if you’re a Prime member, you can binge season four through eight for free!
Watch “Pati’s MexicanTable” on Amazon
3. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Before “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” came along, “No Reservations” was Bourdain’s early foray into non-fiction food television. The show takes you to far-flung corners of the world and makes you feel smarter and more worldly after a single episode. Whether you’re itching for an exotic holiday or just need some good old Bourdain nostalgia, “No Reservations” is the perfect binge watch that won’t feel like a total time sink. Currently, Hulu carries seasons seven and eight, which have 16 episodes each, so your entertainment quota will be covered for at least a few weeks.
Watch “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” on Hulu
4. New Scandinavian Cooking
I can’t seem to get enough of Andreas Viestad, who packs in so much culture and history in each and every episode of his long-running TV show, “New Scandinavian Cooking.” He explores everything from traditional Norse cuisine to the origins of beer-flavored peas to delving deep into the history of sweet cheese. The show is so good that you’ll be itching to book the first flight to Scandinavia as soon as the credits roll on episode one. Seasons three and four are available for purchase on Amazon and free for Prime members. If, like me, you’re itching for a European getaway, “New Scandinavian Cooking” is your one-way ticket!
Watch “New Scandinavian Cooking” on Amazon
5. Raja Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan
Though I grew up in India, this show is a gentle reminder that my home country has so much culture and history to offer. The sounds, colors and flavors of India truly come alive in every episode that deeply explores the origin and evolution of regional cuisines. Keep in mind that the show is narrated in Hindi, but the subtitles do an excellent job of breaking down the language barrier. You can watch season one and two for free if you’re a Prime member, or even buy individual episodes for a nominal fee.
Watch “Raja Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan” on Amazon
6. Good Eats: Reloaded
For many O.G “Good Eats” fans, “Good Eats: Reloaded” is the kind of extra nostalgia-inducing culinary content you hope never ends. Hearing Alton Brown’s soothing voice narrate delicious, hearty recipes is truly comfort TV at its best. In season one, Brown reimagines his cult-favorite classic dishes and gives them a fun and delicious new spin. From a reverse-sear rib eye steak to rich, chocolatey brownies to cacio e pepe, there are so many good recipes that help you better understand America’s food landscape. Season one has 13 lengthy episodes to binge watch, so you’ll be all caught up by the time season two is uploaded!
Watch “Good Eats: Reloaded” on Hulu
7. Cake Boss
On my very first trip to NYC over 10 years ago, I had three things on my wishlist: Central Park, Broadway and eating a cannoli at Carlo’s Bakery. What can I say! I was watching way too much “Cake Boss” while growing up. With all the sugar, icing and family drama, it’s easy to escape for hours into Buddy’s sweet world. Currently, season 9 is available on Hulu. And as someone who’s watched almost all the seasons, I have to say this is the best one yet. He makes a glow-in-the-dark cake, creates one heck of an edible Easter basket and even celebrates his Mom’s 65th. It’s reality television at its binge-worthy best!
Watch “Cake Boss” on Hulu
What’s your ultimate comfort food TV? Let us know in the comments below!